A consulting career journey: Liz
Liz Gillette is a Director of Digital Transformation at Logic20/20. She has been with the company since 2017.
Logic20/20: Hi Liz! How did your consulting journey start?
Liz: I started with Accenture right out of college. I wasn’t sure what profession I wanted to focus on and figured consulting was a good place to start since it would expose me to a lot of different industries and roles.
I was living in Chicago when I started in Accenture’s SAP practice as an Analyst. At the time, they were growing what they called their global business solutions group, which focused on enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for their clients, primarily SAP, Oracle, and PeopleSoft. My degree was in Liberal Arts, so at the time I didn’t even know what SAP was!
Logic20/20: Well, clearly you know now! You’ve come a long way. How did your time at Accenture shape your approach to your work?
Liz:In total I was there for 12 years, and I had a number of roles in a few different locations. One great thing about Accenture was that because they are such a big company, they had many standards and best practices already in place.
When I joined, I went through their orientation program that all consultants attend. It included a 2-week bootcamp in St. Charles, IL on their training campus, where new joiners attended from all over the world. We had all-day sessions working in groups to solve real business problems with hypothetical clients, and the trainers would coach us on how to approach our project using best practices, and work as a team. That training was helpful for me to think about how I approached client problems, use industry best practices, and think of project delivery end-to-end. They had similar bootcamps at every career level milestone and was an opportunity to continually learn and grow in the various roles I held, including how to approach a client pitch.
Logic20/20: What made you want to leave?
Liz: There were multiple reasons. I had been on one account in the federal sector for a number of years. My team was a tight-knit group within a larger practice. Our work was located on the East Coast, so I was traveling a lot between Chicago and Washington, DC. When I moved to Seattle, I was still working in DC and flying across the country for work and it just wasn't sustainable. So, I ended up changing projects to work on a large local client account, but still focusing on delivering large SAP programs. Even though I was still with Accenture, I essentially had to rebuild my network and felt I had lost some of the personal connections that had helped coach and guide my career. Additionally, I wanted to expand my area of expertise outside of SAP delivery and felt that I would have more flexibility to do so if I looked to join a smaller company.
Logic20/20: What about Logic20/20 appealed to you?
Liz: I was interested in Logic20/20 right away since they have a very similar structure and style of work as Accenture, but on a smaller scale, so I knew it wouldn't be too much of a shift in direction for me career-wise. I was intrigued by the idea of being in an organization of that size where I would have the opportunity to grow in a different type of role, learn new technologies, be responsible for various aspects of the business, and wear a lot of new hats. I would still be involved in delivery, but also focus on hiring, sales, people management and development, and a number of different initiatives that contribute to the growth of the company.
When I met some of the leadership team in my initial interviews, we just connected. I could see that Logic had people that I wanted to work for and hang out with after work. During the interviews, I felt like I was already rebuilding that community I had when I was in that smaller group in Accenture. We were already laughing and connecting on a more personable level. That's really what drew me in: I knew I would get the support and community I had been missing. You spend the most time in your life with the people that you work with, so it’s important to me to enjoy who I spend that time with.
I was also attracted by the nature of the work itself, specifically the idea of having to figure things challenges in a hands-on kind of way, and leaning on those in the company to chip in. That felt like a team atmosphere to me, which I gravitated toward. I had played sports my whole life, including in college, so I recognized that everyone had to be a team player and that they were happy to contribute to the effort.
Logic20/20: How has that panned out? What has surprised you about working here?
Liz: I came from working with such huge clients all of the time, and Logic has those as well, but it’s amazing to work at a company that takes on projects from clients with small budgets, including non-profit and local organizations. It was a breath of fresh air to be able to work with some of our education and nonprofit clients when I first joined, for a change in perspective. Our teams make a real impact for real people. I love that.
I’ve also found that there's more opportunity for internal projects and to make an impact on what you are passionate about. There’s opportunity for people to branch out if they want to, and drive their own career path. I’ve been able to raise my hand and work on small, one-off initiatives that I am interested in, which has been very personally satisfying.
Logic20/20: What did you bring with you to Logic that has served you especially well?
Liz: I brought my learnings and hands on experience with standard methodology and best practices, primarily in SDLC (Software Delivery Life Cycle), and handling challenging projects with a variety of clients.
I also brought with me the idea of being comfortable with the uncomfortable. Everybody has different experiences. For me, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to do work that pushed me, with minimal oversight. I had demonstrated that I was doing well in previous roles, so I was given opportunities to lead projects, work directly with clients, and lead teams. It was a lot to learn and to take on, but I leveraged the knowledge of people around me, and we grew together. Whenever we come out with a win, it's was really eye-opening. It taught me to take risks and stretch my boundaries.
Logic20/20: What do you love about being here?
Liz: One thing I love about Logic (and also loved about Accenture) is that we’re not just focused on the day-to-day work and clients, but also on understanding the community and building relationships. As mentioned earlier, work is where we spend most of our time, so to me I am so happy I have found a place where I can expand both my professional expertise as well as grow my personal network. Lastly, I love that every day brings a new challenge, that my role today is already so different than when I joined three years ago, and that as a company we still have a world of opportunity that lays ahead.
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