November 17, 2016
On the Bench
By: Ami Shirley

Hi again :)

Last time, I talked about my A1 training – this time it’s the big event: finding my first role!

After the fortnight of training, where the shiny new Analysts learn how Accenture operates and how we work on projects, you are flung into the world to look for your first role. Some of my start group were fortunate enough that their Talent Fulfilment Specialist (TFS, the person who helps you find projects) had found their first role for them! They were whisked away and cracked on with some work. The rest of us were “on the bench” – only a figurative bench, although most could be found sat on the squidgy long ‘bench’ in the 7th floor café most days. Lots of new Analysts seem to panic when they end up on the bench, but it turned out to be a very useful week-and-a-bit.

As I mentioned last time, networking is important; with no assigned role and not much of an idea how our days were supposed to go, we reached out to people in areas of interest. A few people found roles through a friend already at Accenture, who knew someone who knew someone who needed an Analyst. Those of us who didn’t already have contacts set out to make our own. Our Yammer site was great for this; I joined loads of groups for the environment, Teach First, technology and so on. I started ‘pinging’ people (instant messaging them) who posted articles or events to ask if they knew of any Analyst roles. This got me quite a few names, but by the time I spoke to them, they had already found someone to fill the gap!

Despite how it may sound, I wasn’t spending all of my time harassing strangers, I was also trying to up-skill myself whilst I was on the bench. Accenture has loooooads of tutorials and learning boards exploring ideas like Big Data, Design Thinking, Microsoft Excel and almost anything else you can think of. Yammer and newsletters were also great for side of desk work to keep me occupied. I helped with a few ad-hoc tasks: researching how the future might look for a local charity, and evaluating CV tools for the Skills to Succeed Academy (a great scheme – look it up). I got involved with organising Accenture’s Girls in STEM event too, which is going to be an awesome day! I’ll write a whole post about it and my other volunteering in the future…

I got stuck in to taking part in as much as possible: I decided that as well as a new job, I’d try my best to start a ‘new me’. Very clichéd, I realise, but I regret not doing more with my spare time at university (other than working and binge-watching Desperate Housewives – don’t judge me), so I figured why not?!

Anyway, I was still on the bench and still needed a role: I continued to ping people and rummage around on Yammer, as well as checking in with my TFS to see if they had any leads from sending out my CV. By the time I’d been on the bench for a week and had almost exhausted my list of people to pester, I got TWO emails scheduling calls to discuss potential roles. Woohoo! One unfortunately fell through, as someone more experienced got it, BUT the other sounded great! I spoke with two members of the team and BAM, I was in! The role is with a large pharmaceutical company, working on data migration from their old sales application to our shiny new application.

I’ll talk more about starting my role and ‘proper’ work in the next post – bye for now! :)

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