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Hi, I’m Zandra, and I’m a specialist with the Corporate Development and Transaction Service (CDTS) team at Accenture. Simply put, I provide costing and pricing support to our internal teams on high-value and complex projects involving Accenture’s largest clients. I also act as a business advisor to help the Sales team shape deals that meet the client’s value propositions and ensure internal profitability while winning out the competition.

I was an external auditor before joining Accenture, a role which held relatively different challenges from what I’m doing now. Here as a CDTS specialist, I enjoy a very collaborative role where I get to interact with people from across different teams – from solutions architects, to sales leads and with our business leaders too. And with a fast-paced and exciting work environment, you will learn some tricks along the way on managing your time efficiently.

Shaping invaluable learning experiences

My most memorable project was also one of the most hectic but worthwhile experiences I’ve had in Accenture. We were engaged with this multi-tower Applications Infrastructure/ Infrastructure Outsourcing (AO/IO) deal as part of the client’s internal effort to reduce cost. It was right before Singapore entered a full lockdown due to COVID-19 and the entire bid process then transited to a remote working arrangement.

As the process got on, things became decidedly more multi-layered and complicated, as the client began to request for more details, as well as savings on specific items and different contractual terms. The challenge was to find the optimal balance between fulfilling client’s value propositions while ensuring that the deal made business sense for us. That means I had to interact with our Sales team and take their diverse opinions into account, while crunching numbers on-the-fly to articulate the exact trade-off between client-facing optics and internal financial metrics.

While there were times where I was stretched out of my comfort zone, it was an invaluable experience with many key takeaways! I got to be part of the team that shaped the deal and observed how the deal evolved through the multiple submission cycles.

A culture that shapes me

What first attracted me to Accenture was their emphasis on equality. It is mostly uncommon to see women in the top management of big firms, let alone a technology-driven company. And having joined Accenture, I got to see first-hand how Accenture is purposefully working towards accelerating equality for all.

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With my fellow CDTS colleagues from around the globe back in 2019 

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I’ve also learnt that Accenture aims to reward you with unique experiences and learning opportunities. In my time here, I got to interact with stakeholders around the region, and even got the opportunity to attend a new joiners’ school in Bangalore, where I met fellow CDTS colleagues from around the world. And because Accenture actively fosters a spirit of learning and self-improvement, my team at CDTS regularly carries out hub training activities to hone our technical knowledge and soft skills, such as storytelling and personal branding.

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Just last year, we organised a fun Shark Tank-esque training activity (while adhering to all social distancing protocols with regards to Covid-19), where we had to ‘sell’ our business ideas to ‘investors’, like in the show. The goal was to improve our presentation skills and business acumen. Certainly a fun way to learn!

Shaping a cohesive team

Without a doubt, I count myself blessed to have very supportive colleagues, mentors and leaders. Whenever I face difficulties, I know I can rely on their experience for sound advice. They’re very willing to guide me too!

And as cliché as it sounds, my team knows how to work hard and play hard. Though deadlines and submissions can really stretch us, when all that’s done and dusted, we’re not averse to heading out for drinks to kick back and catch up with each other. On top of that, we also enjoyed bonding sessions such as birthday celebrations and team activities like badminton or trekking (before the pandemic, of course). All these initiatives really worked to promote a strong culture of togetherness across my team.

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Our small-group team-bonding outing

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And even amidst the social distancing measures of COVID-19, we still made the effort to regularly connect with each other. Be it virtual lunch and happy hour sessions over Microsoft Teams, or meeting up in limited groups – such as that time five of us met up to do some inline skating and roller skating, where we had serious fun skating along to retro music!

Shaping me as a person

I’ve been playing badminton recreationally since young. It’s a fun way to keep fit and catch up with friends. So, when I found out during the New Joiners Orientation that Accenture had a Special Interest Group (SIG) for badminton, I naturally jumped at the chance to join.

I’m also part of the Whiskey Appreciation SIG. This SIG is coming to two years old, and I came to join it through my boss. When he heard that someone was planning to start this new SIG, knowing that I have an interest in whiskey appreciation, he asked me whether I was keen to join.

Ultimately, I’m proud to be part of this amazing family. As part of the CDTS team, we are always at the forefront of the firm’s most transformational and ground-breaking deals. Though the work can get challenging, it is often rewarding as you look back on the fruits of your labour, and on the positive impact your work has on the client and even your colleagues. And of course, it helps that Accenture offers a fun, vibrant environment to work in, and your colleagues are supportive and helpful.

Take your first step towards a fulfilling career. Learn more about our career opportunities here.

 

 

Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be used in place of consultation with our professional advisors. This document makes reference to marks owned by third parties. All such third-party marks are the property of their respective owners. No sponsorship, endorsement or approval of this content by the owners of such marks is intended, expressed or implied.

Copyright © 2021 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture and its logo are registered trademarks

Zandra Chng

Corporate Development and Transaction Service Specialist

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