A 15-minute break makes a difference


Who are the people behind Accenture? What drives Marissa Jaggan and inspires her on a daily basis? How has Mark Ruiter's life, career, ambitions and dreams developed over the years? What difficult choices has Javier Leonor made in his life? Through a series of portraits, we answer these questions and introduce you to our people: those who make Accenture the thriving company that it is.

Introducing Christine Luz Antunes, Application Development Team Lead in Accenture Technology’s SAP team

After completing her studies, Christine kicked off her career at Accenture’s office in Lisbon, Portugal. There’s no way she could have known then that three years later she’d still be working for Accenture, but now in the company’s Dutch office in Utrecht. ‘The biggest challenge in my work is trying to figure out how all the different pieces of a puzzle fit together.’

‘I was born in Toronto, Canada to Portuguese parents. When I was nine years old, we moved back to Portugal. We lived on a small farm, so I grew up surrounded by nature and animals. That’s definitely where my love for animals was born. Like so many other young girls, I dreamed of becoming a vet one day. However, as I’m a pragmatic person, I eventually let go of my romantic childhood dream and took (what felt like) the safer route, choosing to study chemical engineering instead. Alongside my passion for animals, I was also always interested in science, math and IT, so engineering made sense for me, too.’

'As I was the first one in my family to pursue a master's degree, my parents had fairly high expectations of me, but they always supported and encouraged me'. That never felt like a burden, though; on the contrary, I was a diligent student who didn’t need much encouragement. It’s part of who I am to want to excel at everything I do – if anyone is putting pressure on me, it’s me.’ 

An easy adjustment

‘When I started working in Accenture’s SAP team, people asked me how on earth I went from chemical engineering to HR software implementation. In all honesty, the fact that there weren’t many opportunities to work in my original domain played a part in this shift. Truth is, though, it didn’t take much time or effort for me to adjust to my new line of work. I think my engineering background and love for science and math help me to master new concepts pretty quickly. I also really liked the idea of working for a big company like Accenture, thanks in no small part to the travel opportunities that come with the job.’ 

‘About a year after I started working in the Lisbon office, my partner, Luis, came home one day with an exciting job offer – one that required him to move to the Netherlands. “Should we go?” he asked. “Let’s go!” I replied. And that was that. I had actually just resigned from my job at Accenture and didn’t have a solid plan for the future yet. So we packed our bags and moved to Utrecht. For someone who is not all that spontaneous, my decision to just get up and go was pretty “wild”. However, I never doubted that I would find a great job over here, and that’s exactly what I did.'

The challenge that keeps me on my toes (and makes me want to bang my head against a wall at times)

‘Working with so many different teams and technologies is one of the things I find most challenging in my work. The learning curve has been extremely steep, and while the journey has been very interesting, my work constantly keeps me on my toes. I find it challenging in a good and a bad way simultaneously: there are few things I love more than trying to work out how all the different pieces of a puzzle fit together, but on the other hand, when I can’t get them to fit, it can be incredibly frustrating. For someone like me, who always wants to know exactly how things work and why, not being able to figure out the mechanisms behind something is extremely perplexing. To stop myself from banging my head against a wall, I’ve learned to take a step back, leave the room and go for a brisk walk outside.'

"I’ve found that by simply taking a 15-minute break from what I’m doing, I can return with a fresh perspective on the matter."

Learning to REALLY listen

‘The social aspect of my job is definitely one of its highlights. I find it both rewarding and inspiring to be surrounded by so many interesting, creative people who can teach me so much. I learn from my colleagues every day. The Accenture Female Leadership Program that I attended recently taught me one of the most valuable things I’ve learned so far: a lesson in listening. While most of us think we’re good at listening, it’s a skill so many people actually lack. Truly listening to another person means not only hearing what he or she is saying, but also understanding and retaining the information – and that’s a completely different ball game. It’s amazing to see what happens when people feel like they are really being listened to. It makes all the difference when you know that what you’re saying matters and that you’re genuinely being heard. I hope to truly master the skill of listening one day so that I can have this impact on people.’

‘What’s made all the difference for me is the fact that Accenture has given me so many opportunities to grow over the past year and a half. I started off working as part of a team, to be promoted to team lead a few months later. Today, I perform two different roles within the same project, and I am really excited about all the chances I’m getting to evolve. What makes me excel at what I do? I think my easy-going personality plays a part – I find building strong personal relationships comes quite naturally to me. I also have pretty solid communication skills, which helps me to translate tech jargon into language that non-techies can easily understand. The combination of my conversational and interpersonal skills certainly helps me to get things done.’ 

A tomboy who doesn’t mind getting dirty

‘It took a few months to settle in, but I now call Utrecht “home”. I’m absolutely in love with the city, which has a real urban energy, but also feels rather small and isn’t as chaotic as Amsterdam. I enjoy strolling through the streets of Utrecht, without a particular goal or destination in mind, especially on weekends. Something else that makes me happy is hiking in nature. I’ve always been an outdoor type – as a kid you would find me scrambling up trees and over rocks; I was a “tomboy” who didn’t mind getting dirty. I still like heading out into the wilderness in search of calm and tranquility. Being surrounded by nature brings me back to earth – literally – and helps me to truly reconnect with myself.’ 

Christine Luz Antunes (1989)

Studied: MSc Chemical Engineering, Universidade Nova de Lisboa (2016)

Started working at Accenture: June 2016 (Portugal), January 2018 (the Netherlands)

Relationship status: Living with partner, Luis

Loves: Dogs

Gets annoyed by: When people don’t get straight to the point

Favorite food: Whatever my mother is cooking

On my nightstand: My phone 

Listens to: Anything from electronic to classical music; it all depends on my mood

Last purchase: Bluetooth speakers to listen to music around the house

Would like to sit next to on a plane: George Carlin 

Life-changing event: Moving to the Netherlands

The best lesson life has taught me: There isn’t a best life lesson, everyday life teaches us new things

What I learned recently: You should compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today. 

Most beautiful place on earth: Coast and mountains of British Columbia, Canada (still in my bucket list)

Hobbies/passions: Traveling and cooking

What nobody knows about me: That I was a scout until I was 23

Life motto: “Always look on the bright side of life”

Related opportunities

  • Would you be confident enough in your knowledge to advise a company to follow a full digital transformation? Maybe Consulting or Strategy could be a good fit for you.
  • Do you think you would enjoy finding effective solutions for complex technology implementation problems? Then maybe you would be great in Operations or Technology
  • Would you want to explore the possibilities that come with new technologies or develop fantastic user experiences? Try Digital or Technology

Our recruiters are happy to help you navigate the application process, so get in touch!