Yesterday was the Accenture Challenge at CICS, and my first experience at consulting. There are many things that I learned from this venture, but I will highlight three. 1. How important it is to work as a team. Our team members had a lot of great ideas and I gained insight from every team member. As a consultant, you will be spending hours and hours with your colleagues and it’s important to both listen and build upon each other’s creativity and knowledge. When faced with a panel of executives asking you questions, having a reliable team that supports you is a good feeling. 2. How to work under pressure. As we learned Thursday night, life throws you curve balls. Having a systematic approach and breaking down the details into an outline is a good place to start handling complex issues. Brent, a Senior Manager at Accenture taught us that it’s valuable to have a deadline, even for your outline, to help account for last minute changes. 3. Be confident. It’s crucial to have solid content when responding to an RFP, but it is also equally important how you present that information. Know what you’re saying and understand what the proposal is actually asking of you. A lot of times there will be extra information that is helpful, but not the bottom line. Sometimes there will be limited information that is key to your solution. Being able to make proper assumptions and doing complete research will assist with presenting your solution. I know I said three, but one final piece of wisdom that was learned is: always be prepared to have estimates of cost savings, even if they are percentages!