June 18, 2018
What I loved about the ANZ Technology Associate Academy
By: Anita Trieu

Artificial intelligence is definitely our future.

This became apparent to me during the ANZ Technology Associate Academy which was a 10-day classroom based training course as part of the Accenture Grad program.

During his memorable presentation on AI, Managing Director, Brad Ryan showed us an entertaining video from the DARPA Robotics Challenge where several robots failed to simply walk in a straight line. However, within a short two years, it was remarkable to witness how Boston Dynamics has taught their Spot Mini robot how to open doors!

Brad’s presentation really resonated with me and highlighted how fast AI is advancing. We also learned about the advancements in Augmented Reality, Design Thinking and DevOps with presentations by various faculty guest speakers.

But the 10 day course wasn’t all about tech. We learned about the importance of succeeding both professionally and personally and one presentation I really enjoyed was the “Truly Human” session presented by Zaneta. Our mind, body, soul and heart must be in a healthy state to build a sustainable work environment. I believe this is a very powerful and important message that needs to be translated across every individual. One interesting thing I learned during this presentation was that we should avoid multitasking as it deters individuals from focusing on a key task which ultimately impacts their productivity levels.

Regarding the theoretical aspects, we were able to gain a thorough understanding of the key phases within the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) through the use of the Rising Star Case Study. This enabled us to recognize the various dependencies and touch points that relates to project work. Although, it isn't my favourite topic, both Angela and Ravi made a good effort to break the information up by incorporating KAHOOT to keep us engaged.

My two highlights during these 10 days include:

1. Team bonding during the scavenger hunt

  • The scavenger hunt was a great way to break the ice and get to know everyone. It was hosted by Corporate Challenge Australia and involved various activities such as taking photos at iconic places in Sydney, translating different languages to form a paragraph as well as searching for key objects. The best challenge was finding the biggest plush toy possible with a budget of $45 and I was so excited because in the end I got to keep it and it was a very cute wombat. The race was extremely tiring as we were running from place to place hoping to come first place. Although my team were runner ups, it was still a fun race. Working and showing my team around Sydney as some were from Melbourne. We ended the day by having dinner at Cargo Bar where we all enjoyed ourselves, getting a few drinks and having delicious food.

2. Glamping at Cockatoo Island

  • We caught the ferry from Barangaroo wharf to Cockatoo Island, arriving approximately at 5pm on the Wednesday afternoon. While some of us explored the island, the others helped with cooking the food. In the evening, we gathered around the campfire, roasting marshmallows whilst playing a game called mafia. The werewolves won the game because they sacrificed one of their team members right from the beginning. It was indeed a very smart tactic as it removed all suspicions, yet very unfortunate for David (the werewolf who was sacrificed). As we laughed and giggled throughout the night with such an amazing night view of the harbour, it was certainly a great way to just relax and bond with everyone. Although it was a cold night, the glamping tents were accommodating and the shared facilitates were better than expected. Overall, it was a wonderful event to have as part of the training course.

In a short amount of time, the ANZ Associate Academy School was definitely an enjoyable experience that has not only enabled me to gain a better understanding of what Accenture is all about but also the ability to build a collaborative network and bond with my fellow graduates. The course layout was definitely a good combination of both interactive and informative activities. It allowed me to gain confidence and most importantly feel welcomed by everyone.


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