This is not a blogpost about being in the park enjoying the sunshine.
When you're not on a project, you sit on 'The Bench'. I was on the bench for a week when I returned from my core training in Kuala Lumpur, and it has its ups and downs. It was in my interests to find a project as soon as possible, because it meant I could begin putting my training to use!
What does an Analyst do on the bench?
Find a project! There are many ways to do this, whether by working with our scheduling team, taking a look on our internal portal of current Analyst demand, talking to other Analysts and reaching out to senior colleagues. In my case, I e-mailed a Manager who I knew with my 1-page CV and he put me in touch with someone who was looking for an Analyst. It's daunting, and definitely my least favourite part about being on the bench, but it's the way our business works - and it's great to start building the confidence to apply for new roles early on in my career.
Training. Although I had just completed a month of training, I was still eager for more - particularly to improve my Excel skills. Luckily, there's a curriculum of online training courses which Analysts must complete, so I was actually really grateful for the time to do this.
Extra-Curricular. I am involved in both the LGBT and LGBT Allies Networks, so I was able to use the time to being planning our Christmas party (in May!) and prepare for Pride, which is rapidly approaching!
Volunteering. Each Accenture employee gets 3 charity days to use for volunteering per year. I have a friend who has a project lined up, but is waiting for some screening checks to be completed, so has decided to use her charity days in the meantime.
Prepare for your project. Of course this one is dependent on when you've lined up a project, but once you have, it's a great idea to start reading up on the work you'll be doing and familiarising yourself with both the client and the business problem that Accenture is helping to address.
What's next for me?
As mentioned above, I reached out to a Manager who works within Accenture Digital, and he put me in touch with a Consultant who needed an Analyst. After sharing my CV, and a phone call with him, I had lined up my first project! I'll be working at a global electronics company for the next 3 months writing a strategy for customer contact and interaction, as they prepare to launch a new e-commerce platform. It's going to be a great chance to build on my previous marketing experience and learn a heck of a lot in a relatively short space of time.