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May 23, 2018
How I knew Accenture was right for me
By: Scott Zanevra

My career route to Accenture wasn’t the traditional one.

I was born and raised in a small town, just outside Launceston, Tasmania. Straight after high school I decided the best way to get out of Tassie was to join the Navy. Over the next 8 years, the Defence Force took me around the world whilst I transitioned from a young boy into a mature adult with a thirst to discover more. Half way through my defence career, I enrolled in Electrical Engineering with Murdoch University where I managed both a full time career and distance education.

Throughout my adult years, my passion for fitness and interests in health led from body building type training to triathlon events. The challenge of excelling in all three legs; swimming, cycling and running enticed me to accomplish the pinnacle race, Ironman. Read more on my experience here.

My career has never been smooth sailing, juggling the balance between a full time career, studying a bachelor degree whilst maintaining a stringent fitness regime to compete at the World Ironman Championships in Hawaii. All the while, fulfilling life’s expectations; buying and renovating my first home and marrying my girlfriend of 8 years.

As the big day approached to finally compete in my first Ironman world championships on the Big Island of Hawaii; I had a life changing moment whilst sitting in one of the local cafes looking out across the ocean. In between writing lines for my thesis, I met a fellow competitor mentioned he was sponsored by a company called Accenture. It was this simple conversation that lead to my online application.

I’d never heard of Accenture. I had my laptop with me, and as we all do, I googled Accenture. From that very moment was the beginning to my new career direction. The logo grabbed my attention instantly, “Greater Than”. No words were needed yet this simple symbol resonated so deeply with my personal values.

It was the combination of: innovation, technology and people that Accenture offered that really got me excited.

The initial phone call from an Accenture representative came only seven short days later. "Still in Hawaii, I remember being knee deep in the ocean, taking pictures of sea turtles when an Accenture Recruiter called me. I told her where I was and what I was doing. When I look back I was probably way too informal.

But, I got through two interviews and then I was invited to the Accenture Adventure Day.

The Accenture Adventure day is a one-day event for prospective students to get together, meet Accenture people and do some group exercises. It’s a chance to work on real business challenges and get an insight into what Accenture is truly about.

As part of the day, you are interviewed by one of the Managing Directors. It was after this intimate discussion that I knew Accenture was the right place for me.

I was sitting in front of the MD and he had a list of roughly six open roles in Brisbane. I didn’t understand entirely what they were all about but he had a print out in front of him.

He went through each position with me, one by one: First one, “No this role wouldn’t suit you” and crossed it out. Second one: “You’d be no good for this role” and crossed it out. Third role, “No, this isn’t for you either”. This kept going with each position until he got to the last role on the list and said “Yes, I think you’d be pretty good at this one”.

I was flabbergasted. This guy had just analysed my background both personally and work related yet had never spent more than a brief interview with me.

So I asked him: “Do you mind telling me why you said no to all those roles?”. He went through each role and told me that even though my degree might be more aligned with certain positions, I wouldn’t be a good fit due to my interests and personality. He said that although I could learn the technical side, he believes my personality would get bored and I would want to leave.

Then when he read the last job description out, I thought “wow – you’re right, that is me”. It was the integration point between the technology, the people and most importantly continual innovation.

I believe Accenture truly understands people and invest in their people to not only be better communicators but enhance their ability to analyse individuals. I felt the urge to be a part of it. This guy in front of me, had the ability to analyse me with minimal resources. He knew me better than any of the other companies I had applied to or worked for, for that matter.

It is now two years into my long career with Accenture and this profound technique is evident daily. I have complete trust in the company and their senior team, as I still feel very lucky to be in the position I am in today. If you are thinking of a career with Accenture and find yourself in the same position initially. Trust the decision of the senior team as they have had superior training and are the experts in their field. They will fit you into the role to match your personality, skills, interests and values; not the other way round.

My role at Accenture continues to challenge me every day on all levels which is why I love my job. Knowing I have industry leading training and development at my fingertips, working alongside likeminded innovators and industry experts; Accenture is the right workplace for me.

Scott Zanevra joining iron man and posting for a picture with his colleagues

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