Perform basic testing (using test scripts where appropriate) to ensure prototype functions remain reliable and repeatable
Assist in reviewing and resolving list of system vulnerabilities and extensions
For the majority of my year at Accenture, I really enjoyed it, from the work I was doing to the atmosphere at events and the company in general.
Work at Accenture is project-based and so the level of enjoyment is always going to be partly based on what sort of project you end up on and how this aligns with your interests and goals for the year. For me, my first project was great and provided a lot of opportunities for growth and development. I got to build my skills in a huge variety of areas from finance and contracts to network architecture which all of which will be very useful in the future.
By and large, I felt extremely valued by the colleagues I worked with. I found that the quality of the work I did and my other contributions meant that people really respected and appreciated having me on their teams. This lead to me quickly being given more varied and important roles within my project teams and this made me feel like my time was valuable.
Management and supervisors were highly supportive. Accenture place a huge emphasis on making sure that those in leadership positions are trained/equipped to provide the best possible guidance especially to newer members of the team. Most are very approachable and communicative making it easy to reach out for support when needed. Alongside this, they are aware of when to let people get on with their work with little oversight and not micromanage. They are very good at shaping their style to each person to get the best out of them.
The nature of client facing project work means that the amount of things to do can vary massively. However, Accenture places a lot of value on doing extra outside of your project responsibilities so in periods of downtime I was encouraged to do online training modules in areas of my choice or help out in other areas, either within my projects or further afield. At one stage this even gave me the chance to help design and create digital buttons for a charity's website so there's a lot of possibilities.
As with any new job you have to learn the ropes so at the start it was quite slow. However, very soon into my new project I was being given more important and client facing tasks including presenting on calls to senior client stakeholders and running my own work-stream for a very critical project with very little oversight from my managers.
I gained knowledge of complex computer networking, systems deployment and testing and finance & contracts all of which will help support me as I progress in my career within technology.The optional training that I had access to whilst at Accenture was also very helpful and means I now have some industry recognised technical qualifications on my record to support me in the future.
The office in general can seem quite isolating to start with as it's all hot-desking based which means you have to book or find a spare desk. Before you are assigned to a team it can be quite daunting to be in the office without many people to talk to as everyone is busy on completely different things. This is where it's important to become good friends with your start group so that you always have people to hang out with at the start.
From my experience and hearing from other start groups across the company this varies a lot! I was lucky in the sense that I was assigned to a project immediately after completing my initial training which meant I always had something to do. However, plenty of people in my start group struggled to find a role due to the time of year and so were "on the bench"/unassigned for several months before finally finding or being placed on a project. This could be quite disheartening if you have to spend a large amount of your placement doing nothing and while I appreciate that it's partly a supply & demand issue I think more could be done by the company to make this less of a problem or provide alternatives.
From the get-go Accenture invested a lot of time and money into my training. While much of the initial training comprised of online boards and activities, I was also sent to attend 2 external accredited courses with the British Computing Society on Software Testing and Business Analysis. I haven't necessarily used all of this in my day-to-day job but having these formal certificates is a nice perk of the placement year and gives me something tangible to come away with.Throughout the year there have been lots of opportunities to do more training courses and there are always optional lunch-time sessions to broaden your knowledge on a wide range of technology aspects.
Future employment prospects are extremely appealing at Accenture. There is huge potential for career progression and from my understanding it's a much less harsh environment than some competitors out there. I've enjoyed the majority of my time here and I'd be keen to potentially start my career here if offered a graduate role.
Depending on your project there will be lots of opportunities for work socials and events. I personally got to go to a tonne of free events with interesting speakers and personalities (such as Channel 4 newscaster, Jon Snow) which were a great experience and not one I would have gotten otherwise. Whether or not your fellow placement students are into the same things or not is a matter of luck but London has plenty of variety so there's always something for everyone. My colleagues were quite proactive in doing things outside of work such as rock climbing and dodgeball and Accenture has plenty of clubs for things like this as well.
Being from outside of London, I chose to move and was lucky enough to live within walking distance of the Fenchurch St. main office. Rent in London is obviously high compared to the rest of the country but this is expected and if you spend a bit of time online looking for places you will usually find something suitable in your budget. Other living costs again aren't ridiculous but there's definitely a feeling of "London prices" when buying food and amenities.Socialising in London is really expensive, if you've ever visited you'll know this. Like any big city the longer you live here the more ways you'll find to have a good night out for cheap but partying in London was definitely hard to do on a placement student salary.
London has some of the best and most varied nightlife in the country. There's so many bars and clubs it would be impossible to try them all and you'll definitely find somewhere you like. A lot of it is pricey but if you're smart you can always find a good deal! On top of the usual drinking venues there's also a tonne of seasonal pop-ups and themed bars to try while you're here and I'd highly recommend trying as many as possible!
Accenture provide opportunities to get involved in local & community volunteering projects (using your paid charity leave) as well as putting on lots of interesting events, societies and sports clubs.Living and working in London means there is always something going on outside of the working environment so it's just a case of picking from the huge selection.