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Melissa S.

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Name

Melissa S.

Role

Digital Business Integration Consultant

Location

United States

Area of Interest

Digital Careers

Career Area

Mobility

Education

Indiana University Bloomington
The thing that stands out the most to me about my time at Accenture is the degree to which my supervisors, coworkers and friends have always gone out of their way to improve my work and help direct my career. Their guidance is invaluable.

What I Do

I am currently staffed in a Business Analyst Role with Accenture Digital’s Precision Agriculture Service for a large agriculture client in Australia. Specifically, my project developed an application that analyzes various inputs to provide farmers with more up-to-date information (moisture data, weather figures, image analysis) from their farms and even make cost effective recommendations in the app. This project is a fantastic opportunity to be exposed to some of the most cutting edge technology out there. Drones, satellite imagery, self-driving farm equipment—it sounds like something from a sci-fi novel, and that’s what makes it so exciting.

My previous experience has largely been on enterprise mobility security implementations. My first project was actually our internal Information Security’s mobile device management project. Seeing first-hand how diligently Accenture protects its employees and clients from security threats was eye opening to say the least. Starting my career on a team with so many fantastic individuals from Information Security, the CIO organization and Accenture Consulting highlighted the caliber of work the firm is capable of when all these components come together.

Day in my Life

I typically start my day by checking emails and catching up on input we receive from our team in Australia. Once I’ve responded to outstanding messages and identified any action items I might have, it’s usually time for our North American team test check point. This provides our team with a great opportunity to sync up on any newly developed functionality and address any issues we may have encountered in our testing.

Then I get to play with the app itself. Beyond ensuring that everything works as you would expect, as a business analyst on the project I need to confirm that all the functionality matches our business requirements and design documentation. This can be fairly straight forward or it can involve navigating through the app with mockups and application flows up on my PC. I make sure to note anything that deviates from our designs to discuss with our team during the next check point.

I also help in preparing readiness materials for our app users (farmers) to ensure that they understand what the application can do for them. Weekly we have a live application walkthrough with our team in Australia – it’s crazy that you can be on the other side of the world and share what you’re seeing on an iPad real time.

Outside the Office

Beyond my formal role, I also act as a co-lead of the Chicago Digital Community’s Skills to Succeed Committee. At Accenture, Skills to Succeed is an initiative responsible for equipping more than 3 million people around the world with the skills to get a job or build a business. Our committee plans events and encourages members of Accenture Digital to volunteer to develop these critical career skills in the Chicagoland area. I’ve previously volunteered with Girls Who Code, Lumity STEM and Junior Achievement through our community.

Outside of the office, my husband and I volunteer at a local animal shelter in the Chicago suburbs. Our glamorous responsibilities include cleaning, feeding and, of course, spending lots of time playing and socializing with our furry tenants.

I also spend as much time as possible traveling or planning my next trip. I was fortunate enough to travel to South America (Colombia) for the first time last year and absolutely loved it. Some of my travel highlights would be playing kayak polo in a fjord in Denmark and climbing Mt. Vesuvius in Italy.

My Advice

When I first started at Accenture, I was very conscious of the feedback I received on my deliverables. I initially thought that lots of comments in the margins and changes tracked on a document meant that the reviewer wasn’t pleased with my work.

Recently, I was discussing those experiences with some of my former supervisors. They explained that the best thing you can do for someone in this company is to help them grow. That means working with them to point out areas where they can improve and investing your own time to make them better. This was beyond humbling to hear as I realized the sheer number of people who went out of their way to help me grow and improve at Accenture and the significant impact it has had on my career.