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September 15, 2014
The First Week
By: Declan Moran
Monday, January 13th. Suit pressed, shoes shined, tie and shirt combination analysed and overanalysed, fresh jar of Nescafe opened. I was ready to meet 6 more of Accenture’s new joiners whom I was sure had similarly nervy mornings, and similarly nervy, interrupted night sleeps. I quickly learned that there was nothing to be worried about. When the elevator doors opened at the fourth floor of 1 Grand Canal Square, I looked across Accenture's reception area towards a handful of fresh-faced graduates just like me, each with their own stories and tales of how they got here. This was my Start group - a group who would come to play a very significant and overwhelmingly positive part in my life in Accenture.

We were given 10-15 minutes to chat and get to know one another before we were brought into a room for an official introduction from Accenture. In this time, we started to get to know the people with whom we would be spending a considerable part of the subsequent three weeks in the company of. I was surprised at the overall diversity of the Start group. From business degrees to engineering and from computer science to medical physics - I could already tell that there was a wealth of knowledge in the room.
We were soon given our laptops, US Visa forms, and access cards (complete with the ashen faced photographs of ourselves taken as we entered the reception earlier that morning). We were given introductions to Accenture Ireland from CMD (country managing director) Mark Ryan, to ACG (analyst consulting group) from Paula Neary, and were given A4 pads from HR to take down all of the new TLA's (three-letter acronyms). What followed were talks on Accenture's policies, core values, and time and expense reporting.
We had already taken on what seemed to be a lot of information on the first day, but were generously taken out to lunch by our designated "buddies". These were analysts just like ourselves who had joined the company only a few months prior to us.
Our second day in Accenture comprised of more talks from analysts, consultants, and managers alike, each giving us their own take on what to expect over the coming months and years and how to approach it all. When the topic of Chicago and what to expect came up, our ears picked up en masse. We were in for the best two weeks of our professional lives, we were told. Only time would tell.
The following three days included training in Excel, myLearning and a talk from technology lead Hilary O'Meara. We also got to meet two more recent joiners who would be travelling to Chicago with us, bringing our total to nine. We organized a night out for the Start group and collectively left packing for Chicago until the last minute. We had all had a great first week but, by the sounds of things, our training in Chicago would be something different altogether!

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