Hi there! I’m Steven and I’ve been on the Analyst Graduate Programme in Consulting for roughly five months now. For my initial blog post I thought I would take the opportunity to discuss my journey to Accenture…so here goes:
Before joining Accenture, and even before leaving University, I contemplated what I would end up doing as a career. Lumped with a bag full of brochures, endless slices of free pizza and a clutter of branded pens (that added to my popularity in seminars); the Loughborough Careers Fair provided me with the best opportunity to discover more about the various jobs out there.
Now, I never intended to go down the teaching route: long hours, troublesome children, marking. But guess what? That’s exactly what I did; I was THAT stereotype: an English student turned English teacher. Why did I do it? Well, apart from enjoying my subject, I was intrigued by the challenge Teach First presented: teaching secondary school children after only six weeks training and thirty minutes in a classroom. You’d be crazy to turn that down, right? Whilst I knew it was not an easy task, I recognised that it was the perfect opportunity to develop key skills that any job could benefit from: communication, organisation, time management and so on. It was a challenging experience, but a highly rewarding one; it was because of this that I developed an urge to broaden my skills even further, especially within a business environment at the end of my first year of teaching. I drafted a cover letter, got a place on the assessment centre and a couple of weeks later I was thrilled with the news that I would be offered a place on the summer project (a sort of summer internship unique to Teach First participants) at Accenture. Although I admit that three weeks working during my summer holiday did not sound appealing at first, it was an opportunity I could not miss out on!
The summer project was really interesting; I was joined by nine other Teach First colleagues. Initially we embarked on some training (Excel training mainly), before being entrusted with our first project (you can imagine the excitement at finding where we had been placed!). I landed a role at a global communications and media firm which was a fantastic insight into understanding the world outside the, more chaotic, classroom. Working with the Marketing team, the project was focusing on how to make the business more customer-centric – it was highly insightful. My day-to-day work involved a lot of research and a number of other tasks: creating PowerPoints for Senior Executives, developing a ”Customer Journey Road Map” and writing daily reports. It allowed me to develop my business acumen and recognise how hard companies work to entice customers with their brand.
It was this experience that resulted in an offer on the Analyst Consulting Graduate Programme. My second year in teaching enabled me to further hone my skills before joining the company full-time in October 2016.
If you’re reading this, and still contemplating what to do, then my first bit of advice is this: Don’t panic! Ultimately, follow your interests and develop your skills – whilst you may think your current experience may not link with consulting, Accenture places great emphasis on the skills you have no matter your background.
In my next post, I’ll discuss my first few weeks at Accenture and my first role!