In the first of a two-part series, Consulting Analyst Sakib reveals the qualities he believes add up to a successful career at Accenture.
Hi, I’m Sakib. I’m an Analyst and I currently sit within the Visual Analytics practice, within Accenture Analytics. What this means is, I turn big datasets into beautiful charts and graphs for our clients to see.
I’ve only been with the business for a few months, but I’ve come to understand that there are some distinct, transferrable qualities that particularly strong employees here have. If you can identify with any of these qualities, then I personally think that Accenture could be a great place for you to work – and I think you’d enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I work in Accenture Digital, which is quite different from the standard Accenture Consulting practice. My views do not, therefore, reflect the entire company. I only work in a small part of it, and am speaking from purely my own experience.
An interest in all things technology
I use the term ‘technology’ in the broadest sense here – from chatbots to cloud storage. At Accenture, we care a lot about technology, the changes it brings, and how this can have an impact on our clients. As a result, you’ll find that people here are generally quite tuned in to the global tech landscape.
It’s hard to keep abreast of everything, but I think it’s important here to have at least an understanding of major trends – machine learning, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, connected homes, self-driving cars, smart cities, blockchain, automation, etc.
If you enjoy reading up on wider trends in technology (it doesn’t have to be on every aspect – my personal favourites are machine learning/AI developments, smart cities, blockchain and anything Elon Musk does), you’ll likely fit in well here.
Comfortable with the unknown
Do you need to know exactly where you will be 1 year from now, or are you comfortable with knowing that you have no idea?
One of the constants I’ve experienced during my time at Accenture is change. Things change. A lot. Currently, I’m on a visual analytics project near London – 6 months from now, I have no idea whether that will still be the case. I’ll often walk into work with a structured ‘to-do’ list for the day, only for it to go out the window because our project has pivoted to a new strategy.
Being cool with change is important here.
A proactive mindset
Are you someone who likes to actively shape things in your life, or do you go with the flow?
Neither option is inherently better. But, in my opinion, if you’re the former, you’re a better fit for Accenture. There are two reasons why I think this – it aids your career growth, and it makes you a better consultant.
In terms of career growth: Accenture gives you a fair deal of flexibility in your first few years to actively shape what you want to do here. You just need to be proactive enough to take advantage of this. Take my story as an example: I graduated from University with a BA in Geography last year – but I’ve now decided that I’d like to get involved in Accenture Analytics, where most people are from a STEM background. I began studying data science and visualisation tools on the side (Python, R, Tableau, PowerBI), and by adding those to my skillset I managed to secure a role in Visual Analytics, which I now love.
In terms of being a better consultant: having a proactive mindset fundamentally changes the way you see problems. And consultants are essentially complex problem-solvers. If you’re the kind of person that sees a difficult problem as an exciting challenge, waiting to be solved, then I think consulting could be a good career path for you. Because that’s what we do.
Check back soon for Sakib’s next post, and his final three winning qualities – could Accenture be the right place to start your career journey?