After graduating from ANU in 2016 in Actuarial Studies and Arts majoring in Chinese language, I started with Accenture in September 2017 as a business and technology deliveries associate (similar to an analyst).
Usually when a Grad joins Accenture they spend one to two months finding their feet in the organisation, in Accenture we call this “on the bench”, which means you’re not assigned to any particular project but being inducted into the organisation and meeting your peers and leaders before you settle into your first project.
It was a really great opportunity and a steep learning curve. I was definitely never bored.
Life on the bench: Training
Firstly, you still get paid the same as any other graduate. You can use the time to take up some training that you are interested in doing. Accenture is very good at their training programs and offer a wide range of online and in-person programs. So for me during that time I did some web designing, did a course on design thinking, a couple of other skills using excel and some training for the project I’m currently on.
Life on the bench: The Opportunity Marketplace
Secondly, there’s an Opportunity Marketplace where you can pick up some more jobs depending on your skillsets. Quite often there will be jobs posted that are related to the area you’re skilled in and you can contact the posting manager and apply. I helped to build a couple of internal websites and did some analysis work which was recognised by the managers.
Life on the bench: The Garden
I didn’t realise how lucky I was when I was assigned to “The Garden” but I found out a couple of weeks ago that a lot of people want to join that team. The Garden is the home of Accenture’s Government and Health Innovation and Advisory Network and is dedicated to shaping and nurturing new ideas and technology. And even though I’m now assigned to a project I’m still part of The Garden.
Some of the benefits of working in the Garden is you get exposure to a lot of people at higher level, also a lot of the latest technologies.
Immediate exposure to new technologies:
In the first 6 months I’ve been exposed to all the latest technologies such as Robotics, AI, Virtual Reality and Blockchain. I’ve been very lucky.
Accenture has a lot of new technologies that we’re exploring for clients. So within The Garden we invite clients to “innovation showcases” to come in and witness how new technologies such as Virtual Reality or Blockchain technology can improve their business. The project I’m working on now is a Garden-initiated project. So we are doing some process automation and robotics. When I started the project I was immediately trained up on process automation software and am now applying that to the project.
My advice to grads:
Although my background is in actuarial science, in my first six months at Accenture I’ve been exposed to AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Design thinking, Robotics, Automation and Agile. A lot of grads worry about not knowing anything when they start a new job. What’s good about Accenture is it is a very friendly environment and easy to talk to people in higher levels and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions. For example, I was assigned a task in Blockchain and didn’t know what Blockchain was to start with. I asked a Managing Director and she spent her time explaining her Blockchain initiative on the whiteboard. I wasn’t expecting that but it was really helpful.
Overall my first 6 months, have been an amazing learning experience. I’m excited to see what I learn in the next 6 months.