Unlocking My Potential: An Insightful Week at Accenture
Manesha at Accenture's 'Unlocking Potential: Consulting Social Impact Week' in London
Consultants are people who give expert advice to other people. This was the extent of my knowledge of this field before starting the week. During five days, I got to explore the kind of solutions and strategies that could be presented and how one of the world’s leading consulting and technology organisations like Accenture deliver results for their clients. We were in the London office for Day 1 and Day 5 of the work experience, with the other days being held virtually.
Upon hearing the role of Accenture in our first session - “[to] help businesses take their big ideas and turn them into a reality”, offering “tangible value with great speed” – I was drawn to the creative and innovative thinking involved in this industry. The coalition of strategy and consulting with interactive technology that Accenture is known for, intrigued me since I got to learn about the transformative impact that technology can have for businesses and individuals alike.
Therefore, I enjoyed getting stuck into the task that I and the 16 other participants had been assigned. In groups, we were asked to present our creative tech-based solutions, addressing the strategies a large retail chain should pursue to attract more footfall into their stores. We were made to start thinking about personas, the ‘customer of tomorrow’ and the ‘shop of tomorrow’. I love getting to brainstorm ideas and think of innovative ways to implement them in the real world. Working on a project like this inspired me to conduct primary research of my own to gather insights and better understand customers’ needs. I went to this store and interviewed some shoppers to get their thoughts on how to improve the ‘customer experience’ which I fed back in our presentation. Researching how blockchain technology can be utilised especially in helping with supply chain transparency and ensuring sustainable practices was something completely new but something I found very interesting.
Here are some of my main takeaways from the speakers we heard from during the week:
- A vital skill required in the industry is adaptability and moving with change.
- Accenture’s Tech Vision and emerging trends presented by Vincent Renders were fascinating and packed with information. The emerging tech of the future certainly seems to be disruptive, though with many potential benefits.
- Self-promotion is a powerful tool - it enables you to communicate the value you offer and “it’s not bragging if it’s based on facts”. Often, “accomplishments do not speak for themselves.” (Omar Almubarak)
- It’s important to ask ‘what is my why?’ when it comes to our mindset towards money and budgeting. (Needs vs. Wants) It reminded me of the basic economic problem of having unlimited wants and finite resources. (Emmanuel Asuquo - TV Financial Adviser)
- Your personal brand is what makes you different and opens opportunities as well. The process of discovering that and evolving with that also makes you understand yourself better. What are my skills? What things am I into? (Kerri-Lauren Sturch)
The key skills I nurtured this week included: teamwork, communication, proactivity, presenting and having a willingness to learn.
Above all, I valued the opportunity to meet like-minded and driven individuals (who happened to be school leavers like myself), connect with people directly at the firm and ask questions.
The week ended with returning to the Office where we showcased our presentations – I was thrilled that our group won the challenge! This was followed by a ‘networking pizza lunch’, a look into Accenture’s innovation hub and finally a whistle-stop tour of the Office.
I am grateful to Globalbridge for posting brilliant opportunities such as this work experience for students to engage in to broaden their horizons and get a flavour into the world of work. My advice to any young person out there looking to explore potential career paths would be to just try it out for yourself and know the skills that are required to thrive in that field. You won’t know unless you try! (Something I had to tell myself!).