What is your role in the Technology Division at Goldman Sachs?
I work in Investment Banking Technology where we create and maintain key technology for the Investment Banking division. As a global team we are responsible for identifying user requirements and then developing, testing and implementing the appropriate software solutions.
What does your average week look like?
Every day I commute into London from Surrey. On Mondays we have a day of lectures for our 3 modules at QMUL from 10am until 5pm, with the option of attending a PASS (peer assisted study session) in the evening. On Tuesdays we have lab sessions, which are smaller sessions that are hands on learning and they consist of programming projects and exam related exercises. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I attend work at Goldman Sachs. My day-to-day work varies but each morning our team has a stand up meeting where we discuss what we did yesterday, what we plan to do today and any problems we may have on our current project. On the weekend I try to do any university work on one day, and on the other, I do leave time for something I enjoy, such as pilates or socialising with friends.
Why did you decide to pursue the degree apprenticeship programme?
I wanted an alternative to university but to still be able to gain a degree. Technology appealed to me in particular because I felt that it’s an ever changing environment which is moving at such a fast pace, so I loved the idea of working within an industry where your constantly having to solve complex problems and work on a variety of projects. Also, as the cost of university is so high, the opportunity to earn whilst you learn is awesome!
What were you doing before you joined the programme?
I was on a gap year in where I spent 2 months travelling in South East Asia.
In your view, what are the benefits of studying and working at the same time?
The key benefits are that you develop a mixture of technical and soft skills which can be applied to both university and projects at work. Getting to see how our university learning each week can be transferred to live projects that have an impact on the organisation is also a great advantage. Also, the opportunity to be mentored by experienced professionals and learn from them is something you wouldn’t get on a full-time university degree.
How have you approached balancing responsibilities for your university studies and your work at Goldman Sachs?
It is definitely a challenge to balance responsibilities but I’ve learnt that it is important to plan, prioritise and prepare for both study and work tasks that need completing. I think being honest about your workload is really important so people are aware of the work that you have to do and can offer help if you need it. I also find that it’s been really helpful that a lot of what you learn at university ties in with what you are doing at work.
What’s the one piece of advice from your experience that you would pass on to someone applying to an apprenticeship programme?
Be open to challenges!