Great mentors are priceless. This is, perhaps, the biggest takeaway from Accenture Philippines’ Program The Future (PTF): The Accenture Technology Campus Challenge, an annual competition that serves as a platform for students to ideate and build solutions that can make a positive impact in the way we work and live.
For Accenture in the Philippines, it is a platform where its pool of technology experts and volunteer employees are able to share their passion for and in turn, foster a culture of learning and innovation among students through close mentoring and coaching sessions.
PTF is essentially the showcase of Accenture’s commitment to spark innovation among students. In March this year, the company announced a nationwide call for entries for the 6th PTF competition with the theme “Industry + Technology = Better Place.” They received 53 entries from 18 colleges and universities in the country.
The 20 teams that were shortlisted participated at the Innovation Boot Camp, where Accenture technology executives took the students through sessions on data analytics, artificial intelligence and user experience (UX) design.
From that group, the 10 finalists were chosen to compete for the title of Grand Champion of the PTF 2019. Team Visionaries from University of San Carlos emerged as PTF 2019 champion for their Parasight application that aims to help medical technologists detect Amoebiasis more efficiently.
Ambe Tierro — Accenture’s Advanced Technology Centers in the Philippines Lead and Global AI Capability and Delivery Lead — said that the trailblazing program is the key component in the company’s efforts to inspire the next generation of techies. This starts with instilling an innovative culture and mindset among students through the annual PTF competition.
One of the most significant developments in this year’s PTF is the fact that Accenture widened its parameters to encourage student participation. Tierro explained: “In the past, we only accepted entries from third year and fourth year college students. We thought that those in their first and second years would not be able to deal with the pressure,” Tierro revealed. Now, we have included first and second year students. It turned out very well. It goes to show that innovation has no age.”
Of course, these students needed guidance in building their solutions into prototypes. And as Tierro pointed out, Accenture employees volunteered their time and skills to help students shape and bring their ideas into reality.
She added that a big part of the PTF involves teaching and mentoring the students on what they need to know to get their project done. In fact, some of the mentors themselves are PTF graduates who are now paying it forward to equip the future talent with the skills they need to succeed in and outside the classroom.
“More than the recognition, I hope the students will treasure their experiences throughout their PTF journey and that they will cherish the mentoring and insights they have gained from their Accenture mentors,” Tierro added.