How this biomedical graduate uses her knowledge outside the lab

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Accenture’s Lara Sommerville knew a lab wasn’t for her. She explains how she now uses her knowledge of life sciences instead.

After studying biomedical, health and life sciences at University College Dublin, Lara Sommerville then worked as a development consulting analyst for Accenture in Dublin.

“When I finished college, I knew that working in the laboratory was not for me. However, I still wanted to use my knowledge of biomedical sciences and stay in the life sciences industry,” she told SiliconRepublic.com.

“I had heard of Accenture, but didn’t know they had a life science practice until a career counselor suggested I consider applying to the degree program. superior. Once I saw the breadth of Accenture’s work with its pharmaceutical clients, I knew the graduate program would be a good fit for me and steer my career where I wanted it.

“I learned a lot in a short time”
– LARA SOMMERVILLE

With this program, are you now working in the industry you wanted?

Yes. Upon completing my orientation with the graduate program, I was immediately aligned with Accenture’s life science practice. I think what’s great about my job so far is that although I’m working in the industry I wanted, the job is quite different from what I expected – but in the right meaning !

The work we do can be quite technical at times and require me to learn more about a specific type of software that allows companies to better manage their labs. Although it was a learning curve, I gained a much deeper understanding of the industry.

Can you describe a typical day in your role?

My work generally revolves around master data management of the software we are implementing for our client. This may include modifying existing master data to adapt to customer requirements or creating new master data entirely to adapt to growing customer needs.

All these changes will then have to be tested and validated, which is also a big part of my job. In addition to this, I am involved in modifying all existing documents, such as standard operating procedures or design specifications, which may require continuous updates as projects progress.

Did your responsibilities and workload change as the program progressed?

As I grew in my role and became more comfortable with the work I do, I began to take on more responsibility.

Within the consulting component of Accenture’s graduate program, there is a certain career roadmap that we are able to follow and with each level comes a greater level of responsibility and work abilities. While there, I was able to interact with senior managers in my own department, which gave me great insight into the work they do.

In your opinion, how has this program better prepared you for professional life?

One of my favorite things about this graduate program is the amount of training and learning opportunities available to you. There are regular workshops and seminars that aim to increase your understanding of important topics or develop your skills as a consultant, such as agile working methods for example.

Working at Accenture has also greatly improved my “soft skills”, which has allowed me to work effectively with those who may have different working styles. All these elements have contributed to my personal development and allowed me to better prepare myself for any working environment.

Would you recommend this company’s graduate program to others?

I would definitely recommend Accenture’s graduate program to others. I learned a lot in a short time and I learned a lot directly from the senior leaders of the organization.

Accenture is a very welcoming organization and people are always happy to help you when you have a problem. Above all, it’s a fun and engaging company to work for and I’ve made some great friends along the way.

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