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By: Bryan Walker
Hi, I’m a first year analyst at Accenture Technology Labs (ATL) in Silicon Valley. Many people might be wondering what life is like as an analyst in ATL. What is the average week or day like? What about the average project? I can tell you right now that the only norm about what you’d be doing is that there is none. You have to expect the unexpected and your project work varies nearly every day.
For me, I am currently finishing up a project where I help a company develop a mobile device app. The client is across the country on the east coast, so I have the option of travelling every other week. This is nice, considering the commute to the client is five hours there and six hours back.
When I’m at home in California, I usually get up around 7:30 A.M., get ready, check the day’s news headlines, have a quick breakfast, and then walk to work. I like to get there quick and hit the ground running. I don’t work with anyone offshore, so I don’t get many emails overnight. I am the only person on my project working at my home site, so all of my meetings are phone calls and on the web. I have three status meetings a week with either my client or my Accenture manager, and that is mostly it. The rest of my time is spent working on the project independently.
On my own, I could be doing one of many things: design work, presentations, spreadsheets, coding, testing, planning for the next release, etc. I try and keep my day varied, so I’ll usually spend two to three hours on a specific task and then switch to another one, since there is always a variety of things to do. I guess that is one of the advantages of being on a small project. I get to see it [the project] from beginning to end and am involved in almost every part of it.
When I’m in Virginia, I usually fly out Sunday afternoon and return Thursday or Friday evening. On each flight, I can average three to four hours of work, usually coding or documentation. Weekdays at the client site always seem busier and more hectic than whenever I am at my home office, perhaps because I simply have more client meetings that take up my time. Because I’m working independently every other week, face time is a key factor while I am at the client, and everyone will tell you: building a strong professional relationship with the client really goes a long way.
Monday and Tuesday afternoons are usually booked with meetings regarding status, workplans, design, and defect handling. I usually get off around 6:00 or 6:30 in the evening. I’m not done working then, I just take a dinner break. Two or three nights of the week, I have some extra work to catch up on at the hotel after dinner. It’s mostly coding or design work that I couldn’t get done due to daytime meetings. At the end of the week, I fly back to California to enjoy a relaxing weekend at home.
That’s it! I’m transitioning next week to another project, this one being internal. After six months at the client, all I can say is that it was an awesome experience. I learned a fantastic array of new skills and built a strong relationship with a great client. I can’t wait to see what my next project has in store.
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