Why I pivoted from opera to begin my career at Accenture
August 5, 2021
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.
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.
My advice to Accenture grads;
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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