How the Accenture Apprenticeship Program has helped Joshua Funches sharpen his skills as a software engineer
Through the year-long program, he has broadened his network and built his expertise in the software and IT spaces.
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Joshua Funches is always eager to give back to his community and find opportunities to get involved with youth development.
After developing an interest in biking, he thought of a way to connect the two, leading him to start the National Youth Bike Council, a non-profit oriented toward young people.
The goal of the non-profit is to create a space for young people to feel motivated and empowered as leaders and role models within their communities through biking.
Launching the National Youth Bike Council has allowed Funches to build his network outside of the community of Philadelphia, and its surrounding areas.
While advocating and running his non-profit, Funches was approached virtually by a prominent bicyclist in Atlanta who took notice of his work and later introduced him to the Accenture North America Apprenticeship Program.
Accenture is known for its broad services, including consulting, technology, operations and more.
Funches already had experience doing software development, programming and IT work. However, prior to that, it was mainly as a contractor.
Looking for full-time employment, he decided to give the Accenture Apprenticeship a chance.
“It was sort of the perfect mix to make my transition to Accenture,” said Funches in an interview with AL DÍA.
In April 2021, he officially began his tenure as a software development engineer apprentice at Accenture.
The 12-month program arms apprentices with formal learning, on-the-job training and coaching to help build their skills and advance their careers.
Already with some knowledge of the industry, the program has helped Funches strengthen his level of skills.
“I actually got my first certification while with Accenture,” said Funches.
Funches calls the opportunities at Accenture “limitless,” due to all the networking that his association with the company has afforded him.
“You can talk to a ton of folks who do things you want to do and things you don’t want to do,” he said. “So, I’ve been learning more, asking [myself] what I really want to do.”
Funches added that his experience has allowed him to explore the possibilities and envision the various paths that he could potentially take within the IT space.
Having completed the 12-month program, Funches was recently promoted as a software development associate where he will continue to take advantage of the networking opportunities and uniformity of how he is treated compared to the full-time, veteran employees.
As Accenture seeks to continue growing and expanding its Apprenticeship model, Funches vouches for the benefits he has received from his experience and recommends it to others who may want to get their careers started or explore a new beginning.
“As long as you’re willing to learn, you can do it,” said Funches.
“Once you’re inside the company, you’re not limited to where you started. And that is one thing that I really like about Accenture,” he added. “You’re always growing, always changing.”
As someone who has strived to be an example to others and lead, the Accenture Apprenticeship Program has provided him with more skills and knowledge to do so.