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Meet:

Mark S.

Name

Mark S.

Role

Consultant Analyst

Location

Canada

Area of Interest

Consulting Careers

Career Area

Technology Architecture

Education

Bachelor of Commerce, McGill University
"Be flexible and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.​"

WHAT I DO

I am currently working on a system-wide SAP CORE Banking implementation at a large financial institution in Calgary, Alberta. I first joined the project in early January of 2010 as a testing analyst and, through a valuable mentorship, I quickly became a subject matter expert in the Deposits/Account Management area. Today, I am a Delivery Area Lead within the Deposits/Account Management work stream and manage a team of both Accenture and client resources. My team is responsible for developing test scenarios which are designed to ensure that the banking system is working as it should… In a sense, we are trying as hard as we can to break the system so that there are no surprises when they go-live next year.

DAY IN MY LIFE

I often feel like the movie Up in the Air is a narrative of my own life: Although I am based in Montreal, I commute to Calgary every week so I can work at the client site—when my friends complain about a long or tiresome commute, I remind them that I travel 6,000 km to get to and from my office each week!

Although it sounds like a cliché, there is no typical day at Accenture. My day usually starts with a Delivery Area Lead meeting to give team status updates and resolve any outstanding issues. The rest of my day’s responsibilities include managing a team of Accenture and client resources to drive test scenario development, supporting client resources during test execution, and attending a lot of meetings. Since I‘ve managed to become somewhat of a Deposits/Account Management guru, I've also conducted SAP training for the other work streams. The evenings are never dull either… Since this project has about 75 traveling Accenture resources, you would usually find me out for dinner/drinks/movies/night skiing/hiking with colleagues.

OUTSIDE THE OFFICE

Travel, travel, and more travel. Anyone who has ever met me would agree that I can’t be in one place for too long. I love the excitement that comes with exploring a new destination and its culture. To date, I have explored more than 30 countries on five continents… I have even been to Antarctica—which I highly recommend to anyone who has the guts to trek down there! In addition to travel, I enjoy sailing and recently completed a 10-day American Sailing Association certification in the British Virgin Islands and am also in the midst of completing my PADI dive certification. When I am not traveling (for work or otherwise), I spend most of my free time hanging out with my friends, family, and two dogs.

I am also extremely active in Accenture-led initiatives such as Accent on the Community, an initiative that matches student teams with local non-profit organisations so they can undertake pro-bono consulting projects. Earlier this year, I served as an advisor to a team of six students and am now part of the organizing committee.

MY ADVICE

  • Work hard… but don’t forget to play hard. Enjoy yourself, make new friends, share new experiences, and try not to get too consumed by your work!
  • Maintain your network. Accenture employs some of the smartest people I have ever met.: maintain relationships with them because they are the gateway to opportunities both inside and outside the firm.
  • Be flexible and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Many of your opportunities at Accenture are based on luck and good timing. You may get an unexpected phone call on a Friday asking you to start on a project in an unfamiliar industry or in a foreign city the following Monday. Just go with it!