Meet our People - Elaine
May 26, 2021
I joined Accenture as part of the Graduate programme in 2013, straight after I finished my Undergraduate degree in Commerce International with French in UCC. I was initially turned down from Accenture after the final round of interviews, and had provisionally accepted an offer from another large company. Accenture then came back to me with a job offer during the summer, which left me with a tough decision. I had already met with the other company and had imagined how it would be to work there, so I was a little torn, but Accenture HR arranged for me to speak to a Graduate and spent time talking me through what a career in Accenture might look like. In the end, I took the job with Accenture (no points for guessing!) because of the variety of interesting technology work it offered. It was somewhat unusual at the time for someone with a Business degree to join the Technology Consulting practise, but I had taken IT modules and found that I enjoyed them the most, so I decided to go for it and learn as much as I could on the job. In hindsight, I think not getting the offer in the first round made me work harder to prove that I did deserve the place, and ultimately accelerated my progression through the company.
I’ve worked on a wide range of things since I joined Accenture, across Public Safety, Health Insurance and Pharmaceuticals. I’ve performed a variety of roles, from my very first as an SQL Developer, to Business Analyst, Tester, Project Manager, Scrum Master, Technical Consultant, Technical Architect, Integration Team Lead, Solution Architect, and not necessarily in that order! I’ve worked on projects that delivered Strategies or Architectures in areas like Connected Health, Enterprise Architecture, and Integrations Architecture, and other projects that delivered applications or platforms providing support for Immigration, Public Safety, Health and Fitness, Data Protection, Insurance Claims, and Clinical Trials. One thing that most of these projects had in common is that they included cutting-edge technologies, and I found that I really enjoyed the challenge of learning the new technologies and helping others to understand how to use them in technical solutions, so that’s become something of a pattern in the work that I do. Right now, I work in as an Integrations Technical Lead, helping my team to design and implement the technical interfaces needed to connect a new Enterprise System to 100+ other systems, leveraging platforms and technologies like Kafka, Kubernetes, Denodo, and Cloud.
My most exciting project was probably in 2016, when we built a Connected Health corporate application and ran a pilot with the client. The application integrated with wearables like Fitbit and Apple Watches to pull health data, and offered features like personal health tracking, team challenges and campaigns, analytics, and an Alexa chatbot. It was both exciting and challenging for two reasons; the application was 100% cloud-hosted, which was a first for the client, and we only had a couple of months to deliver the MVP (Minimum Viable Product), so it was incredibly fast-paced. In the end, it won an award at Oracle OpenWorld, so it was worth the challenges!
You have the chance to learn through training, leading-edge projects and working with senior members of the team who take the time to mentor others.
I currently spend most of my day on calls, and not only due to COVID. The client and Accenture teams involved in the project are spread all over the world, and I often need to get on calls with colleagues in the UK, US, Europe and Asia. I might work with the Solution Architect and Business Analyst Lead on the design for a new integration, with the Development Team to work through implementation details, with the various vendors to discuss issues and feature requests, or I might work by myself for a while, doing some hands-on work configuring Kafka clusters. Outside of client work, I might have a call with the other members of the Cloud First practice to discuss potential projects, or to hear vendors present new products so that we stay up to date with what’s out there. My toddler is usually in childcare during working hours, but he has been known to make an appearance on a call from time to time, adding his two cents on tractors to completely unrelated conversations.
Over the past almost 8 years of working at Accenture, I’ve made some great friends. In fact, I met one of my bridesmaids on my first day working at Accenture, so you can believe me when I say that the people are truthfully the best thing about the company. Even when there are times where the work is hard or things don’t go the way you want them to, if you’re surrounded by good people who pitch in (or at least buy pitchers later), it does make it that bit easier. You also have the chance to learn a lot of new things through training, leading-edge projects and working with senior members of the team who take the time to mentor others coming up the ranks.
If you haven’t worked in the consulting industry or with consultants, see if anyone you know could make an introduction. If you’re in college, come to the Accenture events and speak to people there. There’s really no better way to understand more about this job than to talk to the people who do it.