By Kate Jung, Foster Undergraduate and inaugural Accenture Student Consultant of the Year (2016)
On Wednesday, May 3rd, the Foster School of Business celebrated Accenture Day, acknowledging the world’s largest consulting firm for its generous support and involvement in our community.
It isn’t surprising that Accenture, with its support of various student organizations, case competitions, and classes at Foster, hires more students from the University of Washington than any other institution nationwide.
Approaching PACCAR Hall that morning, the pathway was decorated in Husky colors – purple and gold – and bold floor decals highlighting fun facts about Accenture and its relationship with the Foster School. The center of action was an exciting array of booths at Jiambalvo Hearth where students could interact with Accenture recruiters and representatives, connecting over an array of colorful pastries, company swag, and photo booth snaps. The Microsoft HoloLens booth was a particularly engaging attraction, layering fun augmented reality cartoons over the typical PACCAR scene.
At lunchtime, students, faculty and staff gathered in Anthony’s Forum to hear Gil Wootton, Office Managing Director at Accenture Seattle and U.W. alum, deliver a keynote presentation about Accenture and its vision for the future of technology. From its close alliances with the foremost cloud providers in the world to its deep investment in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Accenture is at the forefront of technology innovation; as Gil put it aptly, “Innovation is part of our DNA.”
The firm’s dedication to intellectual curiosity can also be seen in its generous support of the Foster School of Business and its students. What I found particularly meaningful was Accenture’s commitment to the local Seattle community. This year, Accenture provided the U.W. Consulting and Business Development Center with its largest endowment gift from a corporation to date, investing simultaneously in student development and entrepreneurship in underserved communities.
Later that afternoon, design and innovation consultancy Fjord (part of Accenture Interactive) hosted an intimate group session for several MBA and undergraduate students on the topic of design thinking. Through an interactive, hands-on design challenge, the representatives from Fjord taught the group to learn by doing and place humans firmly at the center of innovation.
Accenture Day at the Foster School of Business was an inspirational event that demonstrated the firm’s commitment to preparing the next generation of business leaders for a demanding new digital world. Through a variety of engaging activities that showed students the digital future and their place in it, Accenture inspired the Foster community and left students excited about business and its intersection with technology.