BBA Student Experience: Accenture Innovation Challenge

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September 19, 2013 by texasbbacareerservices

Accenture blogF13Betty Wang
Major: Supply Chain Management
Grad Year: Spring 2014

Why did you decide to participate in the Accenture Innovation Challenge?
AMC Innovation Challenge caught my attention for 2 reasons: 1) Previous Accenture events that I attended such as the Accenture Leadership Series gave me a memorable impression of the company and I wanted to continue to stay involved and 2) It seemed very different from the typical case competition you see around McCombs. You actually get to spend the day working on the case in the Accenture Austin office with consulting professionals just minutes away to help you with any questions or offer any advice.

Who was the client you helped and what was their issue?
Our client was America’s Promise Alliance, a non-profit organization that facilitates a nationwide network of individuals, communities, and organizations working to ensure the well-being of American youth. APA was struggling to increase the engagement of its 400+ business, community, and other organizational partners. There wasn’t a structure in place to provide accountability or incentives, which led to varying levels of involvement. APA needed to develop a communication and collaboration strategy to enable its members to achieve a 90% high school graduation rate by 2020.

What type of solution did your team develop to solve the client’s issue?
To tackle the lack of involvement issue, our team came up with the idea of creating empowerment groups in which members of APA would be directly paired up with schools that were deemed as drop out factories. Events such as a mentor-mentee program and company visits would establish a strong partner-school relationship, resulting in partners being greater stakeholders of drop out factories. The communication and collaboration struggles were addressed with the creation of an internal enterprise network using a social software called Yammer. With functionalities that resembled a more professional version of Facebook, Yammer would bridge the communication gap between APA members.

What did you learn from the Innovation Challenge?
This AMC Innovation Challenge was the first real case competition that I did, which was a huge learning experience in itself. I learned what it felt like to work under pressure, but also to not let that pressure clog any creative flow. I learned that nerves can get the best of any of us, no matter how great of a speaker we think we are. I learned that communicating your ideas are just as important as coming up with them (not to mention some cool PowerPoint tricks I picked up from my teammates). And finally, I learned that all those things mixed together – the pressure, the time crunch, the nerves – was absolutely thrilling; I learned that I am interested in consulting.

What advice would you give to future UT teams competing in the Innovation Challenge?
Think outside the box because often times the most obvious answer is not the best answer. When it came time for Accenture professionals to give feedback to the teams, Andrew Vo, one of the Managing Directors, said that our team stood out because we didn’t just throw money at the problem. Having a creative solution that tackled the root of the issue was really what helped our team become one of the University Finalists. Also, don’t forget to make some laughs along with way. Win or lose, celebrate with your team over dinner afterwards. Daniel and Vincent, Barchi will forever be our place – Nova Consulting love. Every team should have their own Barchi.

Thanks and Hook ‘Em!

The deadline to apply for this year’s Accenture Innovation Challenge is less than one week away! Please make sure your application is submitted by September 23rd. If you have any questions about the Challenge or the application process, please contact Alexis Perez (alexis.c.perez@accenture.com).

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