November 17, 2016
Open Ended Questions
By: Suraj Rai

Hello my name's Suraj. Whilst writing this I'm stood on the Piccadilly line on my way into our client’s office. I'm thinking about meetings ahead, I'm thinking about my projects and I'm thinking about breakfast.


I'm new to Accenture, having joined in September 2016 after completing the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. Content you can expect me to cover is technology, my experiences and my thoughts on future trends. All relevant, interesting, disruptive and importantly, often with big questions.

Two years ago I found myself with similar questions. I was in London working with an exciting start up, learning lots, being challenged daily and influencing the direction of an enterprise that was fluctuating on its journey. But, I was also keen to learn more.

Anyone who’s been on the Teach First programme will tell you about the challenge, opportunity and daily interactions with people. That’s what attracted me to apply to teach Science. The interview was thorough and similar to Accenture's methodology. It asked key questions in core competencies, for example how you work with others, what your skills are and importantly, what your motivations are. Two weeks after the interview, I was offered a place on the programme and that's where the questions came.

Do you risk leaving something you are establishing and growing with for something completely different? Additionally, is the risk worth it? Often, the difficulty in answering questions like these is that answers only come from choosing one, which closes the other.

I chose to teach. What doesn’t often come up quickly in conversation about the programme, is that whilst you are supposed to be the teacher invariably you’re often the student. I would learn daily about our society, the wishes young people have, the challenges they face and more. It wasn’t always profound, I would also go on to gain deep insight into latest playground gossip, trending YouTube videos and what jumpers I wore were deemed cool.

Jumper and MugNot my jumper, not my mug and I’m still not sure if it’s cool!

I experienced the challenge and opportunity that teaching in the East of England as part of the first cohort in the region gave me. In my two years I ran trips, conducted amazing experiments and interacted with so many people. After finishing the programme a similar question was posed again.

This time I chose Accenture and the transition has been good. I'm using skills from my past experiences day to day, I’m still learning and transitioning into being part of a large enterprise. It’s a path that works for me and in some ways similar to the one I was on. So as a nod to learning from big open ended questions, here's a German saying "everything has an end but a sausage has two”.


Suraj Rai

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