Following from introductions in my previous blog post, I thought I would speak this time about some of the training on offer at Accenture and my first project.
At the start, we have orientation week, typically where you have a basic induction about Accenture, some training, some fun activities and also get to know the others in your start group. It ranges from running around London in small teams getting pictures of landmarks to presenting in front of your start group. One of the tasks we were given to manage throughout the week is a case study around a telecommunications and media client. Here, you have to present your findings and a solution at the end of the week in front of judges – three senior Accenture employees. In some ways, it is quite daunting but enjoyable. We also had a personal branding session, where we were able to meet Bianca Miller, former finalist on The Apprentice – as she used to work at Accenture! Finally, at the end of the week, we all went over to have free drinks at a bar hired out by Accenture and network with other employees – where I famously got stuck in a toilet cubicle (thanks to a broken lock) for 35 minutes before someone rescued me – but it worked out okay in the end.
My first project – which you are assigned when you start– was in a team called Financial Services Technology Strategy at a large UK banking client. Our team worked on a major transformation initiative delivering a streamlined method of executing change across the whole bank much quicker. This created value, as before it was found the bank was over two times slower than their comparable peer group at delivering similar level changes.
One of the things I most liked is that on your first project, you are allocated a “buddy” who is generally a top performing Analyst or Consultant, and normally someone who is extremely patient with you. This is an absolutely invaluable asset when it comes to first joining and integrating into your team – it makes the whole process a lot easier. You should take full advantage of them when it comes to asking questions as they will be responsible for helping you become moulded into your new role, showing you tips and tricks on Excel and ultimately your development. They will give you continuous feedback and mentoring – but you should remember to ask! For example, mine helped me enrol on the Banking Certification Programme which is an internal training course at Accenture to develop your industry knowledge of banking sector clients, and how we deliver value to them.
Finally, we also have available to us My Learning and CIO Technology Workshops. These are great training platforms and they give you the opportunity to learn new things. These sessions are often held over Skype for Business, meaning they are fully interactive and you can access them remotely, wherever you are. My Learning is broader in scope, whilst CIO Technology Workshops focus mainly on Office applications – such as learning new, complex functions in Excel or QPT (Quick Presentation Toolkit) in PowerPoint – Accenture’s own proprietary tool which assists in making presentations quicker and in-line with branding policy.
Stay tuned – my next blog will have some focus on the more social side of things!