Sumo Digital Academy – Introducing our new Shadow Apprentice

12th Feb 2024 Studio Life

A new batch of aspiring game dev programmers and tech artists have joined the Sumo Digital Academy recently to embark on an 18-month apprenticeship learning vital skills to kickstart their careers – but did you know that we also welcomed our very first ‘Shadow Apprentice’.

Do they only serve during nightfall, do they disappear in a puff of smoke upon exiting a room? Not quite. But here to tell us all about her role is Holly Savin, the Academy’s new Shadow Apprentice, who shares details on what she’ll be getting up to with our cohorts.



“Hi, I’m Holly! I studied Computer Science for Games at Sheffield Hallam University, and my role is Shadow Apprentice here at Sumo Academy.

“Before joining the Academy, I worked multiple jobs as a Software Engineer and spent the past 4 years as a full-time streamer on Twitch.”



“As the Shadow Apprentice for the Sumo Digital Academy I’ll be studying and engaging in the same projects as the current apprentices. The difference between my role and theirs is that I won’t be taking part in the actual assessment side of things that they need to complete their qualification.

“Instead, what I will be doing is documenting the entire process in video form to give an inside look into what it’s like to be an apprentice at the Academy.

“This role would utilise the skills I had been developing in content creation and offer the ‘refresher’ in games programming that I was searching for. The content I’ll be producing for the Academy will be extremely valuable as it provides a perspective that has never been shown before.

“It’s important for underrepresented groups to see people like themselves in industry roles, so that’s a key part of the Academy’s goal with this new role. I’m honoured to be the face that will hopefully inspire future cohorts and underrepresented groups to apply to the apprenticeship in years to come.”



“The games industry has always been what I’ve had my sights set on. With my expertise as a content creator and the experience and industry knowledge that the Academy will provide me with, joining the Academy felt like the perfect fit.

“I originally discovered the Academy apprenticeship through a LinkedIn post. Although I had already studied and completed my degree in games programming back in 2019; I had been working as an online content creator for the past few years in the games industry.

“The recruitment process was identical to the application process for the actual apprenticeship. This consisted of multiple programming tests and even a group game jam.

“As an extra add on for my role, I was asked to collect content from the game jam to sample the sorts of things I’ll be able to capture during my time with this year’s cohort. I was hoping the apprenticeship could provide me with a sort of ‘refresher’ and the industry experience I was lacking in order to approach a role as a games programmer.

“I’ve always heard amazing things about Sumo and dreamed of working here, so I’m incredibly happy to be a valued member of the Academy and can’t wait to see everything we achieve together!”

Since 2020, the Sumo Digital Academy has been a talent development programme creating new pathways into the games industry – and is the first in the games industry to be recognised by the government and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

If you’d like to find out more about apprenticeship programme and how to apply, visit the Sumo Digital Academy website.

12th February 2024 Studio Life