Interview: Thomas van Bilderbeek

How does it feel to do a marketing internship at a big consultancy firm? We asked Thomas van Bilderbeek, a Business Administration and Management student at the Haagse Hogeschool, to answer this question. He is working as an Employer Branding intern at Accenture for three months now and can tell us more about this amazing company. 

  1. What exactly are your responsibilities at Accenture?

I am part of our employer branding team. As the team only consists of me and my supervisor, I have a lot of responsibilities. My job consists of project management, campaigning, creating landing pages and so on. It is a wide variety of projects which is amazing, as it allows me to identify what I like and what I dislike. We work closely with our marketing department, which consists of 16 people.  An example of an event that I organized, was an event to attract more women in the business environment. We try to have equal amount of men and women. Still, we are looking for quality, so we don’t select women above men.

  1. What does a day at the office look like?

A day in the office is very flexible. Next to having flex-working places, you are not being monitored or watched either, you can leave or go whenever you want. Something that is very structured within our organization is the weekly meetings. I have meetings with people from different departments for different events that we organize. I really like those meetings, because you are in contact with your colleagues and other stakeholders.

  1. Why did you want to work here specifically at Accenture? What appealed to you?

I have always been very interested in marketing, strategy and consulting. I like the idea of working for a big company as you have many opportunities for growth. There is a large pool of professionals that you can learn from, as well as resources to educate yourself. Typically, like many students, I was initially attracted to big companies that are known for their marketing like Heineken and Redbull. However, after meeting Accenture I quickly realized that working for this company would be an amazing challenge and opportunity to orientate and grow.                                                                            

  1. What do you love most about your job?

I cannot pinpoint one thing, but I definitely love the feeling of accomplishment I get from many of my projects. Also, the combination of responsibility and the different projects you get to manage makes me very enthusiastic about Accenture. Another thing I love is the people. You get to work with amazing, driven, talented people on a daily basis. These people inspire me to become better at what I do, every single day.

  1. Are there new things you have learned during your time here?

Absolutely. I learned a lot about the importance of organizing your work properly. Additionally, I have picked up and improved on a lot of skills: Creative thinking, marketing skills, communication skills, how to brief things to management. I think a lot of these soft skills are important in a commercial environment.

  1. What is the biggest challenge you faced until now?

I am responsible for a pretty big internal project. I do this together with another intern, but I am the lead. The project is called the refer project. During this project employees can recommend people to the HRM department. Through this there will be a larger flow of new CVs. Leading a project in a new environment is very challenging, as you do not get a template on how to organize such a campaign. You have to really think things through, know how to get what you need and be creative in your solutions.

  1. Accenture is a huge corporation with lots of employees. Is this in any way noticeable in the culture of the organization?

Yes and no. You notice that there are a lot of people when you attend webcasts, or when you realize the number of tools we have to educate ourselves and such. But I feel like I know a lot of people around the office, even though quite a lot of people work here.

  1. What kind of activities are organized within the team?

Next to regular meetings, to align everything, we also organize parties and such. From social drinks to dinners. Often, these activities are organized with everyone from Accenture Amsterdam and not just our team.

  1. What makes working for Accenture different than working for other companies?

The company has the mindset of ‘’work hard, play hard’’ – which is very American. On the other hand, the power distance is quite low. I have had great conversations with senior people. You learn a lot from these people.

  1. What makes an internship at Accenture valuable for a student?

Accenture is considered to be a very valuable employer to have on your CV. They treat you like actual employees, give you room for initiative and make sure that you develop yourself. At the beginning of your internship you get assignments to see what your strengths and weaknesses are. Your first tasks will be selected based on your strengths, so that you further develop those characteristics. After a couple of weeks you will get tasks that also help you improve your weaknesses. 

  1. What are the chances for someone who has done an internship at Accenture to get a future job here?

If you perform well, the chances are pretty good. Of course, it depends on open vacancies. Recruiting is a quite expensive process, so it makes sense that they would want to keep someone that already has proven that he or she fits in.

  1. What kind of qualities would the perfect candidate for Accenture have?

Eagerness to work hard and learn. You also have to be really good under pressure. This is no internship where you get people coffee and do nothing. You have to be prepared to take on many tasks at the same time. Being good at communicating is also a major pro. Last but not least, being able to take feedback/criticism and grown from it is something that is extremely important. You are bound to make mistakes, as you are only a student. You will learn from these.

  1. What kind of tips do you want to give to the students who are really interested and want to apply for an internship or a job?

Make sure that you write a kick-ass application letter. It doesn’t matter if they do not ask for it; just write one and send it together with your CV. Make sure you have something that makes you stand out and shows your ‘’work hard’’ attitude.

Interested in working at Accenture? Take a look at our careerportal