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Accenture Australia and New Zealand

  • > 100,000 employees

Natasha Lay

The brilliant thing about consulting is that your previous studies do not need to relate to the role you want to pursue.

Natasha Lay studied a Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Information Technology at The University of Sydney and graduated in 2016.

What do you do day-to-day?

I’m a Digital Business Analyst within Accenture, and my role falls under the Digital practice. We work with a large and diverse portfolio of clients to deliver a range of outcomes that are centred on marketing, e-commerce, content and customer experience.

I work with a range of stakeholders, such as visual designers, user experience, test and build teams, to make sure we deliver what the client wants. This can take the form of a mobile application that will be available in an online store, to transforming an e-commerce platform by revolutionising the user journey from the very start when they enter the website, to the very finish when they check out with their item.

We also take on a very client-facing role to ensure the needs of the client are being met. This can involve capturing and communicating these requirements to all parties. You can basically call us the intermediary, or the ‘middleman’.

We also receive amazing opportunities for us to travel as graduates. Not only have I been able to fly interstate to work on projects, but I was lucky enough to be sent over to Chicago for two weeks, where I not only had the privilege to develop myself as a Digital Business Analyst, but I also got to meet my Accenture colleagues from all over the world in places such as Paris, Dubai and Toronto.

Not many other firms can offer a graduate these kinds of opportunities!

What's your background?

Growing up in Sydney, it is no surprise that I embrace a busy schedule with open arms! The day that I left high school to the day I secured a graduate role at Accenture proved to be the most important stage in life and largely contributed to shaping who I am today. For me, the end of high school offered a taste of freedom that I had not encountered before. I had heard about how exciting the “real world” would be and so, I set a key goal — travel and see the world as best as I can before I start my career. To achieve this, I learned to multitask by taking on multiple jobs at a time while pursuing education at university. At one point in time, I was a tutor, wine consultant and a customer service operator! It was definitely challenging but helped me build the strong work ethic that I have today. I was able to see more than 25 cities and experience a wide array of cultures, while meeting people from all walks of life. Funnily enough, while the jobs I took on didn’t directly align to my career path, I picked up many soft skills along the way (e.g. interacting with clients, multitasking, and working in a team). This all helped me land a role at Accenture through the Accenture Adventure program. It is a one-day program that provides you with a platform to showcase your skills through numerous business challenges and at the end of the day, if successful, a graduate position is offered!

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Definitely! The brilliant thing about consulting is that your previous studies do not need to relate to the role you want to pursue. Many of my work colleagues studied in different areas such as law or linguistics, and they’re pursuing a similar career path to me. As long as you have a great attitude, strong work ethic, a large appetite to learn and determination to succeed, you will thrive at Accenture!

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The coolest thing about my job is seeing what I work on materialise into something bigger that creates a large impact on society. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work on delivering digital health records for the entire Australian population. Seeing the product come to life after living and breathing the designs for more than six months was incredibly rewarding. I was able to work on a project that provides the population and hospitals with access to digital health records… which in turn, help to save lives!

What are the limitations of your job?

Our firm has a large and diverse portfolio of clients across the globe. As such, there is sometimes a level of expectation that you may need to travel for work on some projects. I definitely understand that travel isn’t for everyone so it’s important to set that expectation upfront when looking for projects. Accenture will always be respectful and supportive of whichever path you choose to take!

Best piece of advice for keen students

Travel and explore the world as much as you can. Take this time before you start your career to immerse yourself in different cultures, meet people from all walks of life and more importantly, learn about yourself along the journey.

Pursue a career path that you think you will enjoy. It’s important to pursue a career that you love, because it will be you (not anyone else) doing it for the rest of your life. The privilege that we have today is choice. Even if you try something and realise it isn’t the right role for you, you are the driver of your career and can change it any time you see fit!

Grades are not everything! Although you do need to get a 70% GPA to be eligible to apply for a grad role at Accenture, once you’ve got that the emphasis is more about you as a person. Companies these days value work experience, extracurricular activities and your soft skills.