“It is good to keep in mind that you can always learn how to do something after saying yes, your curiosity and willingness to learn will speak for itself”
What I do
As an international university student, the world of work following graduation is somewhat daunting. The yearlong industrial placement programme at Accenture provides a platform for anyone wanting to take a tour around the diverse industries and functions that exist in business. For me, this was the perfect opportunity to explore my options, discover new interests and equally aversions with specific niches.
It's refreshing to know that you do not need to walk into a project with years of experience under your belt, instead curiosity, the willingness to learn and upskill, goes a long way. On that note, active participation in projects guarantees intrinsic rewards, the level of trust that falls on you is nothing short of a regular graduate. I found that each of my projects has provided a springboard to more experienced roles by helping me build transferrable skills and a valuable network.
At Accenture, everyone is collaborative and here to help, therefore expressing an interest in a particular area is recommended, as colleagues will undoubtably direct you to the best contacts to assist you on your learning journey. I have been fortunate enough to work on some interesting side of desk projects beyond my regular client work. These include inclusion and diversity initiatives across Technology Strategy and Advisory (TS&A), helping with Financial Services (FS) sales operations, and organising and speaking in UK wide TS&A and FS townhalls.
A day in my life
At Accenture, particularly when on the industrial placement programme, the absence of pressure to align to an industry or function provides you with the ability to pursue any type of project. Your responsibilities and interactions will therefore be entirely unique from project to project. Always explore and see what is out there in order to join a project you are genuinely interested in.
My most recent project, working for one the UK’s largest financial services organisations on a strategic data transformation project has been an extremely positive experience. Daily responsibilities involve engaging in design thinking workshops to shape out the direction of key initiatives that support the strategic objectives as part of the overall data strategy. With this in mind, my focus time is spent on building out roadmaps and approaches underpinned by priority initiatives that aim to help mobilise and deliver the clients desired change. The fast-paced strategic nature of the project means flexibility and adaptability are critical, therefore, constant interactions and follow-up meetings take up a significant amount of time in my diary.
I am lucky that there is a large Accenture team supporting across all the pillars of the data strategy, yet this demands a cross functional way of working to coordinate and align initiatives that will accelerate the client’s journey to achieving their overall data strategy transformation.
Don’t shy away from new opportunities and experiences that come your way. Whilst it is natural to avoid the unfamiliar, remind yourself that it is okay not to know, and leverage this mindset to immerse yourself in new learning opportunities. With the extensive support system at Accenture, it is good to keep in mind that you can always learn how to do something after saying yes, your curiosity and willingness to learn will speak for itself.