How did I get into consulting?
I chose to go down the degree apprenticeship route after deciding that I would prefer doing a degree whilst earning a salary and gaining experience, than going down the traditional route of full-time university. I was offered a job on the ACDP (Apprentice Consultant Development Programme) scheme at Atkins in 2020, to start once I had completed my A-levels, which were interesting, to say the least, due to Covid! After being told I would start Atkins in January 2021, I worked at Waitrose full time until I finally joined. I wish I could say I did some fancy travelling or went backpacking somewhere but unfortunately, due to Covid, Waitrose was the most exciting thing I could do.
What does a day in my life look like?
My weeks and days change quite often. With my project team being based in London, and having “Ways of working” days with the young professionals, I am sometimes required to spend the day in the London office, which is always fun; however, the majority of the time I am either in the Bristol office or working from home. Every morning at 9am I have my team’s stand up call, which allows us to plan for the day, talk about the tasks we have, and separate the workload if someone is overly busy. Every Thursday I have my university day for my BSc (Hons) Project Management Degree – aside from that, my days change every day! Some days I am in a lot of meetings, other days I have more free time to do my work.
When I started on my first project, I spent much of my time learning different skills, such as finance, stakeholder engagement and how to create and update cost trackers. Now I am on a new project within the Net Zero and Social Value team I am developing different skills, and learning every day. My team are very supportive and help push my development a lot, they always offer me the chance to get involved with any part of the project that I may have not done before. They also give me lots of opportunities, such as training the Net Zero and Social Value Champions and speaking to key stakeholders.
Along with my main project and university studies, I am also currently the project manager for the APM challenge 2022/2023, the apprentice wellbeing champion lead, and in an internal initiative called ‘living our values’, doing comms and engagement. I enjoy all my projects as they all teach me different skills, especially as they can all link together! Initially, my biggest challenge was presenting in front of large audiences. When I first joined, I would panic over presenting in a group of more than 5! However now, with experience, I have grown more confident and presented in groups of 80+ during events such as World Mental Health Day and away days. Although I have learnt a lot since joining Atkins, I understand that I still have a lot to learn and every day I am learning something new or building on my skills.
Why should you consider an apprenticeship in consulting?
Without sounding biased, I personally feel like the apprenticeship route is the way to go. I would recommend it to everyone who is considering their options, and with consultancy there is such a wide range of roles and projects you can get involved with – it can suit everyone!