1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am currently working as a Test Automation Engineer in London. My day starts off with a stand-up call with my team, where we discuss the work we did the day before, along with any challenges faced, before discussing our planned work that day. I usually then spend some time checking emails and working on some other admin tasks, before starting working on my Test Automation tasks, or 'stories'. In general within Accenture, you will rotate around various projects which can last anywhere between a couple of months all the way through to 2 years. These can vary greatly in workload, location and work-life balance.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed in a substantial amount of areas, including my communication skills, through to development and other technical skills. From working in a tightly knit agile team, I have not only learnt skills to satisfy my particular role within the team, but also skills from others around me, such as sprint planning & estimating, blockchain technologies and more. Additionally, I have learnt the theory behind a number of technical areas such as Data Modelling, SDLC, IT Security and more...
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I enjoy my time on the scheme in general, however am still trying to find the particular area in which I truly enjoy. The company culture, in general, is good, however I do sometimes feel a little pigeon-holed so early on in my career and have aspirations to explore other areas of work but find myself filling positions within my particular area. I hope that upon completion of the scheme, I will be given more of a free reign to explore different roles and areas of the organisation.
4. How valued do you feel by Accenture?
Depending on the project I am on and those that I am surrounded by, this value can vary from around a 4-8, hence the 6 rating. I would like to see Accenture Apprenticeships mentioned/appreciated more outside of the organisation, such as in competitions where Accenture Apprentices go head-to-head with other organisations' Apprentices. I feel some people within Accenture are fully aware of the scheme and our extra-curricular commitments and obviously take this into account when delegating work etc, however I also know of some people within Accenture who have no idea how the scheme works (this may be due to their own lack of care?) and thus, can see junior resources as cheap labour.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The scheme begins with a 4 week Java training 'bootcamp'. This had the potential to be excellent, however was delivered quite poorly. The reason for this was due to a technical employee delivering the training, as opposed to someone good at teaching. The overall training is well organised and we attend 'university' worshops every few weeks. There are a number of support channels in which we can utilise if we are having any issues, which is great to know they are there, although personally, I would not feel comfortable raising issues with some of them.
A new mentor system and also Apprentice ambassador system has recently started, which I think will aid the scheme excellently and will drive further changes desired by the Apprentices.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
My university studies are delivered through QA Ltd, a training provider who have various offices around London. When attending workshops, the facilities are often very good and condusive to learning. Some lecturers are excellent and can convey a message really well, however some are pretty useless and struggle to explain concepts. In general thoguh, the teaching standard at QA is good.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
A new mentor system and also Apprentice ambassador system has recently started, which I think will aid the scheme excellently and will drive further changes desired by the Apprentices. I anticipate that this will be a great success. There is a general attitude towards Apprentices that we are here to learn and develop and that although many of us are bright and can learn quickly, we do have othr pressures outside of work.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary has been increased quite significantly after a number of reviews and is now of a much more acceptable rate, particularly since this is a London based scheme. There is also an excellend gym subsidy benefit, meaning we can save 50% (up to £30) off our gym memberships. All Accenture events I ahve attended have been fully funded and include entertainment, food and drinks, which makes the experience even better!
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Some events are put on outside of work, ranging from networking to skills sessions. These are great to get your name and face known, as well as to relax and enjoy some free food and drink! My favourite opportunity is the 3 paid days of voluntary work we are entitled to use every year - an excellent initiative which is used to do good!
9a. Would you recommend Accenture to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
In general, the scheme is an amazing opportunity to gain a degree, 3 years of invaluable experience and contacts, whilst also earning a good salary which enables you to experience London.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Accenture? *
Being enthusiastic and friendly is very valuable. As well as this general enthusiasm with every opportunity you approach, I would encourage applicants to think about their passion for Accenture & Technology and why this scheme is right for them.
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