Why do you want to work for our company? It is the dreaded interview question that gets applicants (myself included) scrambling for the About Us and Core Values page on the company website. We desperately look around for anyone we know, regardless of how tangential, to see if they know someone who knows someone who might have any useful insight into how to answer this question (having said that, this kind of networking is actually quite a useful skill while at Accenture). After painstakingly searching through the first page of a Google search of a company, we all seem to come up with the same buzzwords: “forefront of the industry” and “wealth of opportunities”, “engaging client-facing work”, “strong personal development”. From my short time at Accenture as an intern, I can confirm that these are all true, but what happens when you look a little deeper?
A bit of background about myself. I have just finished my third year studying Physics at Imperial College London. I am looking to specialise in Plasma Physics, which is basically the fundamentals of how nuclear fusion reactors (are supposed to) work. As I am writing this blog, I am currently in my second week of a three-week internship, working on a project to increase the visibility of our client’s publications. Despite only having been here a short time, I feel the internship has provided me with plenty more insight to answer this question. Here I’ll break down some of these buzzwords using my internship experience as examples.
1. Forefront of the industry
It is no secret that Accenture knows a lot about technology. During our first week, spotlight sessions were arranged to introduce us to the different specialisations within Accenture.
As a Physics student, I am particularly interested in the Aerospace industry. Within two days of starting, my buddy had connected me to someone who had worked on a Talent and Organisation project within the department. This in turn allowed me to connect with someone who had been working on Enterprise Resource Management. Following this, I was connected to someone working on Capital Programme. Then, somewhat coincidentally, as I was doing some “side of desk” work, I was connected to someone who had worked on Process Management. My point here is that the breadth of opportunities available at Accenture, even within a single industry, are seemingly endless. The network is extremely friendly and inviting and everyone was eager to talk about their work, as well as provide some insight into the pros and cons of working within different specialisations in the industry.
2. Engaging Client-Facing Work
One of the reasons I am looking to pursue a career in consulting is client visibility. Accenture does not disappoint. Within three days of starting, we were already setting up client meetings without supervision to discuss their needs and ask clarifying questions. At the end of our internship, we will be presenting our ideas to members of senior leadership both within Accenture and the client organisation. Our Project Lead and Mentor are extremely helpful with the preparation of questions, as well as advice regarding key competencies to make these meetings successful and informative.
Speaking to Accenture employees showcased their flexibility when handling client relations. Each industry is different and everyone I have talked to has adapted their communication style to suit a particular client. One of my goals during this internship has been to learn about how different industries and companies engage and respond to technology transformations. Working on an engineering project requires you to break down each piece of tech into its specifics. While working on a marketing project requires strong and engaging visualisations to engage with you audience. Talking to the Analysts, even those starting off their career have the opportunity to work with a variety of different clients in order to further hone their communication skills.
3. Personal Development
If there is one thing I have learnt while at Accenture, it is that it is a firm that values your education and development. Accenture’s myLearning platform has an amazing variety of courses you can take to upskill yourself. Furthermore, the process behind such upskilling makes it extremely personal and customisable. Interns are encouraged to fill out a strengths and skills assessment, which takes into account your previous jobs and roles (inside and outside Accenture). The system then automatically generates your specialisations based on your past experiences. If it can’t identify any particular specialisations, you have the option to select two aspirational specialisations which you can work towards. This system automatically links to your myLearning platform which provides you with the relevant courses to upskill yourself in that specialisation.
Aside from skills development, Accenture places a strong focus on personal development. During our first two weeks, we were offered courses in Design Thinking and Agile. Implementing these tools into our projects, it was clear that they offered benefits to increase collaboration and decision making. We were also offered courses on personal branding, to help us with our career progression and effectively network while here.
So there it is, three answers to the key question that everyone seems to stumble on. Hopefully, it provides some insight into whether Accenture is the right fit for you!
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