Tenielle Colussi, Managing Director of Talent & Organisation in ANZ, shares her story from child protection officer to an Accenture consultant and why she’s just as enthusiastic about the opportunities as she was 13 years ago.
When I tell people that I used to be a social worker, working in child protection, it’s often a surprise. But I think the breadth and diversity of work available in a career at Accenture, especially in Talent & Organisation, lends itself well to people with a range of backgrounds and professional experience. It’s been the perfect place for me to use my behavioural science background to help clients on their journey using evidence-based change management practices. For 13 years, I’ve been able to work on projects that are strongly centred around the human experience of work and why people behave in certain ways.
One of the biggest myths about Accenture is that we’re a tech firm. Yes, tech is at the core of almost every program we deliver for clients and digital transformation is critical, but the work we do is so much more than that. We’re driving work that impacts people across organisations, across key pillars:
- Modern change: supporting clients through acquisitions and a variety of change management programs, with a focus on encouraging behaviour change
- Leadership transformation: working with C-suite executives and creating human-focused transformation journeys and culture change
- HR transformations: shaping employee experiences and designing new ways of working, as well as HR operational guidance
- Talent and new skilling: helping businesses plan for change and determining the skills they need today – and in the future as industries rapidly evolve; and helping team members navigate
- Future organisation: designing new operating models and structures for changing operational demands.
I still get to use the knowledge I gained from social work and my master’s in organisational psychology. Just in a slightly different way! Here’s some of the other reasons to consider a career with Accenture:
Choose your own adventure
As a large global organisation, I think Accenture provides opportunities for a multitude of career paths. You can choose to specialise by industry alignment, or by service offering. Or you don’t need to specialise at all and build a career that lets you gain experience across a broad range of client needs, both by industry and project type.
The one thing all careers with Accenture have in common, and in particular Talent & Organisation, is the chance to work with some of the biggest organisations in the country. From government departments to household brands, we work with large organisations across industry sectors, partnering with clients on some of the biggest transformations in Australia right now. This means your work can have a direct impact on the day-to-day life of thousands, or even millions, of Australians.
A people-centred team
Coming to consulting from social work, I had a lot of ideas about what the shift might be like. I thought it might be less caring than child protection. One of the nicest surprises was how much of a supportive culture there is at Accenture. Within Talent & Organisation, I really feel that we treat each other like a family, providing support and helping each other to navigate the highs and the lows.
Yes, there are hard days, and times when working long hours, but we balance that out with less busy days depending on the project timelines, that’s consulting. One of the biggest things that has kept me here for 13 years and counting is the people. I’ve been given the opportunities to thrive and now help create those same possibilities for people in my team.
A performance-based culture
Which brings me to another reason why I’ve stayed at Accenture – the engaging work and constant chances to grow. Consulting is always driven by change and the performance-based model at Accenture has meant I’ve been judged on my performance and contribution, rather than number of years of service. In my team, I’m always looking for ways I can help people to stretch and reach the next level.
It’s also an environment where flexibility is encouraged and offered. For example, I’m now working part-time after returning from maternity leave, but even before having my son I took advantage of programs like working a 5-days-in-4 week. Most people work under a hybrid mix of time in the office, at client sites and from home, and we’ll consciously design roles around individual needs. Flexible work is an option available for all.
We want to create a culture where everyone can thrive, so we provide a mix of formal training as well as mentoring, buddy and coaching programs to help people be their best. In addition, we’ve got a strong commitment to diversity through a range of lenses so we can help our people to tailor careers in a way that meets individual needs and goals.
After 13 years, I’m still energised and engaged by my work with Talent & Organisation. We’re helping clients to push boundaries and that in turn pushes us to help them with innovative responses to the problems being faced. The demand for our services continues to grow and I look forward to expanding our team to meet this need.