Discovering Accenture’s degree apprenticeships
When doing my GCSEs, the engineering academy I attended were very encouraging around apprenticeships although, even at that time, I knew I wanted to get a degree. So, when I was taking my A-levels I did some research and found degree apprenticeships – apprenticeships that allow you to go and get a degree and work at the same time. Because I was at an engineering school, I was set on doing a degree apprenticeship within the automotive industry, but I also enjoyed technology, so I started to do more research in that area, and I discovered Accenture.
My older sister is a consultant and she told me how great Accenture is and how she would love to work here. I do look up to my sister quite a lot and it was on her recommendation that I explored what apprenticeship options Accenture offered by visiting the website and, the more I read, the more I kept loving what I was hearing. My parents were very much ‘you go to school; you get your degree and then you get your job’.
My sister went to university and she got her Master’s degree but even then, it took her a while to find a job. I remember her saying the reason why was not because of her lack of education but because of her lack of experience. Because she’s the oldest sibling she helped to educate my parents so now they understand that university is not the only option and if I do an apprenticeship you can get a degree at the same time, it’s the best of both worlds.
My application process
I decided to apply and started with reading the job descriptions on the Accenture website and I read through all of them – Warwick, Newcastle and London. I also went on to Glassdoor and The Student Room to research what other people had posted about Accenture and the degree apprenticeships – reviews of how other people had found it were useful and the feedback all seemed very positive, so I pressed the apply button.
You start by completing an online form – filling in details of where you’re from, your grades etc. and then you send this in with a CV and cover letter. About a week or two after that I got invited to an online assessment and that entailed Maths and English and some tests to assess how involved I am with technology or how much I already knew. Then about three to four weeks later I got told I had passed the online test and was through to the assessment centre – the group interviews in London. Honestly, the assessment centre was such fun! It was focussed on how well you can work as a team because at Accenture it’s all about working with people. We also had to create a presentation about a piece of technology and what it means to us, how it would change the world or be applied to the world. I did mine on AR (Augmented Reality) in medicine and during the group interview, my interviewer said she found that very interesting. We also did some Virtual Reality exercises using headsets where you had to solve these little puzzles and games and that was cool, but at the same time you were still being tested and watched to see how well you worked.
The final stage was the one-on-one interview here at Warwick which I found more nerve-wracking. This stage was more intense with quite specific questions but as I can talk for England, I did not have any awkward silences or struggle on what to say, it was more when to stop! What I quite liked about the interviews was that you were encouraged to be honest and I was very open in saying I didn’t have a lot of technical background, but I made it obvious I enjoyed the subject - I think that’s what helped to get me here.
My work and study
I’m now working with the Accenture Cloud Platform (ACP) and I’m doing a lot of automation on the billing works. On an average day, I’ll come into work and set-up my workspace and the first thing I will do is check Microsoft Teams and my calendar to see what I have got going on. Then I’ll check my emails and reply to any that need a response. I’m shadowing a lot of people in ACP – learning, doing work for them and taking on any training to build my skills set to enable me to start to take-on real-day work. I’m working in Cloud Architecture and Cloud Security, but as it’s only six months in I still need to work out what I like best.
My degree is done through QA and we can either work from home on our QA day or we can come into work, the day is solely for our university study. We log-on to a dedicated website and have weeks of work (week one to week nine) which cover each chapter of the module. I’m currently on week six and then after week nine we have our exam and assignment. Originally the work/study mix was all quite new to me but, I think once you manage your time and plan around this it’s fine. Right now, I feel like one day QA is perfect but nearer exam time I’m sure I will need and get more time.
A proud sister
With a degree apprenticeship, you get real work experience and get your degree paid for. At my age you can’t normally get as much technical experience as you would on an apprenticeship. I like that you can specialise in an area allowing you to have a more vivid view of what your end goal is - life is pretty much planned out. Add to that, you’re not in debt getting your degree and you get paid as well! You’re learning, you’re training, you’re gaining four years of experience and at the end of it you may even get a permanent job. My sister found that very difficult – even though she had a Masters – so in that sense, it’s very worthwhile. And, my sister is extremely proud of me and the route I’ve taken.
To find out more about our Degree Apprenticeships, visit our website.
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