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UEL student goes from prison guard to Accenture apprentice

computing foundation students

Jonathan Jarvis is immersed in both study and real-world experience

Prison officer to Accenture apprentice may not be a career path taken by many people, but it has been the reality for Jonathan Jarvis. 

After finishing A-Levels and deciding against university, Jonathan, 25, dabbled in a number of industries from woodwork to hospitality, eventually taking up a role as a prison officer at HMP High Down, in Sutton, south London, at the suggestion of a friend.

But he maintained his passion for technology , keeping up-to-date with the latest developments. He said, “I had this love for tech. I loved sci-fi and learning about things like SpaceX, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence, and how they’re shaping society.”

This passion ultimately spurred Jonathan to leave his prison officer job and pursue what he really wanted to do.

While searching for new roles, he stumbled across the Accenture apprenticeship programme. The opportunity to develop skills and gain work experience at the management consulting and services company appealed to Jonathan, and he was successful in his application to the apprenticeship scheme.

Jonathan joined Accenture in September 2017, and since then has been working on Accenture’s DevOps platform. The opportunity to learn from professionals, gain experience across different projects, and work towards a BSc (Hons) Digital & Technology Solutions Professional degree at the University of East London (UEL) - all while earning a salary - means that Jonathan is thriving with Accenture. 

He said, “My studies are going really well, and it helps that I get to work in a tech environment at Accenture. For example, I’m learning about networking at UEL, and dealing with networking issues at work, and this gives me concrete examples to match the theory.” 

Commenting on his time on the apprenticeship so far, Jonathan said, “I’ve had the great fortune to be around some very experienced people, instilling a lot of professional habits in me as well as the technical expertise I’d been seeking. 

“The scheme has given me a great insight into the working environment, and allowed me to experience how a project operates from kick-off through to completion.” 

“My favourite part of the apprenticeship is the culture of learning in the workplace. There is a vast range of resources available for us to enhance our understanding and skills. 

“With Accenture, continual learning is very much encouraged for career development, and you can see the impact of this in the office where people are able to bring suggestions and implement new technologies they’ve learned about, either through their studies or their own personal interests.” 

Jonathan will graduate from Accenture’s apprenticeship programme in 2020, at which time he hopes to be offered a permanent role within the company.