Sustainability as a lifestyle: my Accenture internship experience
August 29, 2022
Work culture. Supportive mentors. Job security. These are some of the first things that students consider when looking for an internship. But National University of Singapore student Cassandra Yip yearned for a deeper cause: furthering the sustainability agenda.
Our Sustainability Management Consulting intern got inspired to apply after seeing the impact-driven work of her long-time mentor—a Sustainability Finance Practice lead for APAC, Middle East and Africa at Accenture. When she saw the opening for a sustainability internship, she thought it was the perfect opportunity to spend her summer doing something beneficial both for her career development and for the larger sustainability movement.
As an Environmental Studies major, I was looking forward to experiencing a career in the consultancy field and gaining insights on industry standards for sustainability. I was excited to learn about the challenges corporations face with greening their operations and how Accenture assists them by leveraging technology.
During my internship, I supported several projects. In one campaign, our team put together an internal sustainability engagement programme for employees. Given the fast progression of the work, no two days were the same!
On some days, we would have an industry consultation with company leads. We pored over their thoughts on sustainability transition and their efforts in making their workforce and operations greener. On other days, I’d be working on data analyses, identifying key insights or crafting a storyline for the report.
Our project team’s daily meetings and check-ins helped me align our deliverables and ensure that everyone was moving in the right direction. We were also able to chat with the team in Sydney—it’s awesome to hear about their different work culture there.
…all the hands-on experience and the guidance I received! These helped me a lot throughout my time here. I’m very lucky to have such a supportive manager, Grace Yip, who went above and beyond to learn more about being a sustainability advocate. She initiated having reverse mentoring sessions: I’d share about sustainable living in Singapore and in return, I’d ask her about professional development and career advice. I enjoyed these sessions immensely.
Apart from that, Grace also took time out of her busy schedule as a Senior Client Account Executive to attend the Singapore Green Plan 2030 panel discussion. This is a national sustainability movement seeking to rally bold and collective action to tackle climate change, and I was invited to speak about green skills and jobs. I shared current insights on how all jobs can be green jobs so long as traditional skills are put towards furthering the sustainability agenda. Seeing my manager there felt great—it was very heart-warming to know I had Accenture’s support.
I think the most memorable experiences would have to be the in-person industry consultations! I had the incredible opportunity to join the leads of Accenture Health & Public Service, such as my manager Grace and Client Group Lead Mark Tham, during visits to several companies. We met with founders, CEOs and directors to find out their views on sustainability.
What was impactful for me was the valuable knowledge from all these successful company leaders. I learnt about their thinking and attitudes towards championing sustainability. Given that sustainability is a multi-dimensional issue, these different viewpoints truly helped me expand my perception of what sustainability and the green economy mean, especially from a business standpoint.
Throughout my time here, the most important thing that I’ve learnt is excellence. Everyone at Accenture ensures top quality in their work and it’s clearly translated through the hard work that all the people put in to achieve that.
So, to all incoming fellow interns: prepare to be stretched and challenged every step of the way. That’s where growth begins. Also, do make friends with the people you work with—they are what makes the internship most enjoyable!
Want to gain valuable, real-world work experience like Cassandra? Apply for the Accenture Internship Program today!
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