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Lexie Gruber and Karli from Sesame Street

Lexie and Karli, a "Sesame Street" muppet in foster care. 

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Her testimony before Congress helped lead to the passing of the Family First Prevention Services Act, which fundamentally changed the U.S. foster-care system.

Whether she’s consulting for a federal agency or advocating for the rights of children in foster care, Lexie Gruber’s passion shines through in everything she does.

Her path from homeless foster youth to Accenture consultant is nothing short of inspirational.

She shares her unconventional path to a career at Accenture and offers advice: If you’re considering a career in consulting, always remember the human element.

From homeless to a new career

I was a youth experiencing homelessness in the foster-care system. People need to understand that homelessness is not always visible—it encompasses a variety of types of housing instability.

I was selected to participate in a Congressional foster youth internship program, where young people from foster care are chosen to intern in Congress each summer.  At the end of the internship, we presented a report to Congress and the administration with our policy recommendations to reform the foster-care system.

When I was presented the opportunity to join Accenture's Health and Public Service Children’s Welfare practice, I jumped at the chance.

My first Accenture project was helping to implement a digital foster care case-management system in North Carolina. Kids were previously being tracked through the system on paper, which obviously created lots of issues. Because of my lived experience, I understood the needs of the children who were affected.

It’s all about seeing the real, human impact of our work.

Human-centered design

The most impactful project I’ve worked on so far was one that affected U.S. veterans. Our goal was to figure out the best way to communicate a complex legislative change that affected veterans’ benefits.

We really needed an insider’s view, so we did something unique on this project. I had the opportunity to lead a nationwide tour of college campuses, holding focus groups to talk with more than 300 GI Bill beneficiaries across the country

My manager and half of our team working on the project were veterans. We had a team that represented the people we were serving and were deeply grounded in our constituents’ perspective, and that’s what made the project so successful.

It’s so important to be inclusive and work with a truly diverse team that represents our audience and their varied viewpoints, so we can understand the real impact of our work.

It’s not just about someone filling out a form; our solutions really affect a person on the other end.

Potential to impact the world

If you’re thinking of pursuing a career in consulting, my advice is to make sure your passion is part of what you do every day.

I am passionate about human services, and about doing work that helps ensure that people have their civil rights and access to the public services they need to thrive.

To do the work well, especially in Health and Public Service, develop your expertise in one area and become deeply familiar with your clients and their needs.

Keep the human element in everything you do and see the potential in your work to impact the world.

We focus on true, human-centric design at Accenture.

Innovate every day, and do work that’s truly making a difference. Find your fit with Accenture.

Lexie’s personal story as a homeless youth was featured in the recent documentary film “Lost in America,” executive produced by actor Rosario Dawson.  

 

Copyright © 2020 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and New Applied Now are trademarks of Accenture.

 This document makes descriptive reference to trademarks that may be owned by others. The use of such trademarks herein is not an assertion of ownership of such trademarks by Accenture and is not intended to represent or imply the existence of an association between Accenture and the lawful owners of such trademarks.

Lexie Gruber

Consultant, Washington, D.C.

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