I was offered an internship at Accenture while I was doing IT at the University of South Queensland. I liked the company’s vision and inclusiveness. It felt like a big company but with a very futuristic outlook and a lot of work in cutting edge technology. I thought it was cool and way more progressive than its competitors.
I’m originally from Sydney, so moving away from Brisbane for the job wasn’t a big deal. But, like a lot of people, I was hesitant at first about Canberra. I was up for an adventure, but, in my mind at least, Canberra had a reputation for being a bit boring. Once I got there, I completely changed my opinion. Here, it’s relaxed and beautiful, with cool bars and great access to the snow. The lifestyle is so much better than I imagined.
Here’s what my average day looks like:
7.30 - 9.30 AM
One of the great things about Canberra is that the commute is incredibly quick, so I don’t have to get up crazy early – and I can take a tram from just outside my place straight to the office.
9.00 - 10.00 AM
Walking in the door to the office, I quickly say “hey” to everyone, water my plants and deal with any emails from the previous day. At 9.30am, my team heads out for coffee and pastries or an egg & bacon roll.
Four of the people in my team are based in Canberra right now: three grads and an intern. We all studied different things, from HR to political science. The diversity of thought is amazing and adds a lot when we’re trying to solve problems – we all have a different perspective so can tackle the issue from a variety of angles.
We’re half of a larger eight-person agile development team, including another grad in Melbourne and three experienced people from our client, which is a big Federal Government agency.
Our Scrum Master (the boss) is based in Melbourne, making me the most experienced person in Canberra, which means I often act as a coach. That said, we all share our learnings. The project I’m working on now is a huge team effort. We all have each other’s backs and pull together whenever there’s a big crunch. If I ever have to work late, the rest of the team are there with me.
It’s up to us three grads to teach our intern. I think we know just about enough to do that – and I enjoy teaching. It’s a good moment of self-reflection to see how far we’ve come. And, when our intern asks a question that we don’t know the answer to, it’s also great for identifying where we still lack knowledge!
The great thing about Accenture is you’re empowered to ask questions and learn every day. Even though we have lots of autonomy, I feel very supported. It’s fine to ask a million questions. There’s always someone you can reach out to who knows the answer.
10.00 AM - 12.00 PM
After snaffling up brekkie, we make it back in time for our stand-up meeting. We do this through our “windows to the world” – a plasma TV with webcam so we can chat with teams around the country. We’re part of a big project running across multiple sites in Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, so this is the moment in each day when we all connect.
In the meeting, we give and get updates, ask questions and plan the day ahead. Then it’s time to get stuck into our tasks for the day. No one tells us how to achieve the day’s goal – the four of us work relatively autonomously to achieve our project objectives. As a collective, we decide who’ll be pairing up to work, who’ll need help and what we each need to do. Every day is different. Sometimes you’re working in a pair, sometimes by yourself.
The actual work we do could be anything in design, build or test. We all wear many hats. That’s the best thing – work is constantly changing and full of new challenges.
I like doing things in a group. Which is great because most people at Accenture work in project teams. It’s fun, it’s quicker – and it’s great for knowledge sharing. I enjoy the fact that it’s not just me responsible for delivery. That collective responsibility makes work way less stressful. We take pride in what we send out to the rest of the project, and the final product of our work is better because everyone has contributed.
12.00 - 1.00 PM
At lunch, I meet up with the whole grad group here in Canberra. We try to eat together most days. Once a month, Accenture shouts us lunch at a different restaurant – awesome for trying new eateries! And there’s a massive foodie scene in Canberra which means we never have a bad meal. Our group is very diverse, very fun and very close.
Most people in our group have moved to Canberra from other cities for work. In other offices, most people have their own friendship circles outside work. Whereas here, people are from all over the place. We’re all in the same boat – no one really knows anyone! So your work friends quickly become your out-of-work friends. At weekends we have lots of BBQs and go on adventures to the snow together.
Because of that, we have a lot of extra-curricular projects. We do ongoing charity work, attend innovation events and have heaps of networking opportunities. It means the office is super-energised – we all know each other really well.
1.00 – 6.30 PM
Unless we’re getting close to the end of the project – when we might need a final push – I typically finish work around 5.30pm. Most days I go to the gym before heading home. On Friday’s you’ll find me having end-of-week drinks with the team.
Some weeks I travel for work. Right now, I’m in Melbourne meeting my team and my Scrum Master in person. It was surreal but good to shake his hand for the first time. He’s very knowledgeable and a great communicator. I hope to be in a role like that one day.
Right now, I’m focused on getting involved in as many things that interest me as possible. I want to innovate, generate new ideas for our clients, meet new people and hear about their projects. It’s exciting! And I couldn’t imagine doing it anywhere else in the world.