Paul Barsamian began his career with Accenture’s security group in 1996. After leaving to pursue options during the dot com era, he returned home to Accenture and built a rewarding career in information security. The Accenture Alumni Team caught up with Paul to learn about his journey. Watch the video and read more below to learn about Paul’s career journey.
Question: What brought you home to Accenture?
I left Accenture in 2000 and learned a few hard lessons when the dot com bubble burst. What brought me back were the people, collaborative culture and the support of this unbelievable organization that is really interested in you and what you bring to the table. It felt like coming home.
How has your career developed since your return?
I have worked in nearly every vertical on security projects of every shape and size. I previously led security work across North America for our Communications, Media & Technology operating group, and was also the North America Security Operations Lead internal to Accenture. I am now a Solution Architect for Security with Accenture Digital, where I provide quality assurance and review for critical client security solutions.
Tell us about one of your most exciting projects.
I develop software prototypes for Internet of Things business models, and created one for Precision Agriculture. With an estimated 9.6 billion people on the planet by 2050, overall food production will need to double in a relatively short period of time to meet demand. So this is a real rewarding space to work in, figuring out how digital technologies and analytics can help address this significant challenge.
You are also known as Accenture's leading expert on drone and UAV technology and integration. What type of work are you doing in this space?
I began piloting unmanned aircraft in the early 2000s, and opened a small business that provides aerial services, engineering and integration. As Accenture began working in this space, I was able to combine my personal interests with my client work. I now advise Accenture clients on operations, software, services, integration and strategy for the use of unmanned systems and connected devices.
You were recently recognized by the Accenture Inventor Award Program. Tell us about that.
Each year, Accenture honors and rewards employees for creating new Accenture patent applications and newly issued patents. The program launched in 2006 as a way to motivate our people to help us protect the new ideas that are critical to fueling our growth and to building Accenture's competitive advantage. I am proud to have been a recipient multiple times for the Inventor Awards for the patents I authored in Security and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle technologies.
It has been 20 years since you originally joined Accenture. What has remained the same? What has changed the most?
The family style relationships and atmosphere has stayed the same. People I’ve known for a decade or more still pick up the phone when I call for help, and I drop everything for them when there’s an urgent request.
I’m proud to have seen this firm grow to staggering numbers and still maintain that close knit collaborative atmosphere. We’ve changed in positive ways around people management, focusing on talent retention, and breaking away from the traditional partnership model that dominated people’s career decisions. We now foster an environment of growth, contribution (in many ways) and recognition for differentiated skills. That’s a hard thing for a big brand like Accenture to do.
What advice would you offer to alumni considering a return to Accenture?
Stay tuned to this blog for an upcoming live video session of Paul’s Drone Flight School at our Chicago Digital Hub.
Learn more about rehire opportunities and support for Accenture Alumni.