Ibrahim Hussain, our junior QA consultant, was all set for a career in optometry before he decided to make a last-minute U-turn into IT - and he hasn’t looked back. 
Read all about Ibrahim's journey, as he made the choice to avoid university and instead undertake an apprenticeship with Iridium, seeing him secure the golden trio - experience, a salary and a qualification. 
"I started my apprenticeship with Iridium the day after I finished my last A-level exam. I studied biology, chemistry, maths and applied sciences, and had never really been interested in computers up until that point. In fact, it’s fair to say I knew nothing about them! 
"Three more years of sitting in a classroom wasn’t for me. I wanted something I could get my teeth into, and the Junior QA Consultant role at iridium has certainly delivered this for me. 
"I was lucky enough to have an insight into the benefits of an apprenticeship. My brother had completed one a few years before me and is currently working as a successful Infrastructure Analyst. He was the person who explained the software testing role to me, along with the breadth of opportunities in this area of IT. It truly helps to have contact with a person already in the industry who can break down misconceptions and help to clarify the true opportunities out there. 
"When looking for the right junior role, I very quickly discovered the opportunity at Iridium. Of course, it was important to research the company before making the application, and I stumbled upon an article my now boss at Iridium, QA Practice Lead, Martin Sutcliffe, wrote about his own experience. Martin, himself, didn’t complete a university degree and is a big advocate of learning on the job. This was so refreshing to read after years of educators telling us that university is the only route to a successful career. 
"School teachers never talked to us about apprenticeships. This is a real shame as there are so many opportunities and benefits for all people, of any academic level. It depends on what you want to do and how you like to learn, and nothing to do with how intelligent you are. I think there’s a lot of work to do to change these misconceptions. 
"I love working at Iridium in a testing role. I’m learning so much and getting paid for it. I just don't think mainstream education can really prepare people for the realities of the corporate world, but I'm living and breathing it as I develop my skills. 
"When I started my new role, I expected things to be slower. To be eased in. But things for me have been fast-paced from day one. It’s great to see my work being appreciated, despite my junior position, which is a real morale booster. 
"In five years, I'd like to reach Senior Consultant level. Working alongside Martin and Jason Aisbitt, the other junior consultant that started at the same time as me. Jason is a ‘career changer’ who has previously worked in the construction industry. We really gel and support each other as we broaden our respective skill sets. 
"I’d also like to do more to help apprentices of the future. I’m already working with Iridium to help support the next cohort of junior consultants, but I’d also like to go back to my school and run sessions with the teachers and pupils to educate them on the benefits and realities of apprenticeships. Watch this space.” 
Tagged as: Quality Assurance
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