Management consulting
Learning from leaders

Anne Marie O'Hara, Technology Consulting Manager, Accenture

Anne Marie O’Hara, Technology Consulting Manager with Accenture, talks about her own career and how an overseas placement and an open mind helped her develop a dynamic career path in consulting.
Knowledge of technology is important, but so is business acumen, people skills and understanding what a client’s business is all about

Degree subject Bachelors Degree, Business Studies, University of Ulster, Postgraduate Diploma in Information Systems (University of Ulster).
Job title Technology Consulting Manager

I completed a degree in Business Studies in the University of Ulster (Jordanstown), graduating with first class honours in 2009. I’d always been very interested in both business and technology, and was eager to find an industry where they worked together in innovative and successful ways. As part of my degree, I completed a 12 month internship with Virgin Atlantic in Newark Liberty International Airport. I also completed a Diploma in industrial studies during my internship. I found my internship experience to be engaging, inspiring and it helped me to apply the skills and competencies I had developed in the first and second year of my degree. I think it’s very important for all students to get reallife business exposure as early as possible in their career.

When I returned to Ireland and following my degree, I completed a postgraduate Diploma in Information Systems, graduating in 2010.

To be honest, consulting was never something I thought of as a career path, but after I made contact with Accenture in relation to their graduate programme I realised that this was an area which would be very interesting and would be a real challenge, which is what I really wanted.

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. I joined Accenture in 2010, as part of their technology consulting intake. There were 14 people in my start group and of course I was quite nervous at first, but I soon realised the great support structures and training available. I spent my first two weeks in the Dublin Office and then spent a further two weeks training in Chicago. The induction and training provided me with the skills I required when I started my first role on client site.

When I joined Accenture I was assigned a designated “Career Counsellor”, who provided me with career coaching, guidance on how to manage my career in Accenture and also helped me to develop professionally. Accenture really helps you to grow and develop, this is something that I really value. Two years after I joined Accenture, in 2012, I was promoted to a Technology Consultant, and three years later, in 2015, I was promoted to my current position as Technology Consulting Manager.

I’m currently working on a transformation programme within a major public sector organisation. Truly, between my consultancy and management roles, no two days are ever the same and the work is both challenging and interesting. I’m responsible for managing a team of both Management and Technology Consultants and the work that they do, so good time management and project management is essential. One of the best aspects in Accenture is the quality of the people you’ll be working with. Many people say they join for the projects, but stay for the people. The advice I would have for students starting out in their career is to find something that truly inspires you and ensure that you focus on building the skills and core competencies that are required.