Hey everyone, my name is Veronica and I am a Degree Apprentice at Accenture, studying a software engineering degree at University of East London. I have travelled quite a lot as I was born in Italy, lived in Canada for three years, and then moved to Birmingham a few years ago. Considering that English was not my first language, my journey was challenging. Despite this, I achieved exceptional results in my GCSEs and was fortunate enough to be able to study my preferred A-levels; Mathematics, Physics and Information Technology. My time at Sixth Form completely changed my life because I represented my Academy as Head Girl and won the Student of the Year trophy which further motivated me to be resilient. I had always intended to go to University and graduate with a Masters, however when I did my research into alternatives to university, I learnt that perhaps there are better routes, like Degree Apprenticeships. When I received my results and didn’t get into my first choice, I was sure that I didn’t want to waste my time and since I already had my offer from Accenture I shouldn’t take it for granted!
My initial step towards my career was moving from Birmingham to London. Statistically the engineering field is male-dominated and therefore, as a woman, I often feel like I have to work harder to prove myself. We had an immense two-week of programming training when starting, and with the websites I produced completely upon the training given, I was honoured that I was selected to work on a project with an important client by a Senior Manager. This achievement motivated me to push myself even further in this competitive field.
When I started my work at Accenture, I had limited software development experience. Although I had gathered some understanding through previous work experience, it wasn’t nearly enough to prepare myself for the learning curve that I would soon have to climb. Regardless, I have since become a far more confident and skilled developer, and even spend my own time developing my programming abilities.
Alongside establishing my technical abilities, I’ve also been encouraged to develop my leadership skills such as communication and teamwork, by being chosen to be on the Apprenticeship panel and speak to more than 100 girls about the ‘routes to success’ Accenture offers. While a team of developers may all be very experienced and skilled, poor teamwork can result in an entire project falling apart; which is why I encourage myself to be a cooperative team member and share my experience. So, whenever Accenture gives me the opportunities to represent them at events and conferences, I am always very enthusiastic and passionate to communicate with students that I was once in their shoes and share my experience, whilst revealing the benefits that come with being an Apprentice.
I’ve learnt a lot through my journey so far at such an early age and am incredibly proud of the woman that I have become. I hope that through sharing my experiences in the technology sector with other young students across the country, I can inspire them to persevere through stereotypes and any other obstacles that they may face.
Why not check-out my short video and see what it’s like to be an Apprentice at university.
If you want to find out more about apprenticeship opportunities at Accenture and how you can join us, visit our website.