The placement started with introductions and training, which was a great opportunity to meet other the other interns. The project I started on was less lively than the projects the other interns were part of, and I was able to transfer to my second project soon enough. I remained on my second project for the rest of the year, which provided me some great experience, and social events with colleagues were always welcoming and fun!
My colleagues were very supportive in upskilling me on the project, and were always available to answer my questions. I often received feedback on my work which was helpful in focusing on areas for my own improvement. This was also positive in ensuring I knew the impact was work was having, which was great for my motivation. My colleagues would also show their appreciation for my work, and gave me a kind send off at the end of the year!
The support and guidance from my supervisors was extremely useful, and definitely supported my success in my project role. I had frequent catch ups with my project supervisor and career counsellor which provided a space to raise any issues or questions. These sessions were also very helpful for advice and suggestions for training and growth. Further, the online Accenture training site was a great resource which had a wide range of skill sessions to undertake for your own interest and professional development.
I would start the working day at 8am/8:30 and continue until 5:30pm. This was extended sometimes when key deadlines were coming up, and additional work effort was necessary. During my working day I would have at least 30 mins lunch break, and some other small tea/coffee breaks. After the covid-19 pandemic had reached the UK I worked at home full time which did reduce my productivity as I personally enjoyed going out to work where I had the on-site support of my colleagues.
The main areas I supported were the internal PMO functions, for which I was responsible for the maintenance of the project RAID log, client reports, and work requests for the clients project teams. This required significant interaction with the client's internal departments, frequent evaluation of progress, and collective working group discussions to define paths to resolution. I also aided team efficiency by creating newly defined ways of working, running meetings on improving project management, and collaborating on innovative work solutions.
The transferable skills I developed include time-management, presentation skills, and collaboration in teamwork. My work placement required that I kept to rigid timeframes in producing reports and completing tasks, which has been useful to carry over to my coursework at university. I had to prepare and present quite often on my placement, which I have used in the presentation work on my course. Similarly, I can use the teamwork skills from my placement in any group work I am assigned in my degree.
The office was friendly and welcoming. I spent most of my year in the Edinburgh office where there are fewer colleagues. There were lots of young people which was especially nice as I could often socialise with them after work. While the office was quite quiet when everyone was working, there was always someone happy to chat if you needed something, especially by the break area! This area was also great to grab a coffee, work in a more relaxed setting, and speak to colleagues.
Overall the placement was good, and the experience I gained was valuable. However, at the start of the placement it was quite a struggle in finding a project to join as the placement students were placed into the whole pool of employees that were looking for project work. As I had little experience, I felt I had little to offer when joining a project, so it took a while to start off on any project work.
For the first two weeks, the placement group worked towards and gained the BCS Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis and ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation Level. These were very useful courses to take in preparation for my project work, and felt like a very worthwhile investment. Accenture also provided a development site where you can access a wide variety of learning tools whenever you want. This was useful in upskilling in areas so I could be of more use to my project team.
Sports and Social Club
Working from home
At the end of the placement year I was offered a graduate job. The prospect of working for Accenture is exciting, as it is a large company with a fast-paced environment, and provided many opportunities to grow and develop your career. From my placement year I could tell that Accenture would be an interesting place to work that puts a lot of emphasis on social aspects through sports clubs, company wide events, and even group holidays.
The placement group bonded well in the first few weeks during the training we were given. This meant it was a good start to the placement, allowing the group to get off to a good, friendly start. Throughout the year our placement group was given support in organising fun events and meetups which was great in keeping the group close together. There were also social activities with my project group from evening drinks to mini golf!
I was fortunate to be able to live at home on my placement, so I did not have to pay towards rent. While working in Edinburgh, Accenture paid any transport or hotel costs and also made contributions towards dinner costs on nights away. Other costs in Edinburgh were reasonably high such as drinks out or leisure activities in the evenings. The site where I worked also had a canteen which was affordable at a subsidised price.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic there were plenty of places to go in the evenings in Edinburgh, and the atmosphere was always warm and friendly. The bars were a good place to go to with colleagues to wind down after work. Some great places we went in the evenings included darts bars, pool bars, mini golf. We made sure to sample as much of the entertainment as possible, and had a great time with the team.
Outside of work there were sports teams to join, many clubs such as the book club, and also any activities happening within your project team. There was also the chance to go skiing with the Accenture UK Ski club. At Christmas/New Year there were many fun events and gatherings, especially the company group dinner event which was lots of fun! There was an interesting keynote speaker, a great meal and a free bar for everyone to make the most of.
Placement Year (10 Months+)
Business Analytics, Business Management, Financial Management, Management Consultancy
3rd December 2020