Brock Mahoney joined Accenture in 2001 as an analyst. We speak to him about his journey through Accenture, how doing “work that matters” has kept him there for 15 years and what it takes to get to the top.
What is your current job title?
Managing Director located in the Canberra office
What course did you do prior to starting at Accenture?
Bachelor of Engineering with a major in Electronics and Communications, from the University of Tasmania. I joined Accenture on the 15th Jan 2001 as an analyst.
To people who don’t know Accenture, how would you describe it?
We work with the largest companies and governments around the world to solve their problems and allow them to achieve higher levels of performance.
When you start as a grad, tell us what happened in your first few weeks
I turned up at the Accenture office in Canberra on my first day. We had our first 2 weeks of training in the office, covering everything from getting our company issued laptop and email, learning about Accenture’s culture, Accenture’s tools and methodologies, and then working in teams doing project simulations and activities. After the first 2 weeks we all packed our bags and flew to Chicago for another 2 weeks of training. With more time spent going through case studies and activities aimed at preparing you for your first project assignment. As soon as we returned from Chicago we were all allocated to a project and headed off to the client site. From there we had our Accenture leaders helping us get up to speed with our roles and what we needed to do. The rest is history.
And then - tell us about your various roles during your 15 years at Accenture
Accenture has many career paths that you can take, mine has been one of few clients with large, complex and longer term engagements/projects. I’ve worked with 5 big clients over 15 years. The early part of my career was spent with various government projects Where I worked on system integration projects doing requirements gathering, design and development work across a variety of technology platforms. Following that I moved to Singapore in 2008 and spent time working on SAP implementations with a large Singapore government ministry and then a large resources company. My work there brought me back to Brisbane in 2012 where I project managed the roll out of a new SAP system for their Australian and South African mines. I was responsible for over 100 staff located in Brisbane and Johannesburg, which gave me the opportunity to see South Africa.
What skills do you need for what you do?
Problem Solving, ambition and a passion for working with really great people to achieve remarkable things.
What traits does a typical successful Accenture employee have?
There are three. First and foremost they will be a good problem solver, secondly they will work well and thrive in a team environment, and finally they will be self-motivated. Those are the 3 characteristics that I see amongst our employees that are successful and have great career prospects at Accenture.
What is it about Accenture's Graduate Roles (or Accenture itself) that sets it apart?
They present the perfect opportunity to learn and grow as an individual, both personally and professionally. The opportunity to work with the best people in the business backed up intense training and coaching programs creates that perfect platform for growth.
What’s the most rewarding thing about working at Accenture?
We have a saying “We do work that matters”. When you work for a company the size of Accenture you are asked by clients to tackle their biggest problem. So when we deliver solutions we are making significant and very visible improvements to our client’s business. In my case where I work with a lot of our government clients we also make a tangible difference to Australian citizens and how they live.
What are some of the other great things about working at Accenture?
I boil it down to two things that have kept me at Accenture for the last 15 years and will do so for another 15 years. (1) The people and (2) The learning. Many of the closest friends in my personal life are those I have met through Accenture. Accenture has given me the opportunity to meet many new people in high performing team environments where friendship is a natural outcome. You get to work with the best people in the market on a day-to-day basis. You are challenged to extend yourself and grow with a great support network around you. You learn new things every day, and if you aren't learning then you aren’t looking hard enough.
Tell us about some of Accenture’s staff benefits?
Yes. Outside the payslip, we have a lot of corporate discounts at retailers, gyms, and hotel chains (too many to list). Accenture works closely with the Australia Cricket and Rugby so we also have access to discounted tickets for sporting events. On top of that you will find a great culture of rewarding our people with community or project events, these events range from outdoor activities to dinners and drinks. The list of benefits is long, so if you have a specific benefit that you are interested in then ask and find out what Accenture has.
What is the working environment like?
Amazing! Accenture’s culture is well known within the marketplace. The people are what make the “working environment” and we have the best people. There is a strong culture of working as a team to support each other and achieving together what no-one can achieve alone. We work hard and we play hard.
What learning, training or study have you experienced at Accenture?
Firstly, what I learn “on the job” is by far the most impactful. The coaching and mentoring I receive from Accenture Leaders is immersed into my day-to-day work. Outside of on the job learning, Accenture has training curriculums tailored to your career level and the role you perform. Each year I work through the training curriculum which provides me with the fundamental skills I need to be successful. I’ve also been fortunate enough to travel internationally to attend training courses and to also teach some of those courses. I’ve learned just as much teaching a course from our next generation of Accenture leaders as I have attending a course. The teaching opportunities are an extremely enjoyable and rewarding experience. Further to all this, Accenture has a catalogue of web-based training courses that are available to all our employees, so at times if I’ve been curious or interested in a particular topic then I just access this online training.
What do you get up to when you're not at Accenture? Any hobbies or passions?
Absolutely! My number 1 passion and hobby is my custom muscle car. Since returning to Australia in 2008 my life has been consumed, some would say obsessed (and they are probably right), with my pride and joy. I spent 2 years restoring my old ford that was handed down to me from my father. It’s a 1977 Ford XC Falcon hardtop called “In Envy”. In the last 18 months the car was unveiled in Melbourne, has graced the cover of 3 magazines in Australia and made the coveted Meguiars Superstars (Top 30 cars in Australia). You can see the car on YouTube at the Melbourne unveil and a recent show in Adelaide. Or check the In Envy Facebook page.
Would you recommend Accenture to a graduate as a place to work?
Yes I do, and I have done so for the last 15 years since I joined. But I’m also very frank with them about what it takes to be successful at Accenture. Accenture is not for everyone, you need to fit Accenture and Accenture needs to fit you. We work hard, we achieve amazing outcomes, and we also get rewarded accordingly. So ask lots of questions, learn what Accenture’s about, and if it excites you then come and join the fun!