Oliver Marsden

Technical Degree Apprentice, PwC

Hi! I’m Oliver Marsden, a Technology Degree Apprentice, and Consultant, but for ease, let’s stick to Technology Consultant. I know what you’re thinking: what does a Technology Consultant do? Well, in my case, I’m on a cloud transformation team helping organizations leave the archaic spreadsheet era and move onto the sophisticated cloud platforms.

Now, onto the golden question: How do you get into consulting? Well for me it wasn’t an ordinary journey. I applied for a higher degree apprenticeship via UCAS while choosing my university programmes. I am part of a study first apprenticeship which means I study like any other student, but work for my firm in two summer and one year long placement. In return, my tuition fees are paid for and I am also paid a salary while I study! It’s a cracking deal.

The essence of my job revolves around understanding client requirements. This includes data manipulation, getting data onto a SaaS cloud platform, or constructing dynamic dashboards for data visualization. It sounds technical, I know. But the best part? It’s the presenting. Yes, it’s nerve-racking to stand in front of 50-plus people, including senior partners, and present our work. But it’s also exhilarating.

A standard week? There’s no such thing in consulting. However, my typical week includes working from home on Mondays, heading to client sites on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and then spending Thursdays and Fridays in the office for round-ups and catch-ups. This balance helps to keep the work fresh and exciting.

One of the most fantastic aspects of my job is the travel. New offices, new cities, new people – it’s an adventure, to say the least. And, the company foots the bill. How cool is that? Just last month, I was flown out to Munich for our firm’s European Squash Tournament. And last week, I stayed in London for a sustainability training and had a chance to explore the city in my free time.

Indeed, the work of a Technology Consultant can be challenging and stressful. We’re often at the helm of significant, transformative projects where the expectations are sky-high. The demanding nature of the work can lead to intense deadlines and long hours, sometimes putting a strain on our mental health. But it’s important to highlight that the industry provides robust support systems. From mental health resources to peer support groups, the infrastructure is designed to ensure we’re equipped to manage the pressures and thrive amidst the challenges.
So, what would I say to someone contemplating consulting as a career? It’s not about being the most technical person in the room. It’s about how you communicate and relate those technical aspects to non-technical people. You need to get the grades and impress in the interviews, but soft skills and the ability to present complex information clearly are crucial.

Lastly, remember to be yourself. The corporate world might seem stiff and conventional, but it’s those who bring their authentic selves to work who flourish. Embrace your energy, your youth, your unique way of thinking. You’ll be amazed at the impact you can make.

To sum up, the life of a consultant is anything but mundane. It’s full of challenges, opportunities, travels, and learnings. And despite the demanding nature of the work, I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.