• Employer
  • Provider
    Ada. National College for Digital Skills
  • Levels
    Level 6 (Degree) Apprenticeship
  • Occupations
    Computing, technology and digital
  • Skills Gained
    Salesforce CRM Customer Discovery Product Demonstration Objection Handling
  • Apprenticeship Job Title and Employer
    Solutions Engineer
  • Training Provider and Qualification
    BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions Degree, Ada National College
  • Apprenticeship Date
    Sep 2020
  • What are your interests outside of work?

    I love trying new things, I'm currently learning how to play squash. I also like trying new restaurants in London with my friends and family. Recently, I've been really interested in using disposable camera's and polaroid's! I've been lucky enough to travel to lots of different countries. My favourite experience of this is our family road trips, especially when I'm the one that's planned the destinations, but not driving!

GetMyFirstJob Ambassador

Hello, I Am Shenel

My advice to someone thinking about doing an apprenticeship would be to try and align your values with the companies you apply to, this helps you better connect with the culture and helps you shine through in interviews. There is a lot opportunities that will come your way whilst you are an apprentice, so my advice would be to take on those new, possible scary tasks because it will be worth the learnings in the end!

Tell us more about your experience

As a Solution Engineer, my role includes working alongside a salesperson to discover a customer's business challenges and create a unique solution prototype to present back to their decision makers, illustrating value and benefits via an engaging story.

My highlight was working on a project where I was the Lead Solution Engineer. This meant I had more responsibility in conducting the discovery session with a customer. I was able to connect with them and understand what their current tech stack looked like and where there was room for improvement. After understanding their problems at a deeper level, I presented a demo that resonated with their challenges and received lots of positive feedback!

My proudest moment at Salesforce would be the first time I presented in front of a customer. It was just towards the end of my first year, so it was quite exciting and a great new experience for me after preparing myself and practicing for the last 11 months. After receiving lots of positive feedback from my team and colleagues I was definitely proud of myself!

“After doing some work experience at a few organisations, I knew that I wanted to pursue an apprenticeship because I had learnt so much from them in a short space of time. Part of me knew I wanted to get straight into working and learning-on-the-job however another part of me wanted to have a degree, for future security. So, when I learnt about Degree Apprenticeships, I knew this would be the perfect alternative for what I needed. Having learnt through my entire education that I am a kinaesthetic learner and excel when I have the opportunity to learn from example.”

Although I knew that I wanted to apply to apprenticeships, and had visited a few Insight Days, in my first year of applying I was only getting to the final stages but didn't get any offers. Fortunately, I had a back-up plan and had applied to some universities too. I decided to go to university and work towards a Foundation Degree. I also thought it would be best if I stayed away from home and experienced what I might not, with an apprenticeship. Throughout that year, I had more time to focus on the apprenticeship applications, which took up a lot of time because of the competitiveness. I was also lucky enough to be offered mentorship by someone I had met at a work experience opportunity at Salesforce. My mentor helped me with my personal development, understanding where my strengths and weaknesses were. Finally, after many applications, interviews and assessment centres, I got offered two different degree apprenticeships! Both large and well-known companies, with lots of opportunities. However, one stood out to me much more, having experienced the culture and atmosphere of Salesforce, I knew that I would have the freedom to grow with a supportive network around me. So, I accepted Salesforce's offer.

Since starting the apprenticeship, I have had an amazing support network around me. There are apprentices in the year above me doing the same apprenticeship in the same role, each of us were paired up with one of them and we still meet weekly! I also have a 'Trailguide' in my host team who meets with me weekly to answer any questions I might have around the industry, practicing my skills and shadowing their opportunities. Additionally, I have a mentor in the wider business who I meet with monthly. I have two managers, one from my host team that I meet weekly and then my apprenticeship manager that I have regular communication with.

Additionally, my tutors have always been available to guide me and spend extra time, if needed, further explaining concept such as Javascript, which was new to me when I started. I also have a skills coach from the college that meets with me and my two managers, quarterly to discuss my reflective statements.

“At the end of my apprenticeship it is highly likely that I will be hired as a Full Time Employee either in the team I am in now or another team.”

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