Moving to Canberra has given me the chance to try something new
August 10, 2022
Nikki Tran grew up in Singapore before attending the University of Durham in the UK. Get to know Nikki and how she’s enjoying life in Canberra.
I grew up in Singapore and studied Business and Management with a placement year at the University of Durham in the UK. I completed my placement year at a multinational technology company in London as a financial analyst. I then went back to complete my final year of university which involved writing a dissertation on cybersecurity and information privacy concerns during COVID-19.
Throughout university, I attended various career fairs and had the opportunity to network with different companies. However, Accenture stood out to me as they always seemed to be leveraging technology to enhance the lives of businesses and the broader community and this was something that I’ve always been interested in. Thus, when I stumbled across Accenture’s graduate programs and the opportunities in Canberra, I decided to try something new and I applied for it! After a virtual assessment centre and multiple rounds of interviews, I joined Accenture in September 2021.
New city, new opportunities
Canberra has been great! The move was a bit of a challenge, especially during the COVID-19 restrictions but Accenture has supported me through this adjustment. The office here has lots of different social groups you can get involved in, helping me to meet more people. Things like pizza lunches every week at the Kingston office during August have been fantastic too.
Overall, I’ve found everyone here to be very welcoming. As a new person to the city, I opted to move in with a flat mate as it is a great way to start building your social circle. Turns out that my flat mate – Helen Wang (also the best flat mate ever!) is another graduate from Accenture within the Strategy and Consulting stream! And that’s really helped me settle in. She also has a really cute toy poodle called Ace, so as a huge dog lover, I love that.
Canberra is a very picturesque city with lots of nature and trails to explore. I love getting up early and going for a run or walk around the lake. I find this helps me start my day right and is also a great way to clear your mind. The city has a great night life too and a strong food culture, with a wide range of niche and interesting restaurants.
Canberra has a bit of a slower pace, but I really appreciate that. When I take the bus to Sydney to visit my friends or family, I get off and can be a bit overwhelmed by the hecticness of the city. I also love how close together everything is here, with nothing more than a 20-25 minute drive away.
Interesting work, supportive team
Coming up to my one year anniversary of joining, I can see that there’s a huge amount of opportunities available for graduates. The great thing about consulting is that there’s always new roles and projects you can try. You just have to let people know what you are interested in and show a willingness to learn and explore.
There’s a big focus on learning and skills development, too. For example, there’s programs like the Technology Quotient, to build everyone’s tech skills, and various Cloud Certifications that are available for you to pursue. As a business grad who’s now working in a tech team, these programs have been brilliant. I’ve also recently attended our Analyst Conference, which was a fantastic experience. We worked through a case study and had the opportunity to network with other graduates and the managing directors of Accenture. It was interesting to hear about the different types of projects that are happening across Accenture and how we’re positively impacting the Australian community.
I’ve also had the opportunity to represent Accenture at events like Robogals and the Australian National University Consulting Society mentorship program. It’s been great to be able to connect with other students and help them learn more about graduate opportunities at Accenture. It’s especially been great to be able to show that there’s a lot of opportunities for people from a range of backgrounds, whether that’s a business graduate like me, or someone studying English and history – it’s not just people with tech degrees that Accenture is looking for.
One of the biggest surprises for me since joining is how much I’ve come to love Excel. It sounds like a pretty weird thing to get excited about, but I love learning about the new things you can do, like creating financial dashboards and macros. It’s such a useful and handy tool to know how to use.
Finally, a lot of people worry that consulting is a high-pressure environment, but I’ve found that Accenture has a great focus on work-life balance. I’m able to work both remotely and onsite, and still have plenty of time for the things that are important to me, like running and getting to the gym.
Tips for interested applicants
In my first year at Accenture, I’ve learnt that we’re all about being curious, so I strongly encourage people who are considering the graduate program to approach the process with an open mind. Don’t be afraid to ask questions (both during the interview process and once you’re part of the team!), and be open to opportunities to develop as a person.
I’d also strongly encourage people from a range of backgrounds to apply. Don’t be put off from applying because you come from a non-STEM background – my degree is purely business, but I’m still able to excel in my role. There are so many layers to technology that don’t require you to be a coder or be fully technical e.g. project management, business analyst or design roles just to name a few. You will also be given ample opportunities to learn more each day!
Applications are now open for our Canberra graduate roles. If you’re an Australian citizen and either in Canberra, or willing to relocate, we’d love to hear from you. Apply here.