“When the client says they feel inspired by your ideas, that’s when you know you’re making an impact.”
Bram Van Loock (25) got a great New Year’s gift back in 2019. He joined Accenture as a Talent & Organization Strategist. An opportunity he could only dream of. At least, that's what he thought. Didn’t you need a master degree to join this ‘best of the best company’? Apparently not. He got hired thanks to his growth mindset and his entrepreneurial attitude.
Why was it such a surprise for you that Accenture offered you a contract?
I had some friends who knew Accenture very well, and they always said it was ‘the best of the best’. To be honest, Accenture’s reputation was a bit intimidating for me, so it didn’t occur to me to apply right away. I started my career in learning & development for the food industry. But when I took my chance at the end of 2018, it struck me how Accenture wasn’t focusing only on your degree or experience, but really looked at your personality and your drive.
How were the first few months after you joined?
It was crystal clear from the beginning. Accenture is a place where you can grow super fast. You get a lot of ownership and responsibility right away. Of course you feel backed by support from senior colleagues or by many training opportunities, but still I had never expected to grow that fast. And it’s great to be surrounded by such inspirational people. I keep my eyes and ears open and learn a lot from them.
How did you turn the ownership you got into impact in your projects?
Let me give you an example. A few months ago, I was working on a project for a bank. With a team of only 3 colleagues, we redesigned the whole learning experience for the employees. We introduced great concepts like learning anytime, anywhere, using data analytics & AI to personalize the learning experience, etc. It was so great to lead the workshops and to feel like a trusted advisor in the client discussion. Those are the moments when you feel you really have an impact.
Apart from having an impact, what else gives you energy in your job?
The main energizer is certainly the contact with the people.
Not only with the customer, but also with your co-workers. And even if the pandemic puts a lot of pressure on the daily interactions - due to working from home - you still feel this vibrant group of people around you. Another key thing is the variety. You get to know many different clients in many different industries. It’s always very refreshing to get your head around another business context. That’s why it’s good to grow your skills & expertise in Talent & Organization. You get to use them in many different scenario's and that will make you an expert!
How does Accenture help you to grow these Talent & Organization skills?
I would say that the best way to grow and build your knowledge is to learn by doing, on your project or business development opportunities. That’s why I like to work on requests for proposals. It’s a great way to collaborate with others and get into their minds when putting together a proposal for a new project. Next, I can only recommend to expand and reach out to your Accenture network, because your network is your potential and can help you grow. But it’s up to you to reach out and be proactive. Again, it’s that same entrepreneurial spirit that will help you grow, just like it will help you build trust with your customers. Finally, there’s an infinite amount of training possibilities. I took for instance a course focused on the design thinking and ideation. This helps me a lot when I’m leading project meetings or brainstorming sessions.
What are the three things a new joiner should have in their backpacks?
First of all, they have to be open minded. Really willing to explore different options in the best interest of your client. Another thing would be the ownership mindset and behavior. You can’t have an impact without taking responsibility. And a third thing - and definitely not the least - is that you better be someone who can really focus on fun and not just on work. Working at Accenture is a work hard, play hard environment, but you need to dare to find your own balance. I love to go for a long lunch or an after work drink from time to time. So let this pandemic be over soon 🙂.