Adam Essabih-Eddafali is a Sales Analyst. His blog is part of our side of desk series. We’ve invited three colleagues to share their experiences of side of desk work at Accenture. Side of desk is what we call projects and work that are done alongside our day-to-day client work. Everyone at Accenture works on these throughout their career. They cover a wide range of interests; everything from sustainability to emerging technology, inclusion and diversity to internal events. Read the blogs to get a glimpse of what current analysts do and how their side of desk work has contributed to their career journey.
Since joining Accenture, I’ve organised and taken part in several side of desk projects with a particular focus on social mobility, mental health and charitable causes. I come from a lower socio-economic background and have had my fair share of mental health struggles. So, I know first-hand just how important and impactful these initiatives can be. For example, I’ve had the chance to speak on several internal panels with other employees from similar backgrounds, helping to ensure the wider Accenture community are able to relate to people from all backgrounds.
I joined Accenture through the Princes Trust charity. They ran a two-week workshop for young people out of work to develop employability skills at Accenture. The skills I learnt and the people I met in those two weeks changed my entire life, setting me up for a career in consulting and technology. Now, I mentor people on the programme myself as well as other junior Accenture people! It’s really rewarding that things have come full circle, and I’m able to give back.
What do I do?
You’re probably wondering what all these side of desk projects that I have been a part of are. Some of them are simple things, like asking my colleagues to bring in their old smart clothing. I then arranged for this to be donated to a charity that provides suits to people who can’t afford them for job interviews. I know first-hand how important this is; when I went to my first job interview, I had to wear white air force trainers because I didn’t have my own smart shoes! With the support of Accenture’s Social Mobility team, I’ve been able to continue and we’re in the processes of setting up formal links with the charity to install permeant donation boxes in our office and link them into our recruitment process.
Earlier on I mentioned mental health is an uphill battle for a lot of people. My team and I decided we would take on a physical challenge to raise money for the mental health charity Mind. We climbed the three tallest mountains in the UK together in 24 hours and raised over £8,000 for Mind in the process. It was an incredible experience that I will remember for the rest of my life and I’m still good friends with some of the people I climbed with.
Accenture empowers me to make a difference, and my team are always willing to pitch in to help donation drives, with Accenture matching donations. We’ve also established a Social Mobility team focused on enabling people from backgrounds like me to succeed. We’ve slept rough together for an evening to raise £4,800 for Action for Children, for example. My team and I put together a cookbook that contained recipes from different countries around the world, and donated the cost of ingredients to my local food bank raising over £350. I’ve also run 5K and 10Ks with an Accenture team to raise money for Save the Children, fundraising enough to buy 350 malnourished children three meals a day for a year. Next up I’m planning to take on an amateur boxing fight to raise money for Mind!
Accenture also published my story in a book focused on helping young people with troubled backgrounds. Profits from the book are split between two non-profits, TG Consulting, who are focused on helping disadvantaged young people get into the workplace and the Calzy Foundation, which focuses on young people’s mental health. The book is called “The Truth Behind the Filter”, and our Social Mobility team funded the publishing of the entire book. The support couldn’t get any better!
Finally, I’ve been nominated for our internal recognition awards, called the Greater Than Awards, for several years running, and regularly receive recognition for everything I’m part of.
Shaping my career
In my current role I work within Technology Sales, and this lets me leverage my inter-personal skills to build long lasting connections with senior stakeholders in a wide range of companies. My role enables me to regularly interact with the C-suite level at other enterprise firms and negotiate high-value deals.
I first joined Accenture as an apprentice, straight after my first year of college as a mechanic. I studied a technology level 3 BTEC and maths functional skills while also working full-time. I then started a Digital and Technology Solutions degree, attending university every Monday and working the rest of the week. Accenture’s Apprenticeship programme has given me a solid foundation for my future career. The mix of going to university while working full-time meant I could learn to navigate the workplace. My teammates would always be willing to chip in and help me with my development modules too. I was able to graduate with no student debt, a full-time job and clear progression. I’ve received four promotions since I graduated university and see myself here for the foreseeable future.
Having been an apprentice, I’ve tried every sort of role in Accenture, giving me a broad toolset of skills. Accenture provides a training budget for all people, and in my time here I’ve achieved numerous professional certifications in a wide range of technologies such as Salesforce, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. I’ve become familiar with programming languages such as Python and SQL while working as a developer, and project management methodologies like agile while working in project management. Working as a tester taught me automated testing languages like Selenium. There are countless available paths at Accenture and a place for everyone to fit!
Taking part in and organising these initiatives has helped me develop both personally and professionally and learn some key life skills. When I started all of this, I had no clue how I would go about fundraising, creating content that would engage people or even just getting my message out to the world. Nowadays all of this feels like second nature, and I’ve become much more confident as a result. I’ve also been able to build an amazing and long-lasting network across the professional world through a shared passion of charitable work.
My best advice is to find something you’re passionate about and run with it. A passion project won’t feel like a chore, and you won’t get tired of it. You’ll be able to look back and reflect on all of the positive things you’ve been a part of and memories you created! We have great people here and they’ll support you to achieve whatever you want to.
Adam is an Ecosystem Sales Specialist at Accenture who joined us through the degree apprentice route after initially training as a mechanic in college. Adam graduated with a 1st Class Honours in BSc Digital & Technology Solutions. Outside of work, Adam enjoys football, boxing, going to the gym and cars! Adam has also recently published a book, as well as been the most junior Accenture employee nominated for our Greater Than Ever awards.