Track and field long jumper. NCAA college cheerleader. Club gymnast. Olympic bodybuilder.
"Born completely blind" would not usually be included in such an impressive list of accomplishments. But for Ike Tallerine, it’s just the start of his achievements.
Ike doesn’t see obstacles. He’s the master of finding solutions.
Ike grew up with eight siblings, and his parents had the same expectations for him as his brothers and sisters. Adapt to situations. Find solutions. Live your best life.
When Ike was a graduate student in the highly competitive Master of Science in Finance program at the Texas Tech University’s Rawls College of Business, his full 15-credit per semester and heavy math course load required a hands-on approach. So, he negotiated with each professor to work out the accommodations that would work best for the specific class. And he leveraged the technology of "screen mirroring" to connect the professor's laptop with Ike's accessible screen.
Ike started to gain some vision at age four. His genetic disorder called achromatopsia causes near vision, light sensitivity, eye fatigue and migraines.
Career goals and multiple offers
During Ike’s graduate years, he applied for the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP), a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private-sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities.
During one of his internship interviews, he received information on Disability:IN’s Mentorship Exchange and Talent Accelerator programs. He applied and was accepted for both programs. Disability:IN is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide.
Ike interviewed with representatives from seven Disability:IN corporate partners during the academy and the conference as well as several interviews post conference.
While he received several offers, Ike held out for an offer from the No. 1 company on his list—Accenture.
Building a thriving career in financial management
“I work in Client Financial Management (CFM), guiding financial performance for our leading clients. Working with delivery leads, I book new sales, forecast for the future and exercise accounting compliance for financial reporting,” says Ike.
A self-professed “spreadsheet warrior,” Ike is an expert at creating shortcuts.
“I use Microsoft zoom every day. My ability to zoom in and out quickly is so important for me to be able to navigate information. I also use an application called Grammarly, which allows me to make sure my spelling and citations are correct. With low vision, it’s easier to overlook mistakes. Another thing I do on my computer is I change the color of backgrounds so it’s easier for me to see things. Since my eyes are light-sensitive, using a dark background helps reduce fatigue.
“Even just walking into the office can be a challenge. Many times, I wear dark glasses or find a dimly lit, private room. It’s easy for my eyes to get tired from the computer screen.
"So I take short breaks, close my eyes for a few seconds and work through any migraine pain,” he says.
“My days are never the same. I communicate with teams in India and Argentina every day, as well as with Accenture leadership and colleagues at all levels. We are a 'many technologies' company, so I have the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technologies like SAP, MME, Salesforce and others.”
A culture of empowerment
"My challenges are not noticeable to the people around me, so the biggest issue can sometimes be fostering understanding among the people I work with. When I first joined Accenture, I was welcomed with open arms and offered all the accommodations I needed to do my job.
"I love the culture and the positive attitude toward change and innovation. Everyone I work with is open to innovation and improvement.
“One recent example is when I noticed an opportunity to improve our process for invoicing clients. I offered a solution to drive efficiency using an automated macro. Not only did the team support my idea, they entered it into a competition,” says Ike.
The environment at Accenture is young, progressive and inclusive. We work hard and we play hard, and we support one another in both our professional and personal lives. It’s one of the reasons we are ranked No. 1 for diversity and inclusion.
Embrace weaknesses and celebrate strengths
“Our society is set up to measure people superficially and often inhibits our ability to get to know who people truly are,” says Ike. “My advice is to look past the surface and get to know people’s passions, embrace their weaknesses and celebrate their strengths.”
Be your best self every day. Do transformative work. Find your fit with Accenture.
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