October 26, 2014
Key Lessons: Learning and Development at Accenture
By: Lauren Jennings
Every graduate joining the Analyst Consulting Group (ACG) takes part in a two to three week period of training prior to beginning at their first project. Of course there is the odd case where someone may be needed to join a project before the two-three weeks of training have finished. In such a case you will generally be able to catch up on any obligatory training missed and show off your ability to adapt to new, unforeseen situations!
My training began with a two day induction in London with 73 other Analysts. Thanks to a great initiative by the Accenture Graduate Recruitment Team, I had already had the opportunity to meet a number of the people in my start group over drinks the week before the induction days. This definitely helped keep those first day nerves capped!
The Orientation and Induction (O&I) days were extremely well organised and jam packed! Our time was divided between fun team building exercises and challenges, interactive presentations from senior leaders and information sessions on everything from Accenture’s organisational structure, to walking us through the Accenture Benefits and how Accenture manages the annual Performance Review.
After the first week our start group divided into two: management consulting and technology consulting. I have joined the management consulting side of the business and so continued with the final week’s training in London whilst the technology Analysts headed off for a further two weeks of training in Bangalore. I wasn’t left feeling too hard done to about this however; the management consulting Analysts will be going to the Accenture training base in Chicago in January! Accenture’s comprehensive training and development that it offers to its Analysts was a large factor in my decision to apply to the group.
The final week of training focused on developing our skills, both practical and interpersonal, so that we would understand the expectations that the business has of its analysts and so helping us to effectively respond to these. We had a number of sessions that focused on developing our abilities to work with different personalities, to recognise and manage stress, and to communicate effectively. On a more practical level, we were introduced to how Accenture uses PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook and Visio, and over three days worked through a case study. The sessions were run in the most part by two Accenture managers. The managers were extremely approachable and knew the training content extremely well. We were made to feel extremely comfortable and were able to use this time to ask all those nagging ‘stupid questions’.
On a social level, the final week of training provided a great opportunity to get to know those in your start group (by day in the training sessions and long lunches, and by night, at pubs, bars and curry houses!), and to network with visiting Accenture colleagues. The importance of networking at Accenture has been emphasised throughout the training period. Your internal network plays a crucial role in your ability to find your next role and shape your own career.
Ask me any questions you may have about the Learning and Development offered at Accenture by contacting me on Twitter: Lauren Jennings @_LaurenEm_1