The assessment centre at I attended at Accenture felt like a mini-United Nations gathering. There were 10 of us, and between us we represented more than 5 nations other than GB; the same diversity was reflected in the team conducting the assessments.
I’d attended another assessment centre for a different company’s graduate programme – diverse is not a word I’d use to describe that experience with less ethnicities present on this specific day. In addition, I got one…yes just one piece of feedback about my entire performance at this other assessment centre and it was this “…the assessors didn’t get you or your presentation…”! (We were asked to take a strengths test and then prepare a 10mins presentation about ourselves based on those strengths. We were encouraged to be creative and so I was, intentionally using images like ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ to represent ‘optimism’ and ‘Storm’ to represent ‘emotional control’ amongst others. I think I took the “creative” instruction too literally…I’m glad I did, ‘cos I’m thankfully here now!)
Anyway, you can understand how pleased I was when I walked into the reception area and saw a multi-national group of people. The atmosphere was welcoming and friendly; within minutes we were all chatting away (the chatter didn’t stop through the afternoon) before we were ushered upstairs. The afternoon was explained to us, then we played a game to settle us in before we commenced. The assessors were welcoming and friendly which helped us feel at ease, it was such a chilled out environment (as chilled out as an assessment centre can be - lol). We were told job offers would be made to as many of us as met the requirements, and we’d be informed of the outcome in 5-10 days. The afternoon went by quickly; we were divided into two groups for the first task which was a group exercise. The second aspect of the assessment was a one-to-one interview. The day was finished off with a tour of the office (and a peek into the Innovation Centre as someone came out of it as we were walking past – which reminds me, I need to book a tour so I get more than a peek).
The next morning, I got a call … (insert a scream - after the call of course -, a wiggle and a jiggle around the house and me texting/calling family and close friends)
I was pleased to say the least! A few days later, I got an email with my contract. I was to start in May 2016! It was October 2015 and May 2016 felt aeons away but I had the promise of a job to hold on to. I started planning…lots to consider - I lived in the Midlands (still do) and my home office was to be in London. My wardrobe needed adding to; terribly low on funds, I knew I’d have to make the most of December/January sales. I also had to figure out work in the time being; so I quit part-time night shifts and decided to temp.
With nothing but an emailed contract and a long wait ahead, the whole “you’ll soon be working for Accenture” seemed unreal. In December 2015 though, I got a lovely pack of chocolates from the Company sending Christmas wishes and a ‘wish you were here’ note (ok, I exaggerate a little…the chocolate and Christmas wishes was for real, but it was more like a “look forward to having you on-board” greeting. That still counts as a “wish you were here” right?!). I took a picture, and
taunted showed my family; I got all manner of witty responses in return…like it was my fault they weren’t getting packs of chocolates.
In January 2016, I was added to a Facebook group which had other people due to be joining the firm. I looked through the list and found 5 other people from my assessment centre in the group – I was pleased! Tanya was in the group, she was at my assessment centre and we’d chatted a little longer when we went out for drinks. We became FB friends and exchanged numbers; it was good to have someone else to countdown with.
But every good story has an unexpected twist…