Apprentice Consultant
2 months ago

I'm Joe Shepherd, a third-year project management degree apprentice in AtkinsRéalis' Apprentice Consulting Development Programme (ACDP). I collaborate with clients to understand their needs and help them achieve their objectives. Working alongside senior consultants, I keep our clients happy while learning, hands-on, about client relationship management and strategic consultancy.

What has been the best part of your apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are one of those rare examples where the sales clichés turn out to be completely true: Apprenticeships are real jobs, and you do "earn while you learn." I receive a full-time wage with all the AtkinsRéalis employee perks and benefits!
However, my favorite aspect of the scheme is how we learn. I've been able to merge my formal university study with practical on-the-job experience. It's helped me develop so much faster, improve my comprehension, and enjoy learning.

What do you like about being an apprentice #InsideAtkinsRéalis?

I believe AtkinsRéalis has a lot to offer apprentices. We enjoy varied experiences and interesting work—with countless opportunities to develop, learn, and grow professionally and personally. But my favorite thing about being an apprentice here is the people. Everyone is friendly, and the culture is one of support. Most importantly, the scheme is very collegiate, and I've become incredibly close friends with my fellow apprentices.

What's your Top Tip for those considering an apprenticeship?

The best piece of advice was given to me during my first week on the apprenticeship scheme. Simply, "do the basic things well." This advice helped me understand that the apprenticeship is a marathon, not a sprint. We are given an unparalleled opportunity to build a solid foundation of skills and knowledge from which we can grow.

How do you manage your work, study, and home life?

As an apprentice, one day per week is allocated to university. I attend lectures or research and write my coursework. This pre-assigned time dedicated to my university study has helped me manage my workload immensely. I use AtkinsRéalis' flexible working options to strike the right work-life balance. I particularly like the flexible holiday scheme that allows buying and selling of annual leave days. Although the opportunity to work from home is available, I often choose to work in the office, enjoying the camaraderie and collaboration with fellow apprentices.

How do you feel supported working at AtkinsRéalis?

AtkinsRéalis has a very supportive culture, particularly towards young professionals. I have always felt my colleagues go above and beyond to aid my professional development. My Project Managers have always taken me under their wings and allowed me to shadow and support them through all aspects of their work.


Throughout my apprenticeship, I've gradually been entrusted with more and more responsibility and given greater challenges to tackle autonomously. In the context of really supportive teams, all the opportunities I've been given have been vital in my career development and culminated in my nomination for the Management Consultancy Association's (MCA) Apprentice of the Year.

Are you ready to discover just how far you can go with us? Explore AtkinsRéalis Degree Apprenticeships.

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