Mining a world of opportunity: My exciting life as a consultant
July 18, 2019
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I once spent six months on a remote island off Australia, living in a tin shack as part of a mining community — all for my career as an Accenture consultant.
I needed to dig deep to really understand my client, so I lived the life of a miner.
To say my consulting career within Talent & Organization at Accenture has led to experiences that I never could have dreamed of would be an understatement.
I originally joined Accenture as an analyst in Melbourne, and an interview for a consulting opportunity turned my head. I marry my passions for people and travel, while guiding the world’s leading organizations on their journey to reinvention.
I work in partnership with financial services companies to drive key initiatives that support new employee journey management. I really love helping companies do the best for their people, often during times of cultural or technological change.
It’s about creating a win-win situation: understanding the business vision; then aligning and preparing people in the organization to achieve it.
My job is to help clients develop employees and their experience. I look at how a company can achieve their vision and how to best prepare their people for changes through readiness (E.G., leadership alignment and communication) and adoption (E.G., training and ongoing support) activities.
For one project, I worked with C-suite executives to transform a company’s entire IT organization, which included identifying talent strategies and redefining what the company should look like.
The mining project involved a global roll-out of a new system. One site was resistant to change; my brief was to witness and experience how they worked and help them understand our proposed solution. So, I moved into the mining community; I talked to miners to hear their pain points and got to see the mining process and understand their point of view. By working together with the miners, we co-created a tailored action plan to achieve the project vision.
As I’ve explored organizations in various industries, I’ve visited fascinating places.
I’ll never forget the warnings about crocs and carpet snakes in the Australian mining town. Or how the miners gave me a special pair of purple steel-toe-capped boots; all the miners had colored boots to support a local charity.
I saw lots of Australia. In addition to the outback, I’ve checked out Brisbane and Sydney, taking in the famous Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Then to New York City, and the East Coast, including Boston and Pittsburgh and West Coast locations, such as Phoenix and San Francisco.
Teamwork is important and we all have a responsibility to find commonalities and bring new ideas to the table. On the mining project, I worked with a South African colleague and we bonded straightaway over South African wine.
I’ve always been fascinated by the different ways people communicate. In Melbourne or London, there’s always a bit of small talk before we get down to business, where in America, people can be more direct.
People I work with become friends, and I sometimes even fly off with them for weekend excursions. For many projects, you tend to work on a client site Monday through Thursday—it’s nice to be able to spend Friday working on a beach somewhere!
I’m growing my consulting career and exploring the world; collaborating with clients to improve their employees’ experiences at work is the icing on the cake. It doesn’t get much better than this.
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