1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I have definitely enjoyed my placement with Accenture overall, but it's been very much a placement of highs and lows. Some weeks it's been incredible; I've been stuck into a really exciting project, I've really been able to contribute and learnt so much. Some weeks have been very frustrating with very little to do. The admin/HR side of the placement has been a hassle, disorganised and I don't feel well supported by that team. I had worked full time for a couple of companies before this placement and I felt overwhelmed and unequipped... like I say below it's a steep learning curve!
Overall I would definitely recommend Accenture to anyone, even if you're not considering a career in consulting it's a really good way to discover more about what sort of job you would enjoy and also what industries you can go into.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
This very much depended on who your manager and colleagues were on the project. I had a very good experience for the first half of my project and my manager gave me a lot of autonomy. I would go to the meetings with c-suite client employees and was welcome to ask questions and contribute. Generally I think a lot of people value interns as we put in the effort and if you show you are keen and willing to work they respect that.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
My manager on my project was great and as we worked just the two of us a lot of the time, there were lots of opportunities to feedback naturally. He continued to act as a mentor when he was no longer on the project and offered a lot of career support etc. My second manager was nowhere near as effective and because I only had two months left, I often felt like a hindrance; I didn't feel the same support/guidance.
Contacts in the People team were good for answering questions, but don't really offer anything in the way of support or guidance.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
This completely depended on the day. Some days I barely had time to eat lunch and would work 8am-7pm whereas when there were natural lulls in the project I could go a few weeks without much to do. There are things you can do to fill your day - networking events, online training, reach out to people and ask to meet for a coffee and talk about their project etc.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
This varied from a lot depending on the manager from great i.e. producing documents that were deliverable for the client, to very low level i.e. organising meeting rooms, taking actions, tweaking powerpoint templates.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I do business so a lot of what I have learnt on placement will be useful. I would actually say that the biggest plus about Accenture has been what I've learnt. It's a very steep learning curb and from day one you're chucked in at the deep end. Some things that I have learnt include: advanced excel & powerpoint skills, networking, being proactive/identifying ways to add value without being asked, how to adapt to constantly changing environments, communicating with c-suite stakeholders and managing directors, organisational design, process design, change management, what the future looks like for retail/fashion, about Artificial Intelligence/Robotic Process Automation etc. etc. etc.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
This depends on whether you are in Fenchurch Street (main office) or client side.
In FCS, the atmosphere is very much professional but friendly. At times the office is very quiet - too quiet for me. As you don't have an allocated desk you don't really get too comfortable. There's free teas (lots of types), coffees and sometime snacks and fruit with break out areas on each floor.
Client side we worked on their sofas for weeks and eventually got a meeting room. Due to the nature of the project the atmosphere was quite tense. Once we got the meeting room set up then we could talk more as a team and it was a more fun, relaxed atmosphere.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
HR/People team could be very very disorganised at times. They are stretched and getting simple answers was sometimes hard. That said, we all had a project to join to start with which was really good as lots of grads start and then sit on the bench for weeks/months.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We had some good training to begin with. There was a personal branding session included in our induction week which was really handy and a full day of excel training. Additional training is up to you to organise - there are always opportunities to get involved in skills training, software training, industry training etc.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
Above 25 days holiday
Working from home
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
Lots of interns get jobs. Your manager gets a say in whether you area hired, but I know everyone on my course has always been offered a job. There are lots of grad offers and start dates are staggered throughout the year.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
We organised our own socials as placements students. On my project I took the 'Life@' role on my project (like a social sec) and organised monthly breakfasts, crazy golf and regular drinks.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
You're in London... be prepared to pay very high rents/high commuting costs. If you live somewhere within walking distance (less than 40 mins walk or a cycle) then you would say a fair bit of money. Work pay for a lot of socialising.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
It's London... there's a great nightlife and it just depends on what you are looking for. Around the head office there are lots of bars for drinks after work.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Yes - I was part of wine club, yoga club, health & wellbeing on my project. I also got involved in the Retail Hub.
I got a gym membership and there's loads of adult sports leagues in london like football and netball.