How My Apprenticeship Kick-started My Career (shenel)
5 months ago

I started my degree apprenticeship at Salesforce in 2020, as a Solution Engineer Apprentice on the Digital and Technology Pathway. Since I started in COVID lockdown, learning to work remotely and do my job in that way became my norm. This was a huge learning curve for me as it was for everyone else in the corporate world. Navigating how to build a brand as an apprentice in a virtual world was definitely challenging at times but eventually I managed to work it out through trial and error.

The first year was focused on learning, through our company learning platform, Trailhead. We were expected to take three Salesforce exams throughout the year. All of these exams were paid for by the company and are recognised in the industry. These were definitely very challenging but we had the support needed to pass eventually! I was also required to do 7 peer certifications which were demos to my colleagues, we’d receive help and feedback after but the main aim of this was to pretend we were presenting to customers, which is a typical part of the Solution Engineering role.

Moving into my second year, I had began shadowing lots of customer presentations and discoveries where Solution Engineers on my team were asking thoughtful questions about the customer’s tech stack and the challenges they were facing with their digital transformation. After shadowing many calls, I earned the trust of my colleagues and began to help with creating the solution, getting hands on with our demo environments and even presenting to customers. 

Early into my second year I got the opportunity to run my own discovery and demo, with the support of my mentor on my team. This was a successful deal and closed at £100,000! It was a pivotal moment for me after all of my hard work learning how to do my job and seeing the impact I was having on the business.

This continued in my second year and into my final year where I was leading more and more deals independently. All throughout I was juggling the learning on the job, with attending university.

The structure consisted of 6 weeks on the job at Salesforce and 1 week at university, Ada College. I found this structure suited me the best since I could turn on my Out of Office settings and completely disconnect from work and focus on my lectures. 

Now, having completed my apprenticeship, I am targeted at a First Class for my degree, and have been hired into a full time role. The cherry on the top was achieving the highly commended award for the Digital and Technology category at the Multicultural Apprenticeship Awards in 2023!

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