October 08, 2014
Chicago to Essex- A2 Training
By: Amy Hunt
Blog posts and general “ACG hype” tend to revolve around A1* Training, whether that’s Chicago or Bangalore. But what come’s next? - Last week I had the pleasure of attending A2* Training…
Signing up to an A2 Training course is a little bit like trying to buy Glastonbury tickets. It’s a mad rush as soon as the registration goes live, only 60 places per course, everybody is trying to get on a course the same date as their friends and it’s every man for himself until all the places are filled approximately 5 minutes later. Through supreme organisation on my part I managed to get on the September course.
The 1st two days were based on Soft Skills. Classes included “Managing Upwards”, “Creating your own Luck” and “Having Presence”. Traditionalists may roll their eyes at these concepts but it really is so important to set aside some time to concentrate on these things you take for granted in every day working life.
The classes were run by somebody who had worked in consultancy for over 10 years herself, something I really respected as she’d clearly been successful using the techniques and was teaching using real world experience.
After a soft skills introduction the next two days were a “Presentation Skills Workshop”. It is famously said that public speaking is the no.1 phobia people experience and boy are you thrown in at the deep end here. Over 2 days we each gave 4 presentations (Vocals only- hiding behind power point is NOT tolerated now you’re an A2!); the presentations are recorded and then played back for the class to critique.
Slightly brutal but so so worth the results, I discovered a hundred different nervous ticks that I didn’t even know I had. We finished the course having stamped these out not to mention that the whole class left with a new found confidence for public speaking. I can’t even describe the difference in watching the 1st presentation to the 4th presentation, pretty cool that that big of an improvement can be seen in 2 days!
Now it wouldn’t be ACG training without a couple of social activities chucked in for good measure. Monday was a Pub quiz; Tuesday was Bowling; Wednesday Shopping and Thursday the Networking Dinner- which always seems to induce headaches and bacon-sandwich cravings the next day! Accenture is under no obligation to make training fun or even to send you on A2 training at all, it’s something they continuously choose to do and for that I am super grateful.
*KEY- A1= Analyst in 1st Year of the ACG, A2= 2nd Year and so forth