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Role Rundown: A Conversation with Sebastian Shimomichi, Management Consulting Manager at Accenture & ex-Googler
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Kaja Paramothayan
, 16th May 2022
10 min read
Insights
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Jump to the following questions:

Can you explain a bit about your background and your journey into consulting?

I definitely didn’t have a typical journey into consulting; I worked in many roles across various business environments (inhouse, agency) prior to Accenture. At university, I majored in economics and started my career as an accountant at a Japanese bank. One year into my role as an accountant I realised that, though I loved working with numbers, accounting wasn’t right for me.

I then took on a contract role at Google as a Data Analyst, as I’d developed an interest in digital marketing and wanted to break into this sector. This then got me into a role at an agency called MRM McCann, which specialises in customer journeys, design, and analytics. After a year or so, I transferred to a company called Yesler, a B2B marketing agency where I assumed the role of analytics lead for APAC, to support a high tech client. Within a year Yesler had been acquired by Accenture, so it’s through this acquisition I was able to join the organisation.

However, I still had to navigate my way into the strategy consulting arm of Accenture. All Yesler employees were transferred into either Operations or Song (formerly known as Interactive). A lot of work went into building trust with my new colleagues, post-acquisition, to accelerate my internal transfer. I had to build a new personal brand and change the narrative of my career, from being purely digital marketing focused, to showing that I could deliver and maximise value for our clients through digital transformation, change management, analytics and marketing technology.

Luckily I had great mentors and was able to gain buy-in through working with a wide network of consultants across the organisation in APAC - including Song, Operations, and Strategy. Even though I was an internal candidate, it was still the same process as it would have been for an external interviewee. Ultimately, it took around a year and a half to officially transform my role from being marketing-focused to a strategic role. This now includes advising clients on business development, go-to-market strategy, and other methodologies and solutions to help them capitalise on touchpoints within a customer journey.

Why did you choose to move into consulting?

To be successful in strategy consulting, you need a diverse skill set: being analytical, a strong communicator, a team player, etc. But most importantly, you need the right mindset. In consulting we thrive in ambiguity and translating challenges into opportunities, so you need to have the mindset to work hard under these circumstances. This appealed to me, as I believe I have this mindset, and that it’s the biggest reason I’ve been able to create long-lasting relationships with clients.

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