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July 29, 2016
Life On and Between Projects
By: Albert Howard

Hello!

Following my first blog, ‘Me, Myself and Why’, I thought it would be worthwhile giving you some insight into the project work I’ve been involved in.

Since finishing my initial training in November I have been on three core projects, supported on a host of thought-leadership articles, worked on copious amounts of proposals, helped with intern training and made some progress on shaping Analyst volunteering activity.

Below you will find:

  • Lessons learnt whilst on projects

  • A view of life between projects

On projects

Three projects down, working across the Public Sector, Financial Services and Petrochemicals, here are some lessons learnt that I hope will save you some time:

  1. Ensure you are meeting people across the organisation and engaging suitably with other industry/functional groups as you don’t want to limit your future position within the firm.

  2. Work hard to make an attempt before asking for help, even if you feel clueless. Google and internal resources have a lot to offer.

  3. As junior members of the team it’s easy to feel incapable and not particularly useful; an easy value-add is noting and bringing up relevant points from previous discussions.

  4. In addition to point three, keep an eye on the news headlines in the industry you’re working in and send out relevant stories to members of the team.

Between projects

In the world of Consulting - particularly in Strategy where projects tend to be shorter – you will often find yourself with some time spent on the bench (when you’re not on a chargeable project) as you move from one project to the next. I’ve found myself here a few times, although in every case, very busy as a result. So far this has been filled with research for thought-leadership articles, ad-hoc project support (two/ three days at a time) and new-project proposal support.

In these moments, where you move from one arena to the next every two days, you learn a huge amount about a wide range of topics – time for an example. Last week I spent two days (and nights) working on a proposal, for which I provided the context slides on the ‘Indian Fuels Retail Market’ – at the end I was comfortable talking about the recent performance, dynamics and opportunities in Indian Fuels Retail. The next four days were spent between two projects, one of which was looking at stock valuations for a fuels retailer and the other, the setup of a market risk management capability for a soft commodity producer and trader. Whether or not these are industries that interest you, there’s a lot to be said for distilling a market/topic/issue into digestible chunks of analysis and is very transferable inside and out of Accenture.

That’s it for now - Next time, I’ll write about what a colleague and I have been working on to improve the connection between our volunteering and our skill-sets/experience.

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