BY ADA ALUMNI STUDENT
I felt that, as the course had been developed with employers, I would have a better chance when entering the world of work.
First-hand industry opportunities were what attracted Andy to Ada – and his success in gaining a place as an Accounting Apprentice at Big 4 accountancy firm KPMG shows the value of mixing study with work-style experience.
Andy was directed towards Ada by his school’s careers adviser, who knew he wanted to specialise in computing. Though living in Newham, Andy decided it was worth the journey to Ada. He enrolled for a Diploma in Computer Science, A Level Business and an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). Learning within a community of like-minded students, who shared his passion for computing, really appealed.
“I thought the small classes, and students who were really focused, would be a good environment.”
But the main attraction was Ada’s connections with industry.
“I felt that, as the course had been developed with employers, I would have a better chance when entering the world of work.”
One of the highlights of his time at Ada was an industry project with the company King (mobile game developer), for which he was assigned the role of project manager. While he really enjoyed leading his team of peers, he found it hard deciding which would present their pitch, as he did not want to disappoint anyone. The experience helped him to learn a lot about himself, and also the different dynamics in a team – how to be a good team player, give and receive instructions and focus on the task in hand, skills he relies on now in work.
“Developing these kinds of professional skills meant I hit the ground running when I started my job.”
Andy also felt he benefited from Ada’s teachers, and believes their care and support was key to his success.
“They give the best support out of any college in the country. The systems they put in place and the support they give is quite brilliant. There should be more colleges like Ada across the country. The standard of teaching is exceptional, I can only praise Ada.”
He recalls the quality of the careers advice he received, which presented options but always gave students freedom to make their own decisions. This included the support he received to go down a finance, rather than digital, pathway. And included tailored CV and application writing support, and help with interview techniques. Now, Andy is taking a five-year apprenticeship through global accountancy firm KPMG, at the end of which he will be a qualified Chartered Accountant.
To anyone thinking of joining Ada, his advice is clear:
“Go for it. The people there are so wonderful. They give great advice, really care for you and your progress.”