Madeleine Werka always wanted to be an opera singer and was stoked to be accepted to study Opera at Monash University in Melbourne. So, why did she apply to be a graduate at Accenture?

Opera was my first love, but when I got to my third year at Monash University, I realised my passion might not be my best career option. Opera is incredibly commercial and competitive. You have to constantly push. It’s so intense – and the salary isn’t great. 

Singing has always been a passion and I still find time to perform today.

I made the heart-breaking decision (lots of tears!) to keep my passion for opera as a personal practice and pivot towards a career where I could see true long-term potential for success. So, I took a deep breath and did a Master of Business (HR) at Monash University.

When it came to applying for graduate jobs in the business world, I did interviews with many different consulting firms. Accenture stood out to me because it had what I wanted in a community.

I’m a very social person, so at the final intake interview when I experienced firsthand how enthusiastic and friendly the Accenture team were, I knew this was the kind of atmosphere I wanted to be a part of. It was a noticeable point of difference from what I’d experienced at interview elsewhere.

I started as an Accenture grad in 2020, deep in the first Melbourne lockdown, and have been mostly working virtually ever since. My first project was with a multinational resources company, which was transforming its HR function. I loved how the project team became my family. I was in charge of organising social events – including an in-person Christmas catch up. I made so many friends and learnt a lot about budgeting and scheduling.

After 10 months, while I loved my team, I was ready for a new challenge. I spoke to my Project Lead and asked if there were any other opportunities I could take on. As a result, he placed me on a project developing a 5-year plan for the same client, which was super-interesting.

There is always a new opportunity on the horizon at Accenture if you are willing to take a chance. So, when I saw my dream job advertised, Talent Strategy Analyst for Accenture HR, despite not being confident I’d get it, I applied anyway and got the job!

I absolutely love working in HR. Our job is to find and support the great humans who work at within our wonderfully inclusive workplace here at Accenture.  I’m proud that we’re going to get to 50:50 gender equality earlier than other companies and I’m super-impressed about the way we actively support and include people with disabilities. This is close to my heart as my partner, Sam, has multiple disabilities. Yet he’s the smartest person I know, a great asset to the legal firm where he works, as well as being the ultimate support for me. His health struggles have made him into an amazing person, which is why it is so important that companies like Accenture look beyond a disability and see that person’s character, talent and heart.

I’m inspired by the Dolly Parton quote, “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving a new one”. I feel this reflects my career journey so far. In the relatively short time I’ve been at Accenture, I’ve held various roles, learnt a lot from each, and now here I am! Excited to continue to learn, grow, and climb the HR ladder and advance my career in this interesting world.

Sam and I have been together for 7 years and we have pretty much grown up together from university to moving in together and now settling in our chosen careers.

My advice to Accenture grads;

  1. Early on, find and connect with your support team; Your HR contacts and career counsellor. Form a strong relationship with those people so, if you need them, you’re comfortable reaching out.
  2. Network as much as you can. Organise coffee catch ups with people in your grad cohort and general network. You often find out about projects just chatting to people. You never know who needs help until you ask.
  3. Don’t worry if your first project doesn’t hit your sweet spot. Give it a shot, roll with the punches, and learn as much as you can. If you really don’t like it, after you’ve given it a good go, talk to your Lead and ask for a change.
  4. Set professional boundaries. At Accenture, we work hard, but that doesn’t mean you have to be on call 24/7. It’s OK not to respond immediately if someone emails you at 11pm! Accenture people work in all time zones. They understand you may not be at your desk when they are.
  5. Try to find enjoyment in every aspect of what you do. Life is about balance and working at Accenture they do drive home the idea that work is both fun and challenging. If you can find the fun in everything you do, it will make your first year so enjoyable.

If you are looking to start a career that you can sing about, come reimagine what’s possible for your future with Accenture's Graduate Program. Learn more about our Student Oppertunities.


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Madeleine Werka

Analyst - Human Resources

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