Shane Ahern, IT Analyst, Accenture
Name Shane Ahern
Job IT Analyst
Employer Accenture, Dublin
Education BSc Business Information Systems, University College Cork (2007)
I work in the consultancy workforce of Accenture. My company comprises three main areas: technical, outsourcing and consulting. I was attracted by consulting as it blends technical know-how with high-level business skills. My degree, with its focus on both, was an ideal platform from which to progress into this area.
As a graduate you enter the consulting division as an analyst. The groundwork that you cover in the first six to 12 months gives you a feel for how the business operates. I've been here for two years now and will hopefully become a level 1 consultant this year.
On the graduate scheme there's a lot of training to bring you up to speed with key skills. Thirty-five of us started together and we all went to London for two weeks of training. We then spent two weeks in Chicago where we met another 150 analysts from around the world. The training sessions also give you a sense of where you'd like to end up within the company, be it in project management, design or development.
Right now I’m working on a large software implementation project with a big telecoms company in the UK. I deal with their suppliers and we're at different stages with each one.
There are six stages in total: engagement (initial conversation); analysis (involving project-management documentation and high-level design documents); design (entailing detailed technical discussions with the IT teams); build (software developers actually code and develop the connection); test and user acceptance testing (the system is tested based on the initial requirements); and finally deployment (all new updates for the supplier are applied before the system goes live). I try to make sure that things are running smoothly at every stage. If I can fix problems myself, I will – otherwise I relay them on.
One of the best parts of my job is going live on a long-term implementation project – after such hard work the buzz can be fantastic. On the down side we put in pretty long hours, but you don’t really notice when you're busy. There’s a lot of travel in this job too which I enjoy: I'm in the UK once a month, and visit other European offices several times a year.
It's important to apply to a variety of companies, even if your heart is set on just one – flexibility is crucial in today's job market.