I’m a 21 year old Economics and Finance student at University College Dublin and I hail from Leixlip, Co. Kildare. As of writing this blog, I am about to complete my ninth month with Accenture as an intern. During my time I have been a part of both internal and external projects. I spent a total of five months ‘on site’, and I have spent the remainder back at HQ. Throughout that time I have seen the benefits and differences of both and my experience can be broken down into four main areas:
Starting on a client site barely a fortnight after joining Accenture was an exciting experience. I was given a phone number and an address and told to show up at 9 am on Monday morning. Thankfully, my client site was close to home. However, other interns have been on site across the country as well as abroad. Internally, my projects have been hosted in HQ but involve liaising with colleagues from around the globe. Project length can vary massively, from relatively short stints of three or six months all the way up to a number of years, so location can play a large role.
Be ready to work
There is a huge amount of responsibility afforded to interns. From the moment you set foot on your first project, you will be expected to contribute. It is a fantastic culture which creates a positive situation for both the company and intern. You are treated as an analyst and a valued member of the team. While the work is demanding, the support structure that is in place, as well as the understanding nature of Accenture staff ensures that you never feel sick at sea.
Be ready to learn
No matter how impressive your college course or past experience may be, you will always find yourself learning new things on a daily basis. Each project throws up new and challenging obstacles which require critical thinking to overcome. By nature, the role of consultants is to solve problems for the client. Be prepared to be asked to do this daily. Internally, you may be tasked with juggling a couple of projects at the one time, many of which may lie outside what you might define as your comfort zone. Personally, my second project is the polar opposite of my first. The variability of the work is something that I have found to be a major advantage of the consulting profession and working with a global firm such as Accenture has only accentuated this.
Making the most of your environment
One commonality between my internal and external projects has been the availability of resources around me to make my life a lot easier. Whether it is colleagues, online resources or some of Accenture’s tools, there are a plethora of options that can be exploited. Accenture is stocked full of area specific experts, all of which are only a click of a mouse away. Engaging with these people can be the equivalent of pressing the fast forward button your work. In addition to this, Accenture has a number of internal tools which also can speed up the process and the team you are with will almost always have more experience than you.