February 20, 2015
6 lessons from my Leaders of Tomorrow Internship at Accenture
By: Nubi Kayode
After 6 months, it’s time for the curtain to fall on my internship tenure at Accenture. It's not the last scene as I plan on going on the graduate program afterwards. No doubt it has been a period filled with amazing moments of learning, networking, and serving.
In retrospect, I had no idea how much I'd be exposed to. Twenty-six weeks have gone by really fast and here are 6 lessons I have learnt in that time:
From my time at Accenture, the clients and projects I was exposed to show the company is definitely the go-to place for getting things done. I would have assumed competing clients would never bring their business to Accenture but it was interesting to see 3-4 competitors on the company’s client list. This definitely goes to show the faith clients have in us as well as the pedigree built over time.
- Accenture is nothing short of Tier 1
This was one line I got exposed to even before joining Accenture. It was said at company presentations, Experience events, and even in random chats with managers. I remember the current Country Managing Director, Alistair Blair, saying at one of the last Experience events that the company had no assets except for its investments in people. An extension of this is the importance of building relationships within the company and with clients.
- It is all about people at Accenture
Prior to joining Accenture, I was of the school of thought that consultants only came in to look at a client's problem, offer solutions and give huge bills, leaving the client to either solve its problem internally or go source for solution providers. However, I noticed this was not the case at Accenture. Not only do clients come to us with the most difficult problems, seeking solutions; we go a step further to solve those problems for them. Little wonder that makes for a competitive advantage.
- Problem solving > Solution Offering
Another myth busted! Having had my spell as an entrepreneur, I was worried about functioning in a corporate environment but looking back at the last 6 months, it’s great to see that I have been able to function well while developing myself. I got into Accenture through the Leaders of Tomorrow which is an entrepreneurial competition and have met consultants and managers engaged in and promoting entrepreneurship one way or another. After all, consulting at Accenture is all about solving problems, spotting opportunities, and building a profitable venture – all in common with entrepreneurship.
- Accenture is pro-entrepreneurship
One thing that I’ve always been appreciative about during the past 6 months is the level of support readily available to me. There was always between 1 and 3 people I could go to for help through a number of communication channels – from emails and IMs, to SMS and phone calls. Managers actually do care about what you think, how you feel, and are happy to help make the necessary changes to increase performance and sense of fulfilment. One question I get periodically from my managers is ‘Are you happy with the work?’ and when the response is in the negative, changes had been made.
- A support system that works
One thing I’m certain of is that I did learn a lot during my internship. In fact, it all started from the Leaders of Tomorrow development days; from how to make and give quality presentations, to leadership and management. I learnt how to communicate better with colleagues and clients; how to leverage the great resources within the company, and how to solve complex problems by thinking creatively and relying on the quality support system available. However, after all of the learning I was given room to shine – by taking up responsibility, leading mini projects, and initiatives, and applying my skills within the company and, where applicable, to client projects.
- Room to shine while learning
A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who made my internship experience an unforgettable one. It’s been very much worthwhile. Shout out to the mentors, UAT leads and team members. Cheers to the managers and colleagues. Do hope to see you all soon.