January 16, 2020
Bringing my experience to Accenture
By: Allan Gourdie

I came to Accenture with 20+ years in IT elsewhere and have been here for four and a half years now working as a Senior Manager responsible for leading technology architecture projects. It was through a chance meeting with a former boss from my very first job that I found my way here. I met him socially and he knew I was looking for a change and floated the idea of whether I’d be interested in joining Accenture, which I hadn't even thought about (although way back I did want to work for Anderson Consulting before it became Accenture).

I started off my career after university as a developer. Then, I got into the architecture piece and had a few roles related to that. And then, before joining Accenture, I co-founded and ran a couple of startups in the digital marketing space, which was great fun, but we didn't make a lot of money, and it was at that point I decided to get a mainstream job again and the Accenture opportunity came along.

I think what attracted me most was Accenture’s scale – its global reach, high-profile engagements and, the vast number of projects and opportunities that are available to you. Some of my previous roles had felt a little bit routine but that's definitely not the case here.

Half of my roles here so far have been as a delivery lead - so less technical and more client facing so managing escalations and the like. But my last two or three projects have been technology architecture focused which provides a bit of a mix and I do enjoy having some technical input alongside the client role.

I do like the variety of projects you get to work on as it’s never boring. I think my first project and my current project have been those I’ve enjoyed most so far. My first project was for a well-known TV company where I was brought in to manage the delivery of a live streaming website for one of their programmes. It was memorable in many ways, but mainly because of the team I got to work with including our offshore team in Riga as well as some wonderful colleagues locally. That project went amazingly well and, I think that was down to meeting our offshore colleagues very early-on so, we all gelled very quickly as a team and built a great product in the space of a couple months.

On my current project we’ve built a subscription product offering as part of an existing complex cloud-based global eCommerce solution. I’ve been on this project for the last year or so. It’s interesting firstly because it’s allowed me to travel to Bulgaria where the development team are based and, we went to Tokyo a couple of times too, which was pretty amazing. Again though, it’s down to the team - we’re literally 30 people split across at least 12 locations but are one team who have all met each other at various times. It’s bewildering to think about how many different locations we are working in but, bizarrely, it works.

One of the unique things I’ve found here - that I’ve not really experienced in my long career so far - is the access to so many knowledge portals and the vast number of people that you can reach out to for advice. It’s completely unparalleled to have that amount of technical wisdom at your fingertips. There is also lots of self-learning, but this is combined with more formal learning opportunities and many chances to be involved in activities outside of your day-to-day role. I've helped with new joiner inductions in Madrid where it was great to spend 2 weeks with 30 new colleagues, present to them and explain how Accenture works and, I’ve also been involved with our graduate recruitment too. In the future, I want to continue to develop my cloud architecture experience and make sure that we train more people with those skills and continue to build-on our offerings in that space.

Accenture is a huge and thriving organisation and I think one of the best things that I’ve learnt is you still need to be your own self as it’s the diversity of the people here and their distinct personalities that makes us successful. When I had been working at the company for about six months, I went to a senior manager’s event and the one thing that really stood out was that Accenture don't want you to join, look at other senior managers and try to emulate what they do because that's not the point of it. They want you to bring your own-self and your own ideas to work every day. That really struck home actually, because I had sometimes fallen into the trap of looking at other people and thinking ‘how would that person do this or that’, but in reality, you need to trust in your own instincts.

If like Allan, you are looking to use your experience in a company that offers global reach, high-profile engagements and project variety, visit our website and start your job search today.

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