“The internship program at Accenture is built to give the interns a firsthand exposure to roles and responsibilities in the company”, says Mr. Lokendra Sethi, Managing Director for HR service delivery, Accenture India. Internshala had a chance to interview Mr. Sethi on the internship program of the company. Excerpts –
Hello Lokendra. Welcome and thank you for this interview. Talking of the Accenture Internship Program – Could you give us an overview?
Hello. Glad to be of help. At Accenture, we offer summer internship to students from select few colleges of varying tenure. For MBAs, our internship program starts in April for a period of 8-10 weeks. Internships in our technology business for engineering students are considered on a case to case basis. The consistent theme across all the internships is that we offer interns a firsthand exposure to the live issues at hand.
What are the qualities that you evaluate while recruiting an intern for Accenture?
There are a few things we evaluate –
a. Adaptability with teams : We like to evaluate their ability to work with teams, their interaction capabilities & more importantly how well they can express their ideas.
b. Data analysis and presentation skills : It’s about how adeptly the students can cull out information and get to ingenious solutions.
c. Enthusiastic, Keen Learner : Students showing the quality to go an extra mile for knowledge are always more preferable.
What kind of roles/projects are interns given and what should they expect to learn from it?
At Accenture, all internships are either in client-facing roles or organizational capability building roles. Our interns have the opportunity to network with fellow interns, recent hires and other consulting professionals. They stand to gain a good understanding of how they support client outcomes. This also helps them evaluate the possibility of continuing in the same or similar stream once they graduate.
Do you remember any particular project where interns played a critical role?
It would be difficult to pin-point any particular project but every contribution is critical and has significant impact. Every assigned project is carefully identified keeping in mind the potential of the student and how we can best leverage their skills.
In your opinion, what are the top two or three mistakes that interns generally commit?
I wouldn’t say that there is any pattern here but one of the key observations we have had is- many interns get so deeply involved in their projects that it prevents them from knowing the company better and investing in meeting people who can be helpful later.
Another very common mistake made by interns is being theoretical. Coming off college, they need to find a balance between classroom knowledge and real-time project implementation. We encourage our interns to bring in their fresh ideas and shed their linear perspectives.
How has Accenture benefited from the internship program?
Like I just said, interns bring a fresh perspective and deploy very innovative solutions in their projects. Besides that, they are our ambassadors carrying information about their experience at Accenture back to their colleges and peers. This helps us build our brand on-campus. The program also allows us an early lock-in of talent through options of pre-placement offers.
Finally, what in the internship program would make it an unforgettable experience for an intern?
I think the top three factors that make an internship at Accenture unforgettable are:
- Experiencing ‘real’, client-facing projects.
- Coaching by senior members of the organization.
- Exposure to our global culture and work environment.
Thank you Lokendra for this wonderful session, giving the audience on our platform a peek into the Accenture Internship Program.
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