In 2022, I joined Deloitte’s BrightStart Degree Apprentice programme in Strategy Consulting. After much contemplation on whether to go to university or choose a different route, I decided an apprenticeship pathway was the best fit for me. With my background in scientific subjects, I had developed an interest in analytical and problem-solving skills which I felt aligned well with the Consulting industry.

The BrightStart programme at Deloitte piqued my interest because of the vast development opportunities it offers for school leavers looking to get into the corporate world. I was attracted to the flexibility to explore opportunities across different industries and project types as well as the independent lifestyle that earning a salary can provide. The work-life-study balance is great for me as I’ve been able to manage a work schedule and study towards my Business Management degree, while also making time for friends and family.

Working in strategy consulting, can be very fast-paced and offers a huge variety which is one of my favourite aspects of the job. Since joining the firm I’ve had the opportunity to work in a range of industries, with most of my work being in the sustainability & climate team, and the financial services industry. Currently, I am working on an internal project which aims to explore what it would mean for some of our most iconic clients to thrive in the post-net zero transition economy. As part of this process, we ran scenarios to determine how our clients could be a winner in their sector after achieving and exceeding their strategic and net zero ambitions. I enjoyed being able to offer an apprentice’s point of view, especially coming from a generation that is highly concerned about the impacts of climate change, adding to the diversity of thoughts in my team.

Working with large and diverse project teams has given me the opportunity to learn how to work with different types of people with varying levels of experience. I have taken on various roles, sometimes shadowing a manager to learn a new skill and other times mentoring someone new to help them navigate the firm.

One of the challenges I faced coming into the firm as an apprentice was settling in. Coming into the fast-paced corporate world at the age of 18 was a huge jump, especially being used to the regularity and consistency of a school timetable. With this came the experience of imposter syndrome which I later realised was a widely experienced feeling in the industry due to the nature of the profession. However, the junior talent team at the firm, who are so committed to our development and wellbeing, helped immensely in all aspects including navigating the dos and don’ts and being there to answer all the ‘silly questions’. Our strong community of BrightStart peers also helped in settling in, ensuring we’re all constantly pushing and motivating each other to step out of our comfort zones. Through this I have also managed to find some amazing friends!

My advice to anyone considering a degree apprenticeship is to do your research and speak to people that are already on these programmes. Especially in this age of social media, the corporate life can be glorified and while it can be glamorous it is a huge commitment, especially when simultaneously studying towards a degree. There are highs and lows as with every career but overall, it’s an amazing opportunity that I am very grateful for and has provided me with a lot more clarity around the career path I want to follow.