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WOMEN: GENDER DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY


From shy Brooklyn girl to the army to the corporate world

By Lisa Piriano, Transaction Processing Associate, Accenture Operations, San Antonio

I grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., in a very dysfunctional household. My mother was not the best role model for me. My parents divorced when I was about five. I was very shy all throughout my school years. I thought that I would never amount to much in my life. I always felt lost. All I knew was what I had lived.

By the time I was 19, I was tired of the rut I felt like I was in. I was ready to get out of my shell and move away from that environment. I was pretty much depressed about where my life was going. My father had wanted me to join the army, and, a lot of my friends were joining the army, so I thought it would be a way out for me. I wasn’t prepared for what was in store for me.

Once I joined the military and arrived at basic training, I was terrified. I didn’t think that I was going to make it through. I kept saying to myself that it was too hard. I was scared of failing and not being able to get past my fears.

As I went through the training, I was surprised at what I was able to do. I was able to run the distance, fire a variety of weapons, road march 12 miles, adapt to diverse situations, and so many more things that make me very proud.

The military was both mentally and physically exhausting, but I handled all these tough situations and events that I thought at one time were too hard for me. Who would have thought that I, a shy girl from Brooklyn, would be able to accomplish this? I found out a lot about myself back then. I was a lot stronger than I thought I was.


“The military gave me a confidence about myself that I never knew I had.”

I learned to challenge myself in every aspect of my life, whether physically or mentally. I am now able to work in the corporate environment using my military skills. The military gave me a confidence about myself that I never knew I had. I am able to work in the corporate world using my discipline and my work ethic to get the job done to the best of my ability.

We always had to work together to accomplish a mission in the army. I was able to meet many people with different personalities and from various cultures. I learned how to approach different types of people. I was able to trust and rely on my fellow soldiers, and it was a good feeling to know that my buddy had my back in whatever situation I went through. We went through it together.

I was a medic in the army. It was such an amazing experience for me. I learned how to practice many different medical procedures and how to work in emergency situations. This experience has helped me adapt to being under pressure and with multi-tasking. I worked in a hospital setting and in the field setting as well. I enjoyed being a medic because I was able to help people who were physically sick and make them feel better. I loved the feeling of being able help those who were hurting.

In the military, I learned not to take the simple things in life for granted. There were so many things I would normally do at home, which I was not able to do in the military. Simple things, like taking a warm shower every day, were just not available all the time. I was not able to see my family every day or allowed to just leave and go home. Basically, I was in the hands of my superiors. So, now I appreciate just living my life and “smelling the roses.” It is just so important to me now to be able to sit back and see this wonderful world and all its incredible beauty.

Now that I am in the corporate world, I have learned to appreciate my job and my co-workers. I am able to communicate effectively with the people around me because of my military experience.

I chose to work at Accenture because of the company’s experience with hiring people from the military and the welcoming environment. Accenture works with the military community in many different areas. We are involved in USO Operation Phone Home and in supporting military spouses with information and resources to help them better understand policies and make their transitions easier. I just attended a suicide prevention workshop to better understand and help military soldiers work through their fears and issues and to see the red flags of a soldier who is suicidal.

I am also able to have a challenging job to keep me going and engaged. Accenture is a global professional services company that deals with a variety of clients. My job requires a lot of multi-tasking. Basically, what I do is mediate between suppliers and our clients to get the best pricing possible on different types of materials and parts for space-related items.


“Being in the military has prepared me for the challenges of the corporate world. I learned to adapt to a variety of situations very well.”

Being in the military has prepared me for the challenges of the corporate world and different types of jobs. I learned to adapt to a variety of situations very well. I believe that if I was able to get through the challenges that I faced in the military, then I can get through anything in life and accomplish it!

The advice that I would give to women transitioning from the military to the corporate world is to use what you have learned in the military. The training that you have learned will apply to the things that you do today. You will be amazed at what you can do when you put your mind in it completely. People in the military have to deal with mentally and physically demanding situations every day. Soldiers can handle anything they face with motivation and discipline. I am very proud to have been a part of the military.

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