Having spoken to Accenture’s employees at careers fairs, it quickly became my number one choice. It offered me everything I wanted from a graduate scheme: training, the chance to travel, variety; it was exactly what I wanted. Once I was offered the role, there was never a question over whether I’d take it.
I definitely made the right choice. Since graduating, many of my friends have been in the same role, doing the same old thing. But at Accenture, there’s a real dynamism: projects and jobs change, you get new tasks and you change locations. All of which means you’re constantly learning.
It’s hard to define what I do, but in broad terms I work in IT solutions. It’s incredibly varied work and near impossible to categorise! I’ve worked in three main roles so far, and have just started on my fourth. Now I’m a Test Lead and have my own team outside of the UK, in India.
I really enjoyed my training at Accenture and it was certainly a steep learning curve. Yes, you start as a graduate and you’re given a few weeks of formal training; but after that you’re given a proper job and thrown in at the deep end with the support to help you develop and succeed. Each role I’ve had since I started has been a natural progression from the last, so I feel I’m constantly being challenged and putting my new knowledge and skills to good use. You’re not wrapped in cotton wool and spoon-fed answers: you’re a real employee with real responsibilities. It’s a definite mind-shift and it forces you to really put yourself out there. Personally, I love it.
Here’s a brief outline of the projects I’ve worked on:
A large telecommunication firm
As Quality Assurance Manager, I had to ensure that every new system deployed for the firm met the quality standards demanded. I worked in a team of ten to oversee the project managers, ensuring they had all necessary sign-offs and that the work was completed to the requisite standard.
A large banking organisation
It was a great experience, giving me a real insight into all the aspects that combine to form a deployment, each one of which I had to monitor and be on top of. All the project teams were based in India so I had to build on my cross-cultural awareness, too. It was a really different way of working, but Accenture put me through the right training courses so that I could work in the most seamless way possible.
A large retail organisation
I was based in Glasgow for two months in a project management role, which involved overseeing the installation of a new application. Called b-tender, it allowed the bank to trade with the Bank of England using SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) which is a messaging network that exchanges messages between banks and other financial institutions.
I’d never worked in financial services or with any of the software or applications that I had to use here, so I had to learn fast. To install b-tender, I first had to get to grips with the detailed technical design, the kit-list and what was needed to set up the network. I also had to set IP addresses, buy the equipment and install the software that would allow the computers to ‘talk’ directly with the Bank of England. I’d touched on all of this in my degree but actually putting that knowledge into practice was both challenging and exciting.
In fact, that sums up Accenture really well. It’s challenging and exciting because there’s always something new to learn.