"I am interested in technology and tend to get bored if I do the same thing for too long, which makes Computer Science the perfect subject for me, allowing me to work in a technological environment that’s constantly changing.
When deciding where to spend my Professional Training year I liked the diversity offered by Accenture. A global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, it operates in many different industries and has a wide range of clients in the UK.
I got a lot of support from Surrey during the application process, with the Department of Computer Science organising presentations by companies interested in hiring students, and the Careers Department offering a CV clinic which I found very helpful. After interviews with six companies, I received placement offers from four and chose to go with Accenture.
Doing a placement was one of the best decisions I’ve made.
For most of my year’s placement I worked as a software engineer in Application Maintenance, based both in Central London and Newcastle. My main project was solving user issues on a large-scale benefit administration system for a public sector client. This involved me analysing the issue, suggesting a fix and responding to the user. As the project was being conducted both in the UK and Mumbai, India, I learnt how to overcome the challenges of working across different time zones through careful planning and organisation, and also how to build a good working relationship with people I had never met in person.
One great commendation I received was being asked to organise sessions to transition my knowledge of Java, OPA (Oracle Policy Automation) and the application to my peers – which included fairly senior people who had been on the project for longer than I had. I also mentored and trained three new joiners during my time on the project.
My placement provided me with an interesting insight into how the world of IT consulting works and helped me to confirm that this is the career path I want to follow. It enabled me to put the skills learnt during my degree into real world practice, and to develop them further. It was also a great opportunity to network with people working in this field who might be valuable in the future.
The achievement of which I’m proudest was receiving a job offer from Accenture at the end of the placement. Doing a placement was one of the best decisions I’ve made and my advice to prospective students is to take up this opportunity if they get the chance."