My name is Walid Abdallah and I am a London Degree Apprentice at Accenture, currently in my 2nd Year at university. To those that might not know, a degree apprenticeship offers all the benefits of going to university and acquiring a degree, a BSc (Hons) in my case, yet with the added advantage of 3 whole years of work experience at a top firm before you graduate with your degree.
Why a Degree Apprenticeship?
My dad and older brother and sister all went to university, so one would assume that coming from a background rooted in academia, I would also follow suit, but strangely I’ve always been reluctant to attend university. I enjoyed learning, but I’ve never enjoyed the studying and for me (and many others), there is a distinction between the two. One of my favourite things about learning something new is that it can be immediately actionable and, that’s why I picked the degree apprenticeship route, because I understood the value of getting ahead of my peers in regards to my industry experience in Tech Consulting, but also I understood the value and impact that a degree level education could have on my career.
My working day
For the last couple months, I have been working at a well-known global oil and energy company in Central London. My role responsibilities are to support the digital re-branding for the client and creating all the communication tools they need to deliver their messaging throughout their organisation.
I need to start my day with a black coffee, it’s a must! I get into the client office at 8:30AM and have a daily meeting with my team at 9AM where we discuss all our actions for the day and major updates. I then get to work, using Adobe tools to create the branding materials needed and this usually take me up to lunch; I usually go for lunch with my team and when I get back I attend another meeting with my manager to discuss tomorrow’s activities and any urgent actions requested by our client. After work, I either go for drinks in the City with my team, other apprentices, or turn-in for an early night sleep. I attend university on Mondays, and contrary to popular belief, I sit my lectures with other non-apprentice students that attend my university full time!
Taking on extra responsibilities
Extra-curricular activities are always optional, but I like meeting new people and I’m always meeting amazing people outside of day-to-day work and study! I’m part of an Apprentice events committee which organises parties and socials for our apprentices so, they get time to kick-back and relax. I also get involved in lots of HR/recruitment events when I’m not on project, it’s always nice to give back and speak to young people in schools who may be interested in joining the programme; even writing this blog is an extracurricular activity that I’ve volunteered to do!
My future aspirations
My plan for the next couple years is to finish my apprenticeship, graduate university and continue to work in the tech industry for few more years. Ideally, I’d like to make manager in the next few years, so I’m working with my career counsellor (your personal mentor at Accenture) and the Apprenticeship team to make that goal come true!
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