'Life only starts at the end of your comfort zone, right?'

Lina gets a kick out of pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Whether it is shaping a Technology strategy at Accenture, training to cycle up a mountain in Italy, or inspiring young women to chase their dreams. The more challenges the better!

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Meet Lina Roosendans, Technology Strategy Consultant at Accenture Belgium & Luxembourg

‘Before joining Accenture, I planned to do a PhD in metaheuristic algorithm. More specifically, I was going to try applying algorithms observed in nature (for example, how ants find their way from food and back to their colony) to human problems. It was a totally different area to my Master thesis, which focused on brand loyalty in the automotive industry, and that’s exactly why I chose it: for the challenge!’

‘However, I started to doubt whether life as a pure researcher was the best match for me. I’m extremely happy I trusted my instincts and chose the world of consulting and all the variety it brings. Accenture evolves every single day. We build new capabilities, we get our heads around new technologies, we improve our internal organization… Plus I still get to enjoy some aspects of the researcher’s life, exploring new hot topics on the market such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality.’

“I am constantly amazed by what I have achieved in only three years”

“I love pushing my own boundaries and learning new things every day. New clients, new projects… I am constantly amazed by what I have achieved in only three years. Life only starts at the end of your comfort zone, right? Currently, this means successfully finishing the first project I am leading alone.’

‘Technology is one of the five blocks of Accenture Strategy. Today's disruptive technology landscape challenges both business and IT leaders. As Technology Strategy, we help organizations understand their technology challenges and explore innovative opportunities for growth. Our goal is to develop technology strategies that align business and IT to create the most value. Once ready, we pass the design details and implementation to our Consulting and Technology colleagues. Their experience and knowledge flows back to us and this means that the strategies we develop are always connected with real life cases in our clients' industries and as such have a higher chance of success. We are not only strategy, not only implementation, not only consulting. We are everything. I really like this aspect of Accenture.’

 

“I want to inspire young women to chase their dreams”

To excel, I believe we need diversity in every single aspect of society. Even as a scout leader, I actively tried to create a more diverse group. It’s not an easy battle, but I felt empowered knowing the first steps were taken when welcoming children from totally different backgrounds to our group.’

‘Diversity remains high on my agenda, and specifically, how we can create a gender-balanced workforce. I want to inspire young women to chase their dreams and not be afraid to take up the role they are passionate about, not the one society pushes them towards. One of my biggest role models is definitely Sheryl Sandberg (COO Facebook) who is fond of technology and fighting for girls and women every single day.’

‘That’s why I invest a lot of time in graduate recruiting in Ghent as a lead of our University Action Team (UAT). My involvement is very much linked to the culture of ownership at Accenture. Your job as a consultant does not stop at your project. We are given total responsibility for shaping the UAT strategy, deciding where we spend the budget and which events to organize. It’s also a perfect school for learning valuable skills that you can apply to your project work. One of the biggest highlights for me was last year’s local round for the annual Accenture Master Class. We had 70 students and 40 Accenture people attending in one evening! Proof that the Master Class really lives on campus and at all levels of Accenture.’

 

“Being a Fit At Work Ambassador is an opportunity to make a positive change”

‘My current personal challenge is to cycle up the Passo Dello Stelvio in June 2018! I have never even been on a racing bike before but through Accenture’s Fit At Work program, myself and nine other Ambassadors are being given the opportunity to climb this mountain, supported and coached by Energy Lab, while raising awareness to on clean air. Exciting times ahead!’

‘This challenge is particularly important for me. After a bad skiing accident in 2015, I had to say goodbye to most of my preferred personal activities like running. Four operations later, I’m ready to try the active healing approach! Being a Fit At Work Ambassador is an opportunity to make a positive change. This is something I also need (and find) in my work. I love the feeling of doing new things and being proud when I make it. It keeps me energized.’

 

“Life is too short not to enjoy every single moment of it

‘Another thing my accident taught me was that life is too short not to enjoy every single moment of it. So, I decided to take up an old love and enrolled for photography classes on Tuesday evenings. Now everyone knows and respects that I’m out of the office early on those days. Photography makes you enjoy the beauty of life! Just last week I was in Como (Italy) and I wrapped up work at 16:30 to go outside and photograph the sunset over Como Lake: magnificent!’

‘My greatest passion is travelling and discovering the world, either with Technology Strategy or in my free time. Since joining Accenture, I have already visited six continents. A big dream of my boyfriend and I is to move abroad and enjoy life on the other side of the globe for a couple of years. Another advantage of working for Accenture! Hopefully 2018 will make this dream come true! Meanwhile, this week I was in London and Lille for work. Next week I’ll be flying to Milan; the following week I’ll be spending in Germany and a couple of days later I’ll be in Dublin: need I say more?’

Lina Roosendans (1991)

Studied: Business Engineering (Master in Supply Chain Management & Operations Management)
Started working at Accenture: 2014
Relationship status: Living together
Loves: Surprises
Gets annoyed by: Discrimination
Favorite food: Very fond of the Lebanese cuisine
On my nightstand: My bucket list
Listens to: Harvard Business Review pod casts
Last purchase: A birthday gift
Would like to sit next to in the plane: Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook
Life-changing event(s): A skiing accident in 2015
The best lesson life has taught me: Never cut down on experiences
What I learned last week: I followed a Design Thinking course and learnt new skills I will definitely apply in my client projects
Most beautiful place on earth: Yellowstone National Park (USA)
Hobbies/passions: Travelling, photography
What nobody knows about me: Between the ages of two-and-a-half and 13, I spent more than 20 hours a week training as an acrobatic gymnast
Life motto: You never fail until you stop trying

Author: Liz Morrison