After almost 14 years at Accenture, I’m astonished that around 90% of the people working here joined after I did! But change is the norm at Accenture, as the company always seems to focus on what’s next and how to improve. Never feeling like we’re standing still, but instead moving forward all the time, is exciting!
Having qualified as a lawyer with Accenture’s sponsorship, I now practice in Mergers and Acquisitions. I’d done my academic training (degree and post graduate) before joining but undertook the official Solicitors Regulatory Authority training contract on-the-job, which included a secondment to Fieldfisher for the contentious practice part. This was a unique opportunity and one I’d been actively seeking—I just found the right support from the right people at the right time to help me to do it.
I was looking for career growth when a new Transaction Contracting team was formed. The roles in this new team came with detailed and tailored training to help develop the new transactional lawyers, so I was eager to take the opportunity move across, pick up the qualification and start practising. I remained with that team following my admission to the roll of solicitors until April 2017 when I moved to the Mergers & Acquisitions team. I’ve since grown within the Mergers & Acquisitions team and was promoted to Senior Manager in December 2020, which was great recognition for the work I’d been doing. But it was also validating because when you’ve progressed up the levels in one part of the business and then step across, you’re always wondering ‘have I done the right thing?’, so to have that reflected in a promotion is quite satisfying.
I would say the work we do here is at the upper end of what you can do in the market in terms of the scale, the complexity, and the nuances to it. The work is challenging and varied, and you’re typically working with people who are on top of their game. Then there’s the flexibility, the growth opportunities, and the professional and personal support you get from across the organisation.
I have a side-of-desk role as a General Manager with the Accenture African and Caribbean Network (AACN). This title of general manager probably sounds grander than it is, as it really is generally managing and overseeing the events team, the charities team and the orientation and recruitment teams for the network. It’s not completely hands-on as I like to leave the teams to the ideation work, but I’ll connect with each team once or twice a month to talk through where they are and what their ideas, plans and delivery times are, and how I can help.
The AACN provides a great sense of community which is important, but more so than that, it provides a voice. For example, with such a focus on recruitment, retention, and progression, when there are any questions or concerns around those areas if you don’t have a relative group you can ask you won’t get a coherent answer. It really does provide an important role in providing that coherence and commentary for leadership. It also provides a bigger group of relative people that more junior colleagues can speak to if they need reassurance on something—it can often be easier for them to speak to someone from the Network rather than someone who’s not.
Away from the office I’m a keen cyclist and I’ve done the Ride London (which is 100 miles through London and Surrey) a few times now. I also have a 4-month-old little boy who keeps me very busy, which is why the flexibility I mentioned earlier is currently so important for me—being flexible with my time so I can spend time with him. I just love that as long as you get your job done at Accenture there’s no real pressure over the ‘where’, or even to an extent the ‘when’. While I did take the standard parental leave and an additional week when he was born, I’ll be taking a longer period of shared parental leave soon as everyone I’ve spoken to says ‘if you can do it… just absolutely do it… as it’s amazing’. Luckily, Accenture is the type of place you can do these things.
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