After a brief dabble in neuroscience, Grace Wu switched to studying commerce with a view to become an accountant. But she quickly decided management consulting would give her the chance to explore a more diverse scope of work, something she’s now experiencing firsthand as an analyst at Accenture. Find out more about her story.

Something that I was really looking for in my work life was variety. That’s a big reason why I decided against being an accountant to instead work towards becoming a management consultant. I knew I wanted the chance to explore a variety of industries, working across different projects and teams, and learn as much as I can before (or even if I end up) settling into a specialisation. That’s something I’m definitely getting with Accenture.

In addition to the range of work, I was also drawn to Accenture because of how tech-focused and forward-thinking the organisation is. Accenture does a great job of providing training in emerging technology which we can do alongside our client work.

A day in the life of a consulting analyst

Being in the Wellington office, we have more focus on public sector work compared to the team in Auckland. My current role sees me working with a government agency on a transformation project.

When I’m not working from home, I’ll usually be on the client site and starting the day with a stand-up. A lot changes day-to-day, so the stand-ups are great for getting grounded and updated on everything that’s happening. Then I’ll head to my desk, where I aim to do more complex analyses or writing in the morning. My days tend to involve connecting with client teams across the business, this means plenty of meetings and workshops to get input from them and test ideas.

A group of Wellington-based analysts and consultants going rock climbing after work

It’s also important to me to make time, connect and help other people. For example, I’m a buddy for new incoming grads, which means I have regular catch-ups with them to check-in, answer questions, and support them as they get up to speed.

While each day is different, there tends to be a rhythm to the weeks. While it isn’t always possible (plan-demic issues!), when we can, we try to hold social or training events after work which is a great way to connect with the team and other people within Accenture. Things we’ve done before include paint and sip, rock climbing and movie nights. When you’re getting moved across different teams and working on client site, making time to get to these social events is valuable to reconnect with everyone.

Tapping into the breadth and depth of Accenture

My goal is to get as much experience before I start to think about specialising in a particular area. That’s a great thing about working in Strategy and Consulting – there’s a big focus on building diverse skills and learning to ask the right questions so you can find out what a client really needs, and then apply your knowledge.

At Accenture, there are plenty of experienced people with really niche skills and expertise that we’re able to draw on around the world. A 10-minute video chat with someone a few thousand kilometres away can be immensely helpful.

In addition, as a global firm, there’s so much training and resources available. Internally we have Technology Quotient (TQ) training that gives you a foundation in a broad range of tech topics like blockchain, cloud and AI. There are a lot of things to tap into that can help you build your toolkit of core consulting skills and the trick is often to work out what your individual learning aspirations are from such a huge range of options.

One of the most valuable training I’ve done recently was in data and analytics. Over a 13 week period, I got a deep grounding in how to prepare, visualise, and summarise data and analytics in a business context. This training has given me new perspectives on how to critically challenge a conclusion drawn from data as well as how to tell a story using it.

Going off trail on a walk in Queenstown

Finally, while NZ is a great place to live, I’m keen to pursue the international opportunities that a global firm like Accenture can provide and have my eye on moving overseas. But for now, I’m enjoying the complexity and challenges of consulting, solving problems, and asking the tricky questions to help determine for clients what needs to change.

Take the first step to a purposeful and rewarding career. Applications for our graduate roles in New Zealand closes this Sunday, 27th March. Apply now!

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Grace Wu

Analyst, Strategy & Consulting, Australia & New Zealand

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