One of my personal mantras is the belief that learning does not have to stop once you get outside of the classroom. This was perhaps instilled in me by one of my favorite professors who would routinely spend a good part of a lecture regaling us with the intricate details of whatever subject matter he had decided teach himself that week in his spare time. His Finance classes managed to not only teach me the time value of money, but also gave me food for thought that kept me entranced in the lectures. He put forward an interesting concept to the young minds in his room that had been in a formal academic environment for the majority, nay, most of their lives; if there is no test or exam rewarding newly acquired knowledge, would you seek it out on your own?
So what happens when you finish university and transition into the working world? While there is no homework or nights spent in the library, I find this concept of continuous learning very much at the heart of the consulting profession. Besides the actual work that you will do, which will require an obvious learning curve as you proceed in your career path, I find that some of the most interesting learning may come from the people you encounter. Due to the nature of the job, you will find yourself meeting new people all the time. Both internally and on the client side, you will get a chance to work with a diverse team that will come from a variety of backgrounds. With every new project or initiative you get involved in, you will get to meet new teams and new individuals who will in turn inspire you to learn something new about yourself.
Some of the more interesting teachings I’ve had on the job was through my involvement with one of the wonderful charities that Accenture partners with locally – Future Possibilities for Kids
. I had heard about FPK through a co-worker and after hearing praises galore, I knew it was something I wanted to be involved with. Future Possibilities runs a mentorship program for children in the Toronto region that enables them to recognize their leadership potential with the help of a ‘Kid Coach’. Several of my Accenture colleagues and I took on the role of Kid Coach for about six months. It was quite the ride with weekly phone calls, lessons and activity days with the kids. Children have an innate ability of ‘teaching the teacher’, a humbling concept with which I had firsthand experience through my role as a Kid Coach.
There was, however, one instance in which my FPK experience did not supply me with new knowledge but simply reinforced a concept with which I had already become very familiar with in my first year at Accenture. Interacting with my colleagues on weekend activity days and sharing in their experiences as Kid Coaches, highlighted the one thing I was already certain of (and routinely bring up at recruiting events) – at Accenture, you will get the pleasure of working with really amazing people.