Accentuate the positive

What's it like to work at Accenture, the global management consulting and technology service company

Emma Turner, Stephanie Meikle and Tamsin Smith are all analysts in Accenture's global consulting group

Why consultancy?

ET: I studied chemistry at university. When I was planning what to do next I knew I didn't really want to be a scientist but I wanted to use the skills I'd picked up from doing a science degree - things like problem solving, being analytical and working in a team. In the final year of my degree I'd been involved in a research project which involved presenting my results every week. I liked that style of work. I wanted to find a role in business that would allow me to work around people and use my problem solving and communication skills. I also wanted to do a job where I felt I was helping people. Consultancy felt to me like a career that would combine all these things.

Why Accenture?

SM: We had a huge number of employer presentations and careers fairs at university. Accenture stood out because the people were so dynamic and because of the variety of opportunities within the organisation. It just seemed to be a much more vibrant company than the other ones that I saw.

ET: Accenture works on all areas of a project from start to finish, whereas some consultancy firms will just do the planning part and then hand the implementation over to the business to get on with themselves. At Accenture you work with the clients on implementing solutions. We do large global projects with multinational clients. That means there are a lot of opportunities to work in different countries. I spent four months in Budapest and two months in Dusseldorf. It was a great experience working in a multicultural team and having the opportunity to learn about another culture.

TS: Accenture has a competitive and career focussed culture which results in a high standard of work being delivered and the opportunity to work with some great people. Since joining I have worked on three projects in three different industries (pharmaceutical, consumer and financial services) with very different cultures. Accenture is an ever-changing place to work and it constantly challenges you.

What's the best bit of your job?

ET: I enjoy the variety and the fact that you're given such a high level of responsibility from the very start. You're very exposed to the clients in most roles. It was quite a shock at first when you realise what you're able to do here. In other companies you might not get these kinds of opportunities until quite a lot further on in your career. Some of the projects you're working on will affect many thousands or millions of end-users. Knowing that you've done the job well means that you're having a positive impact on all of these people.

SM: I've been working on rebuilding a client's website. I've really enjoyed the design aspect of it. Before I joined, if someone had asked me, I would have been the last person to think I would actually enjoy learning about the technical side of building a website but providing something tangible is very rewarding. It must be awful poring over spreadsheets all day if you don't actually see the results. But when you see the website working and it looks great and the client's happy with it, it's good to know that you had some part in building that.

Any advice for future applicants?

SM: A lot of people think you need to have a background in technology to work at Accenture. You don't have to be able to program computers to come and work here but you do need to have an interest in technology because of the nature of the projects we do. A basic interest is more important than background skills. You learn a lot as you go along and the experience you gain from working teaches you a lot more.

TS: Make sure you make the most of the Accenture graduate recruitment website as this provides valuable information on the type of work we do and what is required at different stages of the application process. If you successfully get through the first round interview the graduate recruitment team will assign you a "buddy" and this is a great opportunity to gain insight into life at Accenture.

Accenture is a great place to start your career and will give you the opportunity to experience working in lots of different environments. Many people start Accenture with the intention of only being in management consultancy for a couple of years and are still here ten years later!

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