It would be fair to say I’ve had quite a few highs and lows throughout my career where I’ve struggled to find the right fit for me especially in terms of company culture and training development. I’m now a Security Consultant at Accenture but when I joined via the graduate scheme in 2018, I knew I really needed to be at a company where I could work whilst receiving training and support.
Before joining Accenture, I worked in penetration testing and software development roles – conducting vulnerability assessments, social engineering and phishing attacks on clients, where in essence, I was trying to break their system. It was very technical and the way you were trained at that company was quite restrictive as they taught you a service once and you were just expected to be able to continue working on it by yourself. I struggled with anxiety and imposter syndrome because I didn’t feel like I had the right level of expertise and was expected to go on-site and deliver. Even today it’s still something that I still struggle with; but I find it worthwhile reaching out to people in my support group, including my supervisor and People Lead, for help and advice when I’m struggling.
It was a day in the life story from an Accenture Consultant, on the Accenture Careers website, that first attracted me to work here and when I started to do more research I was really impressed with how big Accenture’s drive was to get women in security and also with the company’s diversity goals.
I’m big on diversity and try to get women into the cybersecurity sector so I do a lot of volunteering and help-out at Assessment Centres and Career Insight Days. I’m also a STEM Ambassador and a Mental Health Ally. Because of my own personal experiences, I find giving back so important because I know what it’s like to be on the other side, looking in. This is why I get so much enjoyment from volunteering, particularly helping students and kids from unprivileged backgrounds realise their potential and what they can achieve. It’s all about them seeing themselves in role models, which can help them with their future aspirations. There’s a saying, I think it goes something like “you can’t be who you can’t see” – and I think it’s so true; it’s important for the next generation to see that the sky’s the limit.
Me supporting ‘Black Lives Matter’
I’m also big on growing my career so I try to fit in quite a bit of training. And, having the support to do that is one of the great things about Accenture. For example, around January 2019, I told my manager that I wanted to go for promotion so asked to be stretched a bit, so he started giving me extra tasks to complete, over and above my current career level. At the same time there was a lot going on at home. As my mum had had an operation and was pretty much bed bound, I was also caring for her. Then, on top of that, I’d decided to do my ISO 27001 auditor qualification! The combination of all this proved to be a really tough time for me and I was getting stressed out. So much so, that I considered pulling out of the exam. At that time, I was working part-time between the client site and the Accenture office. However, I took the time to speak with my manager to explain that I could not juggle everything at once. My manager was great as when he understood what was happening, he said I could just work from home until things had eased up. He also granted me study leave, at quite short notice, to focus on my exam in the week prior. It was with this help and support that I passed the exam and, considering everything that was going on, I’m really proud of that achievement. That’s what I love most about working at Accenture, the focus on support and your work-life balance. There’s an understanding that you do have a life outside of work. That, and simply having your managers listening to you, being there for you and providing support so you can continue to achieve and develop your career.
With my family
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