Many of you are graduating soon, and I am sure there is much on your mind. You are beginning to explore the possibilities that lie in wait for you, as you complete your last term and final exams. For some of you, there is a clear distinction between who you want to be or not be. For others, it still might be a little hazy. Having spoken to quite a few people like you, I would like to share with you my experiences as I first stepped into the corporate world. I hope that it will be helpful as you explore, evaluate and make your decision.
Straight out of university, I started my career as a management consultant in Accenture. I enjoyed 15 fulfilling and rewarding years here before I shifted gears. I went into the financial services industry to become a HR practitioner. However, I felt a strong pull and affinity towards Accenture and now, I am back, coming full circle and leading the HR team in ASEAN.
I am deeply passionate about Accenture. Over the years, we have grown to more than 435,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries today. We started as a consulting and technology company, but today we are so much more than that. Now, we work with clients to help them improve their businesses across five core areas—strategy, consulting, technology, digital and operations—for clients across more than 40 industries and business functions.
When we first became a public company in 2001, our share price was US$14.50. Today, we have grown to more than 10 times that, at US$160.79 per share (as of 26 Jan 2018)*. What underpins it all is the sustainable high performing business we have been able to drive consistently over two decades across the globe. A global workforce with local hearts focused on doing work that matters in each of our communities.
Now that you know a bit about Accenture’s background, there might be a few questions lingering in your head right now. Allow me to address two myths that I often hear about joining Accenture.
Myth #1: I can’t fit in Accenture because they only do technology work. Only aspiring technologists can join them.
I understand why this myth exists. Let me tell you now: It is hard, even nearly impossible, to sum up all of what Accenture does in a sentence. I’ll try to put it simply: We are here to help our clients create their future. We do this by bringing innovations to improve the way the world works and lives. It would not be possible to accomplish this if we only did technology work or hired only technologists. Our business is so incredibly diverse that we must hire people with a diverse set of skills, experiences and perspectives in order to be successful.
Let me emphasize: You do not need to have a technology background to join us and have a fulfilling career at Accenture. I am one such individual that can attest to this. It doesn’t matter if you graduate with a science, mathematics, humanities, engineering or business background. We welcome you all with open arms. In fact, if you look at our ASEAN leadership team, two-thirds of them graduated with a degree that is not related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Half of them are also proud graduates from our local universities.
Myth #2: Once I join Accenture, my life will revolve only on my work. Or, worse, life as I know it will be over.
We do work hard, I will not deny that. A lot of the things we do are at the bleeding edge. We often do work that others have not attempted, and thus much of it is new. These are the innovations that will disrupt businesses and the way industries work: large scale, transformative, groundbreaking endeavors. These leverage the full breadth of what Accenture can do to provide an end-to-end outcome for a client.
We don’t do work in a half-hearted manner. We don’t go lightly on our commitments. Perhaps the biggest common denominator of people at Accenture is our sheer determination to see the things we do through to the very end. There is no greater fulfillment than to see the fruits of our labor in a tangible way.
However, as much as we work hard, we know how to have fun at work, and we play hard too. We encourage everyone to bring their full and best self to work, because we know that this is the best way we can all thrive. The key is to find a way to operate at an equilibrium that works for us individually, and lead fulfilling lives.
Sometimes from the outside people wonder why we would give so much of our lives to what we do. There is a secret sauce to all of this which is hard to explain because it needs to be felt. I believe it is a combination of purpose and meaning; smart and sincere people; and the energy and excitement of people with different strengths coming together to do great work that creates an environment that is truly us.
So, then, why should you join us?
#1: Build future-ready skills, now.
From my experience, the first three years of your working life will shape who you are, how you work and what your future potential is in a very fundamental way. How much you push yourself to grow, learn and develop sets the speed and cadence for the rest of your career. Our combination of award-winning learning platforms, challenging work and career coaching sets you in good stead for a strong start and foundation for the rest of your career.
#2: Do work that matters
Our leaders are visionaries—they dare to dream and dare to believe that we can indeed make aspirations come to life. Together, you can be part of a team that does disruptive, transformative work with a direct impact into the businesses and communities you work and play in. Much of our tasks are project-oriented. This means you get to work with different people, grow differently in different roles and chart your career growth based on your strengths and capabilities. So much of our work makes us proud—proud that we are part of a movement that is propelling this world forward as it embraces a new digital reality.
#3: Long-term investment in you
When you join us, you join a team of people who take a long-term view and investment in you. Our people are our business, and we live that philosophy each day. We take you along this journey, shaping your path to greatness. We will help you stretch to reach the best of your potential in challenging assignments. At the same time, we will provide the support you need to be successful as an individual and as part of a dynamic team.
As you move through your career, you will see that Accenture is also a place where some of the best, lifelong friendships are made. We believe in creating an inclusive environment that embraces you as you. We know that your hard work and perseverance deserves to be rewarded. From your first day with us, you can choose to be part of the financial growth and success of our company through our employee share purchase program which gives you a head start in making your financial goals a reality.
And with you in mind, we have recently changed our recruitment experience to put you at its center. We want it to be a more engaging and meaningful experience for you. We are coming to you across campuses in February-March 2018 equipped with a new experience – an opportunity for you to experience first-hand what it is like to work and play at Accenture. Our virtual reality experience will immerse you in a day in the life of at Accenture right where you are. We can’t wait for you to try it.
Come thrive with us at Accenture! To find out more click here.
Head of HR, Accenture ASEAN
* Past performance is not an indicator of future outcomes