May 11, 2018
5 Tips for Grads on Pivoting Early in Your Career
By: Olivia Spratt

My first pivot was after Uni.

I decided not to pursue a technical career despite my degree. I studied Biomedical Engineering and felt the options for an exciting career was limited unless I continued further study or a PHD.

Instead, I looked for a company that could give me broad exposure to a range of career options and Accenture seemed like the perfect fit.

I applied to Accenture Technology because I had more of a grounding in that area. However, I soon realised that Consulting is where I wanted to be. And that was career pivot number two.

Formally making the switch from technology to consulting was fairly pain free and I’m now really happy in my role. Here are some tips for grads who are unsure on their career direction.

Research all the options

Before you apply to Accenture, look into all the career options that are available within the company. We work across so many industries and so many streams that I think there is something that would appeal to most people who are considering consulting. Do your research into the different areas and see what really sparks your interest.

Don’t panic

If you’re not placed in an area or project that you like at the start – don’t panic. At Uni I did a lot of coding and really enjoyed it but I knew I didn’t want to spend my career doing that. When I joined the technology department at Accenture, I told myself that if I didn’t enjoy the work there are plenty of other options to explore.

Talk to as many people as possible

No matter how much research you do, you can’t figure out for sure which area you’ll be suited to. Therefore, it’s good to talk to people to get a feel for each department. I made a big effort in my first few months to go on coffee meetings with people from consulting and from technology to ask them about their career, what they were working on and gauge who they were as people. It became clear to me that I could better utilise my skills in the consulting track.

Olivia Spratt smiling with a friend.

Voice your interests early

Have an idea about what you want and make sure people know it - even at the recruitment stage. Because I had done biomedical engineering I was offered a position in H&PS but I was much more interested in Products. I made that clear from the recruitment stage and asked if they had something else. Accenture will do what they can to place you in the area that suits your interests and strengths. Just because you’ve done engineering doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go into technology.

Accenture encourages diverse teams

I’m now a Management Consulting Analyst aligned to the Products area. Currently I am on the change management team of a large-scale transformation project for an Australian food and beverage company. I do a wide range of things day to day, but my main task is liaising between our offshore team, who are building the training materials, and the client here in Sydney. Accenture encourages the benefits of diverse teams and there isn’t any one recipe for who should be thrown into the mix. Although my skills are in technology – because of my background, I’m the analytical one on the team. It’s been useful to have an analytical brain to bring to the team and the company understands that diverse backgrounds make better teams.

A group photo of Olivia Spratt with her team during Accenture's Christmas party.

I feel really optimistic about my career journey. I love the fact that I can bring my tech skills into the consulting field - it’s nice to know that all of my time toiling over spreadsheets and macros at Uni was worth it. And although I’m happy now I will continue to explore options and figure out what sort of work is the best fit for me. Fortunately, I know that Accenture is a great place to be to figure that out, as I am afforded the opportunity to do wide and varied work.

Olivia Spratt enjoying her outdoor vacation.

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