Welcome to my first blog post. My name’s Karina, and I joined Accenture as a Technology Analyst in October 2015. Hopefully my blog can give you an idea of day to day life as an Analyst at Accenture. But before all that starts, a little about me…
I’m 25 years old, 2013 TeachFirst Ambassador, UCL Economics Graduate, and recently moved back home to South West London (hopefully moving out again soon!) I speak three languages (English, French and Russian) and am currently learning Spanish. I absolutely love to travel; so far, I’ve been to 35 countries and I have two more booked in for this year. In fact, if you offer me any outdoor activity, whether it’s climbing, hiking, skiing, kayaking, I’ll be there! I’m also a huge History geek, so if it’s been a long day and I’m too tired to do anything else, you’ll find me watching some sort of documentary (usually Tudors related).
So, how did I find myself starting a Graduate programme at a Technology Consulting firm, after spending two years teaching in a rural academy in Lincolnshire? It all began in my third year of university. After many ‘insight days’ and ‘mini-internships’ at mainly Investment Banks, trying to figure out what I wanted to do once I graduated, as well as studying for final exams and getting my dissertation in on time. It’s safe to say that I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and help came in the form of a TeachFirst recruiter on campus who promoted teaching with a charity that had many corporate Platinum Sponsors like Accenture. This meant I could spend two years learning new skills and spend some more time planning out my career. Within a few whirlwind months I found myself standing in front of a class of 30 twelve year olds who were under the impression I could teach them Maths. After five months of having my weekends taken away from me through lesson planning, experiencing long evenings marking and planning for Ofsted visits, I applied for a summer internship at Accenture. Accenture particularly interested me because of the importance it puts on creating value for their clients and the huge emphasis the firm puts on Corporate Citizenship.
My Accenture journey began with a short internship in the middle of the summer holidays. In only three short weeks, I had gone through Accenture delivered training, and had hands on experience at a large UK telecommunications company by initiating meetings, collecting minutes and setting up Excel documents. It was a great insight into the Accenture Way and I was thrilled to receive a permanent offer after the TeachFirst scheme. After spending the long summer between finishing teaching and starting at Accenture backpacking through South East Asia and hiking across northern Spain (Camino de Santiago, anyone?), I started the four weeks training with 80 other Analysts. I really appreciated the two weeks training in London, before going to our international location (our cohort were lucky enough to go to Chicago). We met many other Analysts from around the globe during our training in Chicago, but only the ‘Brits’ had an introductory two week session back in the UK where we able to bond as a group, learn the Accenture basics and get many admin tasks out the way!
It wasn’t an easy decision for me to leave teaching and I still remember having to tell my Year 10s that I wouldn’t be around to help them through their GCSEs, but I had to think about my future as well. I was quite nervous about starting a graduate program at 24 years old, but I soon found out I wasn’t the only one – as well as the fresh faced university graduates, there were many fellow TeachFirsters and other young professionals who were several years out of university. The two weeks training in London, followed by two weeks in Chicago provided a great re-introduction to Accenture, as well as enforcing the fact that you don’t need to have a background in technology to be able to deliver high performance as a Technology Analyst!