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March 15, 2017
What I wish I’d known: 3 pieces of advice from grads who succeeded

Considering applying for a graduate position with Accenture?

We hear from three recent grads about what they find most rewarding about working at Accenture.

Taylor Lemke Taylor Lemke-Berry

1. Assume you are never the smartest person in the room! – a close client of mine told me that from early in her career and has always served me well.

2. Not to sound harsh, but learn that your opinion unless asked for, usually can be kept to yourself. Clients and Senior Leadership alike don’t enjoy a fresh analyst telling them their thoughts on outdated processes or systems.

3. Find yourself someone who you want to work like and reach out to them. The best thing I ever did was reach out to different mentors who all had different strengths and networks they could share with me.

Fiona Sparks Fiona Sparks

1. Keep an open mind – just because you end up on a role that is not ‘suited’ to you or what you studied doesn’t mean it won’t be a great role

2. Another cliché, but networking really is so important – make an effort to meet new people and stay in touch with people, you never know when you will cross paths with them again.

3. You probably won’t step in to your dream job or dream role – that’s okay, treat everything as a learning experience!

Philip Phil Faraj

1. Don’t be afraid to tell your manager/career counsellor what your goal is, or in which direction you want your career to head. Often, new starters are advised to say yes to their first project, first opportunity, because they think that’s just the way it is. However, everyone that you’ll work “under” (so to speak), no matter how senior, is still human. And the right company will want to support you and your ambitions. But the only way your manager/company will be able to provide you with the framework to pursue your dream career, is if they’re made aware of what your ambitions are.

2. Just relax. Things will be okay. After 5 years of studying, I was bursting at the seams ready to kick start my career when I started with Accenture. After all those years studying, part of me was expecting to jump straight onto a project, do an amazing job, get rewarded and become the next CEO within 6 months. However, in reality, you’re better off setting realistic and achievable goals for your first 3, 6 and 12 months with your career counsellor and project lead, and what reward (if any) achieving those objectives will result in. This way, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s expected of you if you perform well, and the result of achieving those objectives.

3. I don’t particularly subscribe to the idea of fearing or assuming that you have to act in a certain way around MDs & Senior Managers. The way you carry yourself shouldn’t be different when you’re talking to your best friend at work, or if you’re talking to the most senior executive of your department. People can see through the act, and ultimately, you won’t develop meaningful relationships with those who are best geared to help you achieve your goals, unless you’re your true self. You have a story to tell, so tell it. Your MDs & Senior Managers were once in your shoes. They’re also people too. Talk about your hobbies, their hobbies, your family, their family. It doesn’t always have to be about your work or project.


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