Overcoming the learning curve at Accenture has been rewarding for Ms Leong. PHOTO: NURIA LING

Growing in the job

FIRST impressions matter a lot to Ms Michelle Leong, and her internship at Accenture convinced her that she had found the right workplace.

She had always wanted a challenging career and to work in a team on projects, and this opportunity at the global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company was a dream come true.

“I enjoy the work culture and respected the spirit of excellence imbued in Accenture employees, and I can see myself working and growing in this firm,” says the 24-year-old technology consulting analyst, who started working at Accenture in January this year.

“The main reason why I joined Accenture was because of its people. Everyone I worked with impressed me in one way or another,” she recalls. Accenture provides training at every career level rather than limiting training to the first two years of work. This results in a more holistic and consistent culture of self-improvement.

“At every career level, an employee — from the most junior analyst to the most senior managing director — is entitled to attend training courses.

“Besides formal training programmes, the best teachers are your project members and first-hand experience,” she says.

Learning on the job is also possible because Accenture’s culture encourages employees to share what they know, even across the globe. These resources are made available online and accessible to all employees via their mobile or computers.

Juggling demands

Expectation management is one of Ms Leong’s biggest challenges. She has to juggle demands such as her immediate supervisor wanting work completed on time, clients demanding extra changes to the system design at no extra cost, and teammates needing input for solution design.

But she finds able support in Accenture’s environment, which offers young analysts a guiding hand in dealing with multiple expectations.

“I’m never afraid to raise any issues to my team leads because they always make time to listen. Also, they will never leave me to face a problem alone, and that’s teamwork,” she says.

Steep learning curve

While studying for her double-degree in economics and business management at the Singapore Management University, Ms Leong enjoyed the quantitative modules such as applied econometrics and finance, which she believed were essential in preparing her for the mental rigour necessary to work in Accenture.

She says: “The learning curve upon joining Accenture was steep but also intriguing and rewarding. My personal aspiration is to become a project manager and lead projects.

“My experience in my past projects has enabled me to pick up new technical knowledge and take ownership of my own work streams, and given me the responsibility to lead others. I definitely feel that I’m growing in the right direction.”

She advises the younger generation to embrace changes. “You will develop capabilities in things you never knew you could master,” she says.