~A snapshot into a graduate interview process~
So last Friday 4th may 2018, I attended Accenture Adventure!! To give you a bit of context I have been applying for design graduate roles. Accenture is a global management consultancy, providing strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services. I was able to go through the final stage (5) of the recruitment process. The first few stages included a online test, video interview and HR phone call.
It was hosted at the Stampford Plaza- A bit off topic, but OMG! The interior design is amazing!! Including the old school bathrooms was so on point! Anyways, the day started off with a bit of meeting with the other 16 graduates, recruiters and our team coaches and team members. I was in Team 4, with a Mechatronics engineering 4th year student from UQ, IT student from Townsville and Business finance student from UQ. Then there was me Industrial design graduate (also realised I was the only designer at the event...kinda felt lonely, but i’m getting use to it, as my current workplace I’m the only designer :( ). It was actually cool listening to the current Accenture staff and their career journey during the introductions. Our team’s coach studied structural engineering and is now a business analyst in the government business unit in the health service. Pretty cool, never thought your occupation & job title can change so significantly from what you originally studied at uni.
So in the morning from around 9:30am to 12pm, we worked on a case study in teams. So, the topic and question was so out of my comfort zone. Like the information and data given to us was just all numbers and graphs that didn’t make sense to me!!!!!!!!!!!! (very bad visuals tbh, hahah *bad design). I’m just glad I had awesome team members who understood what the data meant and could actually calculate key figures accurately. Also, I never would have thought that a designer and a finance major could work together, as I was visualising the key main points using post-it notes into Categories- Problems, Opportunities, Solutions. Subtly using the double diamond method! :P So the context and the problem was based on solving a problem for a company called BankCo, why and where they are not making enough profit and how to increase their profit by coming up with a solution.
It took us a while to understand the data, because half an hour later the Manager comes in with more data that they forgot to provide us! Hahahah! Lol, okay, such suspense! Thanks for wasting valuable time! Jokes! So yeah, it was good to get a bit of mentoring from our coach to guide us through the project, to help us understand the data given to us. We then had a morning tea break- food was so good btw!
After the break, I think our team was the first to go back in to finish off everything- a bit of a head-start, what commitment and discipline our team had, haha!! We eventually agreed on a few solutions- so from what i can remember, Europe is the largest revenue contribution of 40% and within their business unit retail contributes 30% of revenue (which is what I presented ;) ). Then the solutions that we came up with was reducing amount of bank stores, increase ATM's as its more popular, automate online experience using AI and encourage people use their phones laptops, electronics etc to utilise the service and to reduce amount of unnecessary time when talking in person.
It was good that everyone is from different background to work on this very challenging topic. For example the finance grad calculated the numbers, IT grad looked at the trends from the Accenture book about what each services provide what and how we could imply into our solution, engineering student also calculated things and the trends and I basically visualised everything (as I had no idea what the numbers and graphs meant). That was the only way to help me understand, but also helped my team at the end when finalising for the presentation on the key points we need to present which was good….but that's when the conflicts started to happen when planning our presentation boards, hahah. I guess we all had different approaches and opinions on how to present information. But we all agreed to create a story- so presenting the problem first (me), then statistics and data calculated (finance grad), Potential solutions (IT grad) and opportunities (engineering grad).
Our team did pretty well, we were almost a tie with team 3 who won. But it was great to get feedback from the Accenture staff. They said our team created a story, was like a salesperson pitch, we had a balance of visuals, text and numbers to accommodate different types of learners to understand the information, we narrowed down the information using calculated data and also, apparently it was very expressive.....?!
After having a awesome lunch with an amazing view, we played three games while each of us were interviewed individually. The first game we played was a spaghetti and marshmallow tower game. In 15 minutes we had to build the tallest tower with a marshmallow on top. Because our engineer went off for his interview, the 3 of us thought triangles would be a good idea and made like a T-pee / Eiffel tower design with a smiling marshmallow on top. We lost by 4cm, but we got marks for aesthetics. ;)
The next game was about what 20 items we would put in order to build a raft when stranded on a island. Our list ended up being the opposite to what a actual lifeguard listed theirsat...oops….
Then it was my turn for a interview with Joanne who works in the government health service. I thought there would be a lot of questions they would ask, but it was pretty relaxed and conversational which was good. Plus it was in a fancy hotel on stylish and comfy chairs.
Then the last games involved us following the individual instructions to make a tower using lego blocks. Except we were not allowed to talk. This was so interesting!!! I actually enjoyed it. It took us a while to understand our new sign language, but eventually we completed the tower within 15 minutes.
Once the interviews and games were completed, we had the opportunity to network at the end of the day with the current Accenture graduates and staff, with a lovely view of the Brisbane river! Despite being a long day, it was actually a fun day, met so many amazing people!!