Accenture is undoubtedly a very fun place to work. How much you enjoy will depend on how proactive you are in finding projects. When you are on an actual project working for a client it can be very enjoyable knowing your work is going to be used by real users. One thing to note is that not every project or role might be enjoyable to you, but finding a role and the work you enjoy is part of the placement year!
On all of my projects that I have been in, I have felt like a very valued member of the team. You really get a chance to bond with your colleagues here because of the type of environment Accenture brings. Regular after work events and drinks also helps bring you closer to your team. On both of my projects I was given crucial tasks that and lots of responsibilities which shows that you are valued and trusted.
At the start of Accenture, you are guided quite well, however there are a lot of things that are new to you and cannot be covered in a few days. It is probably usual for new joiners to be confused about how some of the policies and internal time sheets/scheduling tools work at first - I hope they help out new joiners more with this, however with some help from the buddy program this can be taken care of quite well. After that, you will get assigned a career counselor who can guide you about your career and your managers are usually open to any concerns and questions you have. It usually also depends on the manager however from my experience I haven't come across anyone who wasn't willing to help and guide me.
There are ups and downs, which is actually a good balance. Especially with client related work, you are put on some tough deadlines sometimes - this is not necessarily a bad thing as it helps you become better at working under pressure. Some days can be quiet with not much to do and some days were very hectic for me where I even had to work a bit of overtime.
I found myself starting with very basic tasks and actually doing training on the tools I will be using at first however more and more responsibility was given to me as I became more familiar with the technologies and as I completed my tasks well and on time. Towards the end of my projects I was given responsibility for parts of releases which is quite huge as if anything goes wrong it would be my responsibility. This is not as scary as it seems, you are usually given tasks which is manageable and there will always be team leads/managers to help you.
If you are based in a technical role like I was, it really helps improve your coding skills and technical knowledge of how some of the technologies are used by Accenture and how it helps clients. I think it makes more sense to compare how the skills you developed assist you beyond studies rather that on your final year, as the modules taught at Uni are usually quite broad and general. In terms of outside studies, this will help a lot! First of all, it will look great on your CV, second of all you have a good chance of receiving a offer to come back. Not only that, it will give you a great insight on how the technology consulting industry works and if it's right for you. The technical skills developed as well as functional/client related work will definitely help prepare you for work after graduation.
I think this really depends on the project. My first project was at a client site so we had to be on our best behavior and the environment was a bit tense however, you will find the colleagues always find ways to bring a bit of laughter to the table. My second project was based in a accenture office which was much more relaxed and very enjoyable. There are free snacks and drinks and you will find a lot of time to talk to your colleagues about stuff that are not related to work. The atmosphere could not have been better than this.
I feel like it could have been a bit better, especially with explanation of how some of the internal time tracking and scheduling tools worked and if there were more support from schedulers on helping people who were unassigned to a project off the bench. Other than that, you become quite used to the policies at Accenture and feel like a permanent employee.
The company is really good at sending people out for professional training and have a tonne of online courses on technologies they use. However, it is kind of difficult to get sent to training sometimes and felt a bit like I wasn't being invested into as much as I am on a placement. However, If you are quick to reply to training emails and ask your manager, they will usually not have a problem in you going out for week long training courses!
I think they provide a very decent future employment prospect. If you do well in the placement year then you have a very good chance of receiving an offer to return. Especially after one year at Accenture you become very accustomed to it and get the feeling that you will do better than most new joiners who will start with you.
The social scene was great. Quiet often you will find that you are working with fellow placement students or grads even in the same office even if they are not on the same project as you. We ended up creating a group chat where we could ask questions and organise group meetups.
I personally lived in London so I could travel to the London office quite easily and didn't need accommodation and travelling to client site is paid for. So if you are on the same boat consider yourself lucky! As it is London and central London in particular, the cost of food and travel was quite high.
I don't think there is much of a Nightlife especially when you travel to other locations for work. You will hardly find the time for that to be honest. I guess if you are in London then the nightlife can be great as there are many good locations and good food but everything is a little expensive.
There are a lot of sports clubs and other type of clubs that you can join. However, I haven't personally joined any of them. There are yammer groups and other media through which you can get involved in and from what I have heard some of the clubs are quite good.