Consulting is a lot like cooking. You take pieces of a problem, just like ingredients from your garden or pantry, and mix them to create a solution—or a meal—that brings people together.
I can compare the two because I spend many lunch hours filming my Filipino Food Fridays cooking show on YouTube. And in my analyst role with Accenture Public Services, we implement systems that improve government work flows and help people more easily access their benefits. I know how to pull together the right ingredients for success on both fronts.
Mixing up roles
I worked on an exciting project serving as a training specialist for state government, primarily in charge of developing, delivering and maintaining training materials for a state’s subsidized child care benefits system. I started off as a training developer, creating approximately 50 various training materials over the course of two months.
My role then evolved to trainer, and I created and maintained multiple virtual classrooms. I delivered training sessions to approximately 50 of the state’s counties and their corresponding departments of human services. After I became a training specialist, I was the liaison between the training developers and each county’s readiness team.
It was a fulfilling project because we brought change to the states, offering families access to child care benefits that they otherwise might not be able to afford. Children would be taken care of while their parents went to work, no matter the time of day or year. It was a solution—or “recipe”—for success.
Four ingredients for consulting success
- Never lose your eagerness to learn. You’ve graduated and landed the job—but the learning doesn’t stop. The first few years as an analyst are all about continuous learning. In addition to numerous acronyms, you’re going to learn about your interests, such as what area of the business aligns with your skills and passions. You’re also going to learn how Accenture is “Leading in the New” and what cutting-edge technologies we’re implementing to help our clients be the best at what they do. It’s also vital to learn your brand and how it will add value to our company and our clients.
- Make work-life balance a priority. This doesn’t just mean taking time off when needed. It also includes making time for daily activities, such as eating a good meal, fitting exercise into your day and talking to your family and friends. Consulting can be a rewarding career, but like any job, it has its challenges. Taking care of yourself mentally and physically will help you make sure you’re doing your best—in and out of the workplace.
- Speak up, and ask questions. Remember that the first years are crucial learning years, so don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have along the way. The most successful people I’ve met are the ones who don’t pretend that they know everything. They come with questions to clarify their goals and the work that needs to be delivered. If you don’t ask questions, you may be putting yourself at risk for producing work that doesn’t meet the target and the expected deliverable to the client.
- Never forget the importance of teamwork. Teamwork is essential to consulting; never think you’re a one-person show. You have resources around you, both experienced and new joiner, and you should leverage the people around you to help you in any way you can. Coordination, collaboration and communication are three C’s I like to follow.
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