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My career journey: What it’s really like to work in tech

May 31, 2022

“Let there be change.”

That’s the ethos of Accenture, a global tech consultancy that offers innovation with purpose for clients all over the world.

And that ethos might just resonate with you. Maybe you’re looking for your first step on the career ladder. Or perhaps you want to pivot into the world of tech, create sustainable solutions, or find a role with a company that offers you the chance to work with a truly diverse, international team.

If any of that sounds like it’s for you, Accenture may be the home of your next role.

But how is it for employees of such an international company? We sat down with Auma Njagah, a technical consultant who joined Accenture as a graduate back in 2018, to discuss what it’s like to be a woman in tech.

From civil engineering to … tech?

I did my undergraduate degree in civil engineering and my master’s in environmental management; that’s what I always assumed I’d end up going into. Of course, life had different plans for me, and I ended up meeting the Accenture recruitment team at a careers fair. I’d never considered a career in tech before that.

I was worried that I’d be out of my depth. But the training for graduates at Accenture is so thorough, and they really do arm you with everything you need to know. After two intense months of training, I was ready to start working on customer projects.

Four years later and with exceptional mentorship, I’m now a senior analyst, leading a team to deliver ServiceNow, a cloud platform, to Accenture’s global client base.

Delivery requires taking on different roles at different phases of the project, everything from conducting workshops with the client to get a feel of what they need from the cloud platform, to running the dev team carrying out the configuration of the platform, to training the client on how to use their new and shiny ServiceNow cloud platform. There is never a dull day.

Soft skills are important too

It’s a common misconception that in tech, soft skills aren’t highly ranked. Of course, that’s not true. Good communication, excellent organization and collaboration skills are all essential to getting big projects off the ground and developing client relations—and it’s much harder to teach these than practical skills.

I didn’t have much tech knowledge when I joined but the Accenture recruiters reassured me that my training would include all the technical skills I’d need. In fact, upskilling, cross skilling and new skilling is an integral part of our every day; we’re always offered new training to ensure we’re at the top of our game.

      Upskilling, cross skilling and new skilling is an integral part of our every day.

      A culture that welcomes everyone

      Before I took my role, I was apprehensive that working for a huge tech company might feel rigid, overly corporate and traditional. In fact, Accenture is really ahead of the curve when it comes to creating a more sustainable, inclusive and forward-thinking company culture. The teaming environment makes this big place feel smaller.

      I think a lot of this comes down to our CEO, Julie Sweet. Since she became Accenture’s CEO in 2019, I’ve really noticed a push in creating a business that feels welcoming to everyone, regardless of background, gender, ethnicity or faith.

      There’s a definite drive from leadership to create safe, welcoming spaces, and diversity and inclusion training is equally important, with skills-based training expectations for every single employee, which I think is essential for creating a truly inclusive company.

      Work the way it works best for you

      Flexible working has always been a priority at Accenture, and we’re given the tools to allow us to easily and comfortably work remotely. But the business understands that flexi-working is so much more than just where you are. It’s also about being able to create a work-life balance that is specifically suited to you.

      Long before the pandemic, we were able to facilitate flexible ways of working. I have some developers that start work at 7 a.m., while others prefer to start at 10 a.m.—it’s all about finding a pattern that allows you to do your best work.

      My advice? Take the risk.

      My advice for women looking to drive their career forward in new and exciting ways? Don’t listen to that voice of doubt in your mind. Growth only comes through doing things out of your comfort zone. We can often be our own worst enemies and hold ourselves back.

      Imposter syndrome stops us from pursuing new challenges. Taking the very first step is the hardest part but you’ll be amazed how much progress you can make if you just start the new role, share the idea with your team or take the risk.

      Take the next step on your career journey and do work with real impact, every day. Join our team.

      Story first appeared in Cosmopolitan, by Chloe Lawrance

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      Gloria Auma Njagah