Degree: BA (Hons) Philosophy
University: University of Southampton
Work title: Analyst, Accenture
What it is you actually do? I work on a project for the Department for Work & Pensions which is radically improving the way Pension benefits are claimed and paid to millions of UK citizens. The project involves the implementation of a complex CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system which means that pensions are claimed and paid in a matter of minutes rather than weeks.
I am currently doing test and analysis of a new release of this system to ensure that Accenture has delivered a solution to the original requirements.
Why did you decide to go into this sector? Someone told me IT consulting isn’t the most typical route for a philosophy graduate – I say why not! I knew I liked asking the right questions, solving problems and coming up with new and creative thoughts. I was also good at IT when I was younger, so a career in an IT Consultancy seemed a great fit.
Would you undertake further training to further your career? The great thing about Accenture is that they take your career and your training very seriously, and I have been picking up new skills and training continually throughout my career so far. I would like to specialise in CRM software such as Siebel. Last year Accenture paid for me to go on a two week intensive training course, and I hope to attend another one of these soon.
What do you like most about you do and are there any downsides? I like knowing that the team that I am part of, and the work that I do, makes a difference to millions of people’s lives in the UK. But, high rewards mean high expectations. Hours can get long, things can get challenging, and things can get competitive. But it’s worth it.
What do you think are the most important skills/strengths you need to make a success of what you did? I believe that if you have a willingness to learn and adapt to new ideas, possess an open mind and you are good with people you will succeed anywhere and at anything that you do. A can-do attitude, motivation and ambition will make you excel at everything that you do.
Specific IT skills do help, but you will pick them up fast with the training you’ll get, especially from a company like Accenture.
What would be your best piece of advice for graduates wishing to come into this sector? Take your time to research not just the company you want to work for, but also the clients you might be working on. It’s not just IT knowledge, but knowledge of an industry.
Have a think not just about what you can offer a company, but what the company can offer you in terms of rewards, support and development.
Is there anything else you would like to add? Think about the impact the job you do, and who you work for, has on the world. And take the time to research ethical and green credentials!