Orientation and Induction (O&I) was held at a venue not too far from Accenture’s main office at Fenchurch Street (FCS). As soon as we arrived, a ‘mug-shot’ was taken (be prepared) for our passes (I rarely get a good ID picture…whatever “good” looks like). And then we were treated to a breakfast spread (O&I to Madrid was such a treat on a number of levels but I shan’t jump the gun).
There were 14 of us in my start group, and the diversity talked about in my second post wasn’t a fluke; we were a mix of nationalities but not quite an even mix of gender, girls were in the majority (who runs the world? I’m a little biased. :) Actually, Accenture is intent on ensuring women are recruited and supported in their workforce; but that’s content for another post).
The next two and a half weeks brought with it a torrent of information that was at best overwhelming (I lie, the ensuing months have unleashed a torrent of information and I have a feeling the torrent of information will be a permanent feature). For me, about 10% made sense…and that’s about as much as I retained as well. Thankfully, we were sent the decks or links to the decks aka PowerPoint presentations and/or job aids after the sessions. I filed these away and I dip in and out as needed.
Across both days of O&I, some of the sessions, included a high level overview of the history of Accenture and how the business operates; culture and core values; finance and how the company makes money; career paths, highlighting some ways our careers can evolve; HR, given by our People Advisor - our primary connection to HR; and scheduling, given by our Talent Fulfilment Specialist - responsible for scheduling us to assignments amongst other things. We had regular breaks in-between sessions with a spread of little treats each time (none of the little passion fruit thingy from Fortnum & Mason but very close relatives which were truly scrumptious substitutes). And yet another spread for lunch! #contentsigh
There were also a few activities interspersed through the day – a quiz, bingo, and giraffe making. The giraffe had to be free standing, and all we had was cello tape and newspaper. I was really pleased with the giraffe my team made; we won and got a little present for our efforts.
At the end of Day 1, we got our security passes (with the mug-shots permanently imprinted. #discontentsigh). We also had a networking event where we got to meet a few of the Technology Analyst Group leaders (more about TAG in a later post). On Day 2, we got our laptops and other accessories (getting and opening presents can be so much fun…and please don’t tell me those were not presents; it’s like trying to convince me Santa or ‘Lady Koi-Koi’ are not real. Ignorance can be bliss). On receiving our laptops, we got access to our emails and…therein lay confirmation of our two week “holiday” to Madrid departing Sunday! (As above, please don’t tell me it wasn’t a holiday; remember Santa and Lady Koi-Koi are for real…perception is reality).
We started mid-week, first couple of days were O&I (Wednesday and Thursday); Day 3 Friday) was spent in one of the rooms at FCS doing some online prerequisite training in preparation for our two weeks in Madrid.
First thing Saturday, I was shuttling up the motorway to go pack my bags for Madrid; our trip was only confirmed on day two (Thursday) of O&I and I wasn’t packed for a trip (long and short, a few details for our trip weren’t finalised till late. Without those details in place, there was a slight chance that we wouldn’t be going immediately; hence the short notice. But hey, it’s the nature of consulting; the motto “be prepared” needs to be taken literally and then some).
So yeah, my weekend was a little bit manic – search for pre-pay travel MasterCard; pre-pay card expired - dash to the Post Office; embark on quickest shopping trip ever; decide on two weeks’ worth of clothing and shove into suitcase; eat; then sleep. Shuttle back down the motorway first thing Sunday morning. I’d pre-arranged with Tanya to leave my car at hers so we could head to the airport together. Got to her place just in time, our taxi was already waiting; hopped in and spent the ride with one of the chattiest cabbies ever, I exaggerate not!
Made it to the airport in time, checked in, passed security, met up with others from my start group, had lunch, boarded and we were off to Madrid for two weeks!!!