Leah Summers recently returned to Accenture after an 18-month stint working client-side for an educational institution. Here’s her story about why she decided to return to consulting. 

Sometimes, what you think you want and what you actually want aren’t the same thing. After uni, I joined the Accenture grad program and spent five years with the Health & Public Service team in Brisbane getting an incredible range of experience across a range of government organisations. I got great exposure to complex projects with a focus on providing change management services for business and technology transformations. It was a great way to start my career and I loved it. 

But then, I started to wonder if there was something else out there for me. I’d worked at Accenture for five years, straight out of uni. It was the only professional role I knew and I questioned whether consulting was the right place for me long-term.

 Having fun with my team at a training session

Taking a new step
And so that’s how I ended up taking an in-house role at a higher education institution with a focus on change management and stakeholder engagement. 

But then, COVID-19 hit and my role shifted in focus. I was still focused on change management; upskilling staff in digital technologies for online learning and planning communications in response to the pandemic. But the programs I’d been hired to manage were put on hold and it didn’t feel like the same opportunities were there as the education sector faced the considerable challenges triggered by the pandemic.  

Taking a backwards step to move forward
Earlier this year, a former Accenture colleague gave me a call. “We’re hiring, do you want to come back?” 

It didn’t take me long to decide that the answer was yes. I did have a moment of wondering if it was a step backwards, but I quickly realised that I was excited by the opportunity to return to Accenture. I already knew all the things I loved about working at Accenture, so my overwhelming feeling was optimism.

Optimism for returning to structured, project-based work with clear outcomes and deliverables. Optimism for work across a variety of sectors. Optimism for the training opportunities and continuous learning that is part of being with a fast-paced, global organisation like Accenture that is at the forefront of so many innovations. I felt confident that it was the right choice. 

7 reasons why I came back to Accenture and you should join too 

  1. Great people: The Talent & Organisation group that I’m a part of is a friendly, welcoming and collaborative environment. Our consulting work helps to shape people’s experiences at work and that’s a really positive thing to be a part of. I have also been lucky enough to meet and work with people who I now consider as some of my closest friends.
  2. Built for learning: Accenture’s a great place to start or progress your career. There’s so many opportunities to learn quickly, whether that’s through formal programs or interesting project work. You can learn things outside of the areas you are working in too. If you’re willing to jump in with two feet and shape your own experience, Accenture is the place for you. And while Accenture is known as a powerhouse provider of technology services, you definitely don’t need to come in with a technology background to thrive and add value. I’m also looking at doing an MBA and I know Accenture will support me in that pursuit.
  3. Breadth and depth: The suite of things that Accenture helps clients with is so broad. The scale and size of projects means there’s always interesting and engaging work. For example, I’ve come back and am working on a role in the resources sector, an area that’s new to me and I’m excited to learn more about.
  4. A real impact: Accenture works with some of the biggest organisations and government departments. This means your work touches the lives of real people, every day. I love knowing that I’m making a real difference to people.
  5. Global opportunities: Training and networking events with global colleagues, as well as working on international teams, brings people together from across Accenture locations. You’re making connections across the broader organisation, not just in Australia.
  6. Hard work is celebrated and balanced out: Yes, consulting can involve long hours and hard work, especially as projects reach critical milestones. But Accenture always makes you feel like your efforts are seen and appreciated. It’s motivating to work hard, get to the end of the project and celebrate with your team. But on the flip side, when you don’t need to be doing those long hours, people will be protective of your time and personal life, encouraging you to step away from the computer, take a break and recharge. You’re helped to find balance and encouraged to be your authentic self.
  7. Support and mentorship: Accenture has a strong culture of mentoring, with senior staff assigned junior coworkers to mentor and coach as they work towards career goals. It’s a great way to give back to people and advocate for them as they progress through the opportunities Accenture provides.

 If you’re looking for a career with interesting work across the globe that helps to create better customer experiences and workplace processes that are focused on people, the Talent & Organisation group at Accenture is the place for you. Reach out to discuss current opportunities. 

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Leah Summers

Manager - Strategy & Consulting, Talent & Organisation

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