Software Graduate Apprentice Anna stands out from the Cloud
Switched-on Graduate Apprentice Anna Solek joined global investment firm JPMorgan Chase & Co as an apprentice software developer straight from school at 17 – and has already been a phenomenal asset to the business.
Less than three months after joining, the teenager – who had no experience of professional programming when she started the job - was writing code good enough to be deployed to production.
Now in her third year of an IT (Software Development) Graduate Apprenticeship, Anna, who studies at the University of Strathclyde, regularly performs at the same level as senior colleagues and is learning cutting-edge Cloud computing skills.
Anna is also helping to encourage other women in tech, as well as supporting new apprentices that have joined the firm.
The Graduate Apprenticeship is an amazing opportunity because you start your career on day one, you get a degree and you earn a salary - there is no downside.
JPMorgan Graduate Apprentice
Anna has helped the company to deliver significant business benefits, including modernising a feature used by hundreds of staff on other development teams to reduce their monthly infrastructure costs.
The 19-year-old also recently completed AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification alongside her University studies - recognising it as an essential part of her toolkit.
The Graduate Apprenticeship has been valuable in a number of ways for Anna, who was able to save her salary during the COVID-19 lockdown and use the saving to help her buy a flat.
Anna said: “The Graduate Apprenticeship is an amazing opportunity because you start your career on day one, you get a degree and you earn a salary - there is no downside.
“I’m at the forefront of modernisation, learning new techniques on the job as they’re being introduced.”
In work, Anna volunteers for work shadowing to help apprentices, delivering induction presentations to help them settle in and providing one-to-one buddying and mentoring.
She also supported JP Morgan’s first Glasgow technology work experience programme and ran a workshop on the importance of encryption, to help S4-S6 students get practical experience.
Apprentices have a fresh approach - they really challenge some of the processes we have and make us strive to do better.
JPMorgan Chase & Co Glasgow Apprenticeship Programme Manager
Anna is passionate about promoting tech careers to women and was shortlisted for the FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards 2022.
Her natural talent also led her to be part of the team that won the company’s JP Morgan hackathon.
Graduate Apprenticeships are a way to get qualified up to Masters degree level while in paid employment. Designed by education and employers, Graduate Apprenticeships are offered in key sectors that need highly skilled employees.
JPMorgan Chase & Co Glasgow Apprenticeship Programme Manager Lynne Lockier said: “Apprentices have a fresh approach - they really challenge some of the processes we have and make us strive to do better.
“Anna is an absolute dream - she is really engaged, always achieves above what’s expected of her and her coding skills are fantastic. She is a great mentor to other apprentices too.”
Strathclyde University IT Software Development Degree Programme Leader Dr James Nightingale added: “Anna is outstanding in terms of her academic ability and a really solid performer. She is also at the forefront of engaging with women in STEM.”
Anna’s achievements led to her being a finalist in the at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards, in the Graduate Apprentice of the Year category sponsored by the Scottish Funding Council.