In September 2016, it was time to start my #AccentureAdventure on the HR Talent Accelerator Programme. The programme is made up of rotations in Accenture Strategy, Human Resources, another Corporate Function team and an international HR placement.
My first rotation was in Accenture Strategy and I was really excited to get exposure to this client-facing side of Accenture. My client was out of town, in Solihull, and you might expect that I lived Consulting life to the full – hotel stays, train journeys and dinners! Whilst I did stay in a hotel on some occasions, my family actually live quite close to Solihull, so I made the decision to swap staying in hotels to staying with family (who doesn’t want home comforts and home-cooked meals?).
My project was aligned to Accenture Strategy and in Resources, focusing on divesting our client’s company and creating a new one. My team sat on the Systems (IS) side and were tasked with logically and physically separating all systems between the old and the new company. Coming from an HR background, with little knowledge of the Utilities industry and systems, I definitely found the first few weeks quite daunting. There were many IS terminologies flying around and I had no prior experience with project lifecycles or project management. With that being said, my team were unbelievably welcoming and supportive and really helped me grasp the project and its terminologies. In no time I was able to talk about the SDLC and SaaS and On-Premise applications like I had known about them for months! From this experience I realised the true value in asking questions; how else will you learn?
Yes, projects can be fast-paced and this is what I was prepared for, but an important thing to remember is that projects have peaks and troughs - the latter of which I actually experienced. After achieving logical separation on October 1st, there was a lot of down-time, and my main tasks were quite light and reporting based. Whilst it was frustrating to not be busy, it was a brilliant opportunity for me to build on my skills, knowledge and network. I was able to do training on Accenture’s internal MyLearning portal, attend learning sessions hosted by my line manager on new technologies, such as Blockchain and AI, and also advance my Excel skills. Taking the time to upskill will no doubt be hugely beneficial on my next rotation in HR.
From November, the project picked up; I began running the weekly team meeting and took over producing the weekly deck that was distributed both internally and to the client. I also got involved with a technology strategy piece of work which meant I was based out of Solihull 2-3 days a week, and mainly assisted with running key stakeholder workshops and meetings to formulate the strategy options. I really enjoyed this aspect of the 3-month rotation; being able to see how strategy options are developed, analysed and presented back to Leadership members was extremely insightful. This work also seemed more aligned to what a Strategy Analyst would typically do and it was great to work so closely with the client, including Lead Solution Architects and SMEs, who truly valued my inputs.
Having the opportunity to be on an out of town project was great, but I can’t wait to get back to London to start my 6-month rotation in Human Resources. Once I’m back in London, I hope I can become trained as a Mental Health Ally and join one or two Accenture clubs/societies to make my #AccentureAdventure all the more exciting. Until next time…