Tell us a little about you and your current role at Accenture.
I moved from South Africa and joined Accenture in September 2017 as a software engineering apprentice and I’m absolutely loving it. I’m a few months into my first project, which is to do with domain consolidation. It’s a large and complicated 2-year project with a big client.
My role is to carry out all change management processes – for instance raising change requests and server builds for various regions. I also communicate with the client and ensure these changes each pass through their appropriate gates.
Why did you choose an apprenticeship over university?
Choosing an apprenticeship over university gave the opportunity to jumpstart my career and advance ahead of my peer group who are going to university first. It allows me to progress quickly and earn while I learn – to have a vocational degree to show too, rather than a subject at university that I can't readily apply in the workplace.
What do you enjoy most about your role at Accenture?
The diversity of not just the people that you work with but the work itself and how great that work makes you feel.
I didn’t know what to expect upon joining and to be honest I still don’t really. But that’s what I love and that’s what makes it exciting. The support is there so it’s a matter of utilising it – and then it feels great when you achieve something you didn’t think you could.
Why would you recommend Accenture as a place for someone to start their career as an apprentice?
Because of the fantastic training, support and career growth opportunities you have. You receive the best training from the very beginning and are always challenged. The earlier you start, the better.
I have my managers, my colleagues, and my career counsellor always helping me. It’s amazing.
Tell us a little about Accenture’s working culture, and the kind of environment it provides you for your role?
The working culture’s great, and so are the team on my current project. They are very hard-working but we also have our work-life balance. We’re social and we have fun.
I’ve found you develop a strong work ethic from your team and that makes for a very positive impact on your work. The work becomes ‘our work’ and that’s what makes for a comfortable, meaningful environment for my role.
What was your result in our Powerful Minds quiz and how do you think you apply this skill to your role?
My results were that my mind-set swerves towards the analytical. I can apply this to my role as it makes me rather good at breaking down complex ideas into component parts that are easier to digest. It means I enjoy working in grey areas, making things clearer. More black and white. Solving problems and making decisions based on information provided.
Breaking down ideas into complex parts is something I have to do every day- especially as I’m only starting to understand the complex problems myself!
What is the university experience like on the apprentice programme, both academically and socially?
I really enjoy the university experience. We are there once a week, on a Monday and we learn a lot in that day. Our lecturers are great and the courses are varied.
Socially too, I’ve made some great friends there!
A group of us always go for one or two drinks at the bar after our long day and we meet our uni friends. It’s a tradition every Monday. It gives us that nice break from working full-time. You still get to be a student.
How have you found the experience of balancing work, study and life?
Initially I found it hard and now it’s getting a lot easier. You learn as you go. I prioritise. It only becomes a little bit stressful if you have exams around the corner and even then you can manage your time easily. I always give myself a break though too.
What kind of support do you receive as an apprentice, for example career counselling and mentorship? And how has this been beneficial to you?
You receive so much support – from your career counsellor, your manager, your buddy (usually an apprentice who has been at Accenture a bit longer than you), and your colleagues. I have weekly 1:1 calls with each of my managers (I have two) and they reflect on goals I’ve set and constantly push me to improve!
Where do you see your career going in the future? Where would you like it to go?
I want to finish my software engineering course, understanding all fundamentals of technology. Then I want to become a Business Analyst for Accenture, always learning, travelling and working with some of the best clients on new, exciting projects.
What is your experience of Accenture’s commitment to inclusion and diversity?
Accenture has a very high level of diversity. It’s amazing, you can be in a meeting, each member is brainstorming, each member will get involved and come up with their own opinion and share their ideas. It means everyone is always involved and this diversity makes for brilliant solutions.
Are you involved in any societies, People Advocate Networks, corporate citizenship initiatives etc.? And what has been your experience of doing this alongside your day-to-day role?
I work with HR and volunteer at recruitment events occasionally! These are fun and are a great way of getting out there, building confidence and telling people about the apprenticeship scheme. I’m also the social manager for my project’s team, so I organise all upcoming team events, birthdays etc. There’s so much more I could do too!