I joined Accenture Strategy straight out of university. Six years later, I’m a technology strategy manager. In that span of time, I’ve learned a lot.
For starters: Just be yourself. I was, and it paid off.
Connect with the culture
A good friend from university completed an internship with Accenture, and I was intrigued by working at the heart of technology and business.
During the interview process, I felt welcomed and at ease. There was no formality. The group and individual exercises and the one-to-one interviews were challenging—in a positive way; I would have been worried if they hadn’t been.
I felt an immediate connection with the culture. Accenture is full of real people, sharing real experiences, being their best for the client. I spent my interview talking about my travels to Malaysia, how much I enjoyed technology and the desire to apply it to real-world client problems. I didn’t want to bury myself in code, so technology strategy sounded like the place to be.
Look “beyond your plate”
I was hired as an analyst, and I quickly realized the importance of building my network. The great thing about Accenture Strategy is the ecosystem. You can leverage the expertise of colleagues across the world.
For example, when working on a project for a facilities management company for which I wasn’t particularly familiar, my managing director said, “I know someone who knows someone...” Before I knew it, I was on call with a managing director in Los Angeles who answered all my questions.
Building your network often happens by accident. Each project has phases. Working with different people on different phases, you learn what people can do. There’s a saying in Germany: “Look beyond your plate.” I’ve looked across my plate to the U.S., India, and a variety of other countries to build my network and learn from colleagues. I’m even still in touch with the team who interviewed me.
Jump at every opportunity
My first project came just 15 minutes after I’d set up my laptop! “Hey, you’re Max; I’ve heard good things about you,” I was told. Everyone on the project made me feel part of the team, and I felt at ease to ask any questions without reservation. Even at this early stage of my career, I was included in client meetings and valued for my input.
After just 18 months, I was promoted to consultant. To make that leap, you need to work independently and complete an assignment or small project without supervision.
Moving to a manager role was a bit different. My supervisors supported me in reaching my goal, but I also needed to demonstrate that I could manage client relations and the financials, while supervising a team.
Technology strategy is a core proposition for Accenture. I’ve grown my career, working across all public and private sector clients in Germany and cities including London, Brussels, Barcelona and Paris. It just shows where the right start can take you.
Want to work at the intersection of technology and business? There are no limits to your opportunities when you join the Accenture Strategy team.
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