Consulting Industrial Placement
I enjoyed this placement very much, the company was my first choice and I was incredibly pleased to receive an offer. I knew this placement would be very hard work, but that's what you sign up for - it's one of the best consulting firms in the world and the standards they require are high, which meant a lot of work despite being an Intern, which I personally found great. Lots of experience, lots of good memories.
As I changed projects regularly, there were only a few occasions where long lasting relationships could have been made. That being said, I felt valued by every team I worked with and was treated just like a graduate - and didn't receive any stereotypical Intern tasks. They all valued my work and my character. The firm values networking and colleague interaction, which really showed during my time here.
I was given constant support by my management, across all projects I was assigned to. Some less than others but that was only due to busy schedules. If I ever needed support and guidance, I was their top priority.
This question really depends on which projects you join and the industry you work in. I initially joined Financial Services and worked within a Retail bank - where the work had peaks and troughs during the project. However, when I moved into Capital Markets and joined an Investment Bank, the workload rapidly increased and required serious time commitments. The choice of project and industry is largely down to you and is an unspoken rule at the firm (e.g. if you choose Capital Markets, expect to be work longer hours and be working a fair amount harder).
I was never treated like a placement student on this Internship, I was always given full graduate position responsibility. At times, the clients assumed I was a full-time employee and were surprised to hear I was on placement, which I thank my teams for, allowing me to achieve that.
I believe that all the training courses and training opportunities will definitely help my career after graduation, as all the knowledge and experience will certainly be of assistance. However, with regards to assisting University, the main aspect will be the time management and organisation, as I have built a strong routine of working towards deadlines and keeping organised.
The atmosphere changed per client, which ranged from relaxed family type atmospheres to high profile, results orientated strict atmospheres. This will all depend on the project, however in the main Accenture London office - the environment there is very welcoming and a friendly place.
I believe this could have been organised somewhat better as after the initial training with the fellow students, we never had another event/time where we could interact as we were all over the country. I think HR did a good job though as they always responded quickly to any issues.
The company invested heavily in my development, they paid for SCRUM training and a significant amount of courses whilst I was part of Capital Markets. This allowed me to develop my knowledge further and make the most of my vacant time.
Future prospects are great here as there is a clear hierarchy and you can to some extent choose exactly where you want to specialise. However, it is very "dog eat dog" and competitive so you are always working against people/your cohort. From the countless talks I have had with full-time staff, most people leave after becoming a consultant because they found better opportunities elsewhere.
There was a good social scene generally however as we were all over the country and on different projects, it is very hard to keep in touch and meet regularly. You end up becoming closer with your team as opposed to your placement peers.
This was the main issue, the cost of living in London is ridiculously high and although Accenture pays a decent Intern salary, you will have hardly any savings at the end of the year unless you take an out of town expenses paid project. This is because rent and general living in London are much higher and you are paid the same regardless of work location - so I think this could have been taken into consideration, as Interns already start on much lower salaries than graduates (understandable) but for living costs, it was slightly problematic.
Nightlife was incredible, despite it being much more expensive than University, it was incredible. Plus there's always team socials where you get free drinks so who can complain really.
There are a lot of opportunities to get involved in, such as volunteering/charity days and sports socials - which always kept you busy, however, if you have a demanding project this is non-existent.