The internship that empowered me from afar
October 8, 2020
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Hi, I’m Cheng Leng, and I am an undergraduate at the Singapore Management University. Hailing from an Information Systems course, the Accenture name is certainly familiar to me. And having known that their business portfolio aligns with my field of study and my passion for tech, I didn’t hesitate to apply for the internship programme. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I heard lots of good things about this company!
Throughout my internship, I was tasked with developing a machine-learning algorithm aimed at preserving the privacy of its users. It may sound simple on the surface, but it has a lot of layers. Depending on the development stage, I’ll be involved with tasks ranging from reading and understanding research papers, to getting lost for hours writing and fine-tuning my code.
You’d think that assessment centres are typically solemn affairs. But not for Accenture. I was surprised when I was first told that the assessment centre for my internship was held at a picturesque beach club at Sentosa.
Called the Intern Experiential Day, it was an event that really showcased Accenture’s vibrant culture. There were a lot of activities including an Amazing Race, and I even got to dip my feet in the sea! I’m embarrassed to say that there were moments where I enjoyed myself so much, I forgot I was at an assessment centre.
What’s interesting is that as much as it was a day for us to be evaluated, it was also a time for us to observe the culture of the company as well. Their activities were designed to help us understand Accenture and its vision, which was useful for us to determine if we were a good fit for the company.
Plus, I observed that the average age of the employees are on the younger side, and that made me look forward to immersing myself in a youthful work culture.
Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, the entirety of my internship was spent working from home. It was largely thanks to my mentor, Hai, who kept me motivated and growing. He has spent 6 years in Accenture and clearly loves every minute of his job. It’s inspiring to see how he finds value in what he does and has never stopped trying to innovate and develop new ideas – and it was this gung-ho spirit that gave birth to this project that I was involved in.
From the get-go, he worked with me to set clear objectives, which helped pinpoint areas I needed to improve. This was followed by regular progress meetings, which were a great way for me to receive timely feedback on my work, and for us to exchange ideas and drive the progress of the project. Beyond that, Hai empowered me to be self-directed, which helped hone my independence in handling my day-to-day tasks.
I’ve learnt much during my internship. But above all, I’ve learnt how to communicate better – something that was especially important since my internship was fully virtual. Hai is a busy man, so naturally I’d be a little hesitant to pepper him with questions. But through his patient encouragement, I felt more emboldened to voice out and ask questions, and that opened doors to learning from my experienced team – something that is invaluable and cannot be obtained anywhere else.
I have also observed that Accenture believes in empowering employees, and that includes the interns as well! To ensure we sharpen our skills during our time here, we had the privilege to attend various Learn-over-Lunch sessions. These sessions cover useful topics such as FORM Methodology and design thinking, which are crucial skills that can be applied to any problem. Seeing how they take an interest in developing us really made me want to do my best here.
And fellow colleagues also looked out for interns. Because of the work-from-home situation, teams make an effort to bond with each other through virtual meet-ups, and I’ve even heard of interns being invited to play games with the teams after work!
The most memorable experience? It was my last week of internship, and there was an Intern Appreciation Day where the interns across Southeast Asia shared their experiences. I was absolutely amazed by how many of us there are, and it gave me a sense of how vast Accenture is. All in all, I’m truly proud to have been part of this experience.
Experience Accenture like Cheng Leng did. Apply for our internship program today.
Disclaimer: This document is intended for general informational purposes only and does not take into account the reader’s specific circumstances, and may not reflect the most current developments. Accenture disclaims, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, any and all liability for the accuracy and completeness of the information in this presentation and for any acts or omissions made based on such information. Accenture does not provide legal, regulatory, audit, or tax advice. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel or other licensed professionals.
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