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February 25, 2016
I Just Love Horizons
By: Zoe Conway

The digital retail project I am working on at the moment is quite small. The team is made up of eight onshore Accenture members and eight members of the client team, together with around 30 offshore Accenture employees, which is considered a particularly small project. This varies depending on your client and the nature of the project. Since the project I am working on focuses on an agile way of working, the relationship of the team is one of the most important factors and goals of the group. Before joining the project, I was in contact with one of the managers who told me their team is the “central focus of agile working”. After spending just a few weeks on the project I was enlightened to the significance the team play in the success of the Scrum framework and how I was now considered a core member of the team; it’s like a family, everyone is so friendly and helpful no matter the situation.

With team bonding being such a core focus of the project, one of my many roles is to organise team events and lunches, including our weekly “Thursday treats” to indulge in some sweet treats such as frozen yogurt, cookies, cakes and smoothies giving a mid-week boost of morale. The team also aim to sit and eat lunch together on a regular basis, which gives us all a chance to chat and laugh about our personal lives and form a friendship rather than just a work relationship.

Aside from the social aspects, I have learnt to use new tools Jira and Confluence to track, record and document rather than using your average PowerPoint, Excel and Word documents. These have given me an insight into high level tracking within the real world of business and how agile projects are run. The fact that I even understand how to use such complex tools in a working environment at such a young age is an achievement in itself. Before joining this project, I knew practically nothing about agile working, Scrum, or even what Jira and Confluence meant! But it doesn’t matter, because you are taught everything from those around you. I have learnt so much which is not only valuable to the project and for my self-knowledge not only at Accenture but for my future career.

I am now seven months in to my internship, I am treated as though I am a graduate and I feel as though I am more than ready to take on working life. However, before I do so I will be studying at university. I can honestly say choosing to take a gap year and participating in the Horizons School Leavers Programme has been the best decision I have made since birth. I have learnt more than I thought I was capable of and I have been given opportunities to wider social and networking events. Not only this, but Accenture has helped develop my understandings on the way businesses operate and as I will be studying Business Management in September, I am now mentally prepared for my course. After reading this, you shouldn’t even think twice about applying for Horizons - you will not find another organisation as great as Accenture.

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