Career Advice from an Accenture Managing Director
Winning in the 2017 Job Market
Robert P. Gach, GABELLI BS ’80
Managing Director, Accenture Strategy
Global Capital Markets Lead and Banking North America Lead
The emerging view is that perhaps 70 percent of students in school today will find that they have been studying for jobs that do not exist today.
From the employer’s view, the challenge is equally significant: the need for a connected, high-performing workforce that can continually learn. Given this dynamic background, I have three messages for students preparing to enter the work force:
1. Be curious.
Employers want to know that you have a lifelong interest in learning. Successful companies will increasingly need to pivot to new technologies, business models, and opportunities—rapidly and often—by reacting to or even anticipating change, rather than through traditional product-planning cycles. High-performing firms will seek out employees who can become managers and leaders with a continuous approach to learning and a flexible mindset that thrives on a curious nature and ability to adopt new ideas from many domains.
2. Be informed.
The pace of change is increasing. While this sounds like a trite sound bite, there is no doubt that the S-curves of adoption of new technology are shortening. Technologies that previously might have taken five to 10 years to drive change are now creating or disrupting entire industries in months. As costs to adopt these new technologies are dropping by orders of magnitude in a short time, leaders in the corporate world cannot afford to be isolated. They must be well informed about how technologies are driving opportunities and threats and how adjacent industries may cross over into their own. I believe that the successful business of today and tomorrow is all about innovation, and innovators need to stay informed.
3. Be confident and competent.
This has been a mantra of my company’s leadership for years, and our former CEO made this a special focus. You need to develop and demonstrate both: confidence in your innate and learned capabilities to contribute and competence by being curious, informed and a lifelong learner.
Robert P. Gach is a managing director at Accenture, where he is the global capital markets lead and the banking lead for North America. He is a member of Accenture’s Global Leadership Council and is responsible for the New York City FinTech Innovation Lab, run in cooperation with the Partnership Fund for NYC.
A member of the Fordham University Gabelli School of Business Class of 1980, Gach has been consulting to the capital markets industry for more than 34 years. His experience includes strategy development and information technology planning, architecture development and implementation, operations re-engineering and operating model design, cost efficiency management, organizational design, change and journey navigation, package systems evaluation and implementation, custom application development, and outsourcing. He is a member of the executive committee of the Gabelli School’s Advisory Board.