5 Questions with Jane Vinogradova, Consultant at Accenture

It’s rare that a person finds a career that feels tailor-made, but that seems to be exactly what Jane Vinogradova has found working as a consultant with Accenture, a global consulting company. Consulting requires a well-rounded skill set and comfort with the new and unknown.

What does a consultant do?

Consultants do so many things a better question might be what don’t they do. At Accenture I get the opportunity to solve broad problems at some of the largest companies in the world.

My work is usually in relation to how people are communicating in a company. Consultants help clients plan and deliver milestones for product and technology transformations. This job is a good fit for me because it allows me to combine tech knowledge with soft skills.

What excites you about working at Accenture?

At Accenture, everyone starts as an analyst, but there’s a lot of mobility and room for growth. I’ve gone through 4-5 different titles. One of the things I love about my job is that people ask you what to do instead of telling you what to do. Accenture is very flexible, and once you’re at a certain level you direct your own schedule. I really love that it’s like getting paid to learn. Part of the job is to read articles and be a trusted advisor on topics for your clients. I’m really glad that I ended up going industry after undergrad and getting real world experience right away, especially at Accenture.

What influenced your decision to pursue biomedical engineering?

I was born in Obninsk, Russia and moved to the U.S. when I was 7 years old and grew up in San Antonio. My parents were both engineers. My dad worked as a nuclear engineer and my mother worked as an aerospace engineer before moving to the U.S. Growing up I was fascinated by viruses and medicine. I figured the best path would be to pursue biomedical engineering. There are a lot of opportunities to change the world with this path.

What were some of your more memorable experiences at UT?

I have a few. I did research at the graduate level while I was an undergrad. I worked with Professor Jonathan Chen from the Human Ecology Department on engineering sustainable fabrics. I think that was memorable for me because I stepped outside of the BME bubble to explore all my options. I think it’s really important to see all the university can offer you instead of just your department.

I was pretty involved in student life at UT Austin. I was part of Model UN, and joined the Student Engineering Council. I was also a part of the Roden Leadership program which was an honor society geared toward enabling entrepreneurship among engineering students.

I also valued Dr. Randi Voss’ communications class, which inspired me to read books related to design and communication. Dr. Aaron Baker made topics relatable, and his was the best 8am class I took. Dr. Bob Metcalfe and Josh Baer’s Longhorn Startup class was also eye-opening.

Any advice for current BME students?

Read a lot of books. I spent a lot of my college days reading. If people only read books dictated by the curriculum they’re studying, I think they’ll miss out on personal development. Books I’d recommend off the top of my head: all of Jane Austen’s novels, books that won the Nobel Prize in literature, Ayn Rand’s books, and The Alchemist.

Also go out and talk to people inside and outside of your program. Some of my best coworkers and friends from UT weren’t chasing perfect college GPA’s, they were the people who spent time learning how to communicate and build their ideas.