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December 14, 2015
The Start of my Accenture Journey
By: Anna Darnley

So, my name is Anna and I’m one of Accenture’s new joiners. I joined the Strategy & Consulting Graduate Programme in the October 2015 intake and have signed up to blog and provide you all with a bit of insight into what we actually do.

Before we go into how I came to join Accenture, I’ll tell you a little bit about me. I am a passionate communicator and a real people person. A polyglot at heart, I commit most of my time to maintaining my languages and picking up new ones - I currently have eight languages on the go. That is what led me to pursue languages at university. I graduated from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) earlier this year with a First with Honours having read BA Chinese and Korean with classes in Japanese. See? You don’t need to come from a business/ engineering background!

While at university, I undertook internships and work experience in all sorts of industries; I blogged for the South Korean Government, worked as an editor for a Chinese magazine, gained marketing experience in a social media startup in Seoul, spent time in an investment bank in London, volunteered…you name it, at some point I quite possibly did it.

How did these lead me to a technology company? Good question.

I was not one of those lucky people who, hit by some kind of divine inspiration, suddenly know what career it is that they want to pursue and how to go about it. As you’ll see from my experience above, I was keen to do a bit of everything in the hope of finding something I loved.

By the time I reached my third year, I still didn’t have a clear picture of what I wanted to do but I knew what I enjoyed doing. Problem solving, public speaking, working with others - but where was I going with this?

Convinced investment banking would be the route for me, consulting didn’t really occur to me until one of my contacts at a bank I was applying to took me to one side and said “Anna, I’ve heard you talk about what you’re passionate about and I’ll be honest: I don’t think this is what you want. Have you thought about Consulting?”.

I hadn’t. I went home, did my research and started to realise that the lady I’d spoke to was completely right. That night, I started applying again. I met up with one of my career advisors at university a few days later and when I mentioned my switch, she laughed. Apparently she’d been anticipating some kind of change all along. She told me about Accenture’s Inspiring Women event and recommended I apply.

The event convinced me to apply to Accenture and fast forward roughly eight weeks, I received a call with a job offer! Fast forward just under a year after that and I was standing outside the doors of our training centre, ready for the first day of my orientation.

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