Stepping out of the Spotlight 
Published: Jun-03-10

The shiny pink Mother's Day card patiently waited on my kitchen counter, signed and ready for mailing, but alas, for all my comings and goings, I forgot to toss it in the mailbox. My mother has always played a large role in my life, setting an amazing example of woman, teacher, wife, and mother, so when I both forgot to send a card and forgot to call on Mother's Day, I was oh-so embarassed. Actions speak louder than words, so rather than apologizing, I decided to show her how special she is.


Of my mom's many wonderful traits is the propensity to put others' needs before her own. To recover from my faux pas, I decided a role reversal was in order; for an entire day, I would put her first. I planned all her favorite things that she would never indulge in alone: a shopping trip in San Francisco and lunch followed by a performance of Wicked at the theater. Escorting her through the subway was a small trial. I'm used to keeping myself safe, but I prioritized her safety, explaining the ticketing and turnstile process as well as purse-theft prevention (setting it on the floor near a doorway isn't such a good idea!) Ensuring she had a view of the bustling metropolis during lunch and a fantastic seat in the theater were vastly easier tasks. My goal was achieved when we returned home and she was, while exhausted, overjoyed with the day's adventure.


We tend to be selfish go-getters in this business, putting our careers and self-interests first, but I cannot convey how satisfying it was to spend an entire day focusing on another's happiness. Similarly, I derive great fulfillment from knowing my client's goals have been attained through a completed project milestone. At Accenture we seek, in each activity we do, to link it back to a tangible business need. While Saturday was about my mom's needs (well-deserved fun!) Monday through Friday are dedicated to our clients.


Individual tasks can feel mundane, especially after the 10th iteration of a given deliverable, but the project as a whole is never so boring; when the perspective is shifted to "what have I done to improve my client's business," each little task is a vital step forward. As buying the tickets to the musical was simple, so is editing spreadsheets. Changing how a company functions to help it achieve high performance? Slightly bigger task! An analysts' work is integral to making the small steps toward a big change - remembering that it is the client in the limelight allows for the greater understanding that their success is our intrinsic reward.


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About the Authors
Semaj Rashad
Semaj Rashad

I am a recent graduate of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Morgan State University and I also studied Mathematics at Bowie State...

Sabrina Trueblood
Sabrina Trueblood

I am a transplant from Miami, FL, living life in Maryland. I graduated in 2008 from Florida State University (the National BCS Champi...

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