I had always known that university just wasn’t right for me. From my very first open day, I was amazed and fascinated by the idea but soon started to feel underwhelmed. I quickly realised that behind the social aspect of university, there really was nothing that I could get stuck into. I decided then that at 18 and having spent over a decade in education, I was ready for the working world.
My interest in psychology led me to consider countless apprenticeships, from the Behavioural Analysts of clinical psychology, to the Barristers of law. I knew that regardless of the path I chose to take, I would only truly be happy to pursue a career with a priority on people, and psychology is special in the way it can apply to a vast range of careers, whether it be via emotional intelligence or organisational behaviour.
My brother advised me to consider consulting. He has always been a big inspiration for me, from encouraging my interest in cars, my love of video games to even shaping my profession. Consulting was introduced as “a people’s job” an “away from your desk job” and “an age makes no difference job.” After some private research I further confirmed my interest in the profession and began to research opportunities.
I applied for many consultancies ranging in size and cultures and got to experience a variety of application processes. The stand out for me was Atkins due to their collaborative culture.
I was fortunate enough to be selected as part of the ACDP (Apprentice Consultant Development Programme) and be part of an amazing team of 6 apprentices in my cohort. Although our team is split between London and Bristol, we meet monthly for upskill sessions in which subject matter experts deliver knowledge and share sessions on core consultancy skills. Currently, we are part of the APM (Association for Project Management) challenge in which we agreed to own a project to benefit a local charity.
6 months later, I am working at Heathrow on the T5+ Programme as Junior PM to a small group of Business Analysts. Providing end to end support to workstreams to ensure deadlines are met. I am lucky to be part of a team that I have gained much support from via training sessions and practical support.
Working within a client team has given me the opportunity to learn from senior leaders. Of course it can seem intimidating at times but working at Atkins has shown me that I am a respected team member and my opinions are valued.
I am lucky enough to be able to remotely work from home currently and still contribute to my client and other Atkins initiatives during these times. Whilst I have many things to keep myself busy with when working from home, I know I can always count on my kitten to be a distraction!
The collaborative nature of Atkins has really encouraged and grown my confidence, most importantly it has shown me that no one day is the same. It has given many opportunities to meet new people and embark on new projects.
For those potentially considering a career within consulting, I say go for it! My favourite quote has always been, ‘Live life with no regrets’ and I can definitely say I have none.