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Jenna Nowson
Managing Director, Management Consulting, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada​
August 01, 2019

How my Accenture Family Helped me Grow my Consulting Career

It may seem strange to say that more than 480,000 people at a company can be called a family, but that’s what we are.

People at Accenture genuinely care for and support one another—professionally and personally. You can reach out to pretty much anyone in the firm, at any time, about anything. People are there for you.

That’s certainly been my experience throughout the last 15 years, as I’ve built a successful career and have learned to balance work and personal life as my family has grown along the way.

A family network
I was originally part of a group of more than 60 analysts in London, and then 12 of us moved on to collaborate on a project in Newcastle. I still consider some team members from that group among my closest friends.

When I moved to Canada, my new colleagues became new friends. I never felt out of place, even though I baffled them with my English idioms. They supported me along the way, from understanding the subtleties of the local culture to balancing work and family life as I made my way to Managing Director.

There are so many communities and networking events to take advantage of within Accenture. If you’re interested in topics from change management to artificial intelligence (AI) or blockchain, it’s easy to hook up with like minds. And our internal schools offer something for everyone, from experienced hires to the Talent and Organization School, which covers my area of expertise.

We also offer unparalleled training and development opportunities, which are great networking opportunities. I can go to a training event and come away with 15 new contacts to look up next time I need an expert.

I’ve also been lucky to participate in our Leadership Development Program, which has helped me grow my knowledge of the technological side of the business.

Mentors and career counselors
I feel I can connect with any person in the firm if I need help getting a handle on any given topic. Hand on heart, it only takes a couple of clicks to get hold of a world-class expert who’s only too happy to help with a particular client challenge.

Our Employee Resource Groups help people to fit in and create safe spaces where people feel open to be their true, authentic selves, and I’ve benefited from some brilliant mentors and career counselors.

I was once in a role working 100 percent from home, and it turned out that it just wasn’t the right fit for me. My counselor stuck her neck out for me, using her network to help me navigate a change. Looking back, it was such a great example of our truly human culture.

Then there was the move into my current role. My career counselor and I had been talking about my progression to Managing Director for some time. The thing was, I have a young son and wanted a role in Vancouver that didn’t entail a lot of traveling.

Following a collaborative discussion involving leaders and my career counselor, a new space was created for me within our Products group that allowed me to be client-facing but with minimal travel.

I was blown away by how accommodating people were. It is vital to have the autonomy to try things out, to take risks and be heard.

It shows just how much Accenture values talent—in my opinion, there’s never been a better time for women to develop a career in consulting.

The moral of my story? Be bold. If you want to travel, ask to travel, and if you don’t, say so. Or if you need a flexible work schedule, talk to people about it. You’ll find that they’ll listen.

And find a work family that will help you grow—as a person and in your career.

Carve out your own career path and do work that’s transforming the world, every day. Find your fit with Accenture.



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