From small-scale to widespread innovation
Who are the people behind Accenture? What drives Marissa Jaggan and inspires her on a daily basis? How has Shruti Pathania'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 Ingrid Tappin, Senior Manager Digital Culture Transformation - Alumna
This is the portrait of Ingrid Tappin, alumni of Accenture and former Senior Manager Digital Culture Transformation.
‘You don’t have to act like others; rather take the more adventurous route and explore life’, Ingrid Tappin, Senior Manager Digital Culture Transformation, emphasizes. This is one of the key lessons Ingrid's parents taught her while growing up. ‘When I was younger, I wanted to become a lawyer.'
To this day, Ingrid has the drive and vigor to continuously challenge herself and grow as a person. ‘When I was younger, I wanted to become a lawyer. That said, I wasn’t going to work for a law firm, I was going to run my own.’
‘Watching numerous episodes of L.A. Law with my mom definitely influenced that childhood ambition. The fact that lawyers stood up for people who needed help appealed to me, especially the strong women working in law: one day I was going to be that fierce, too. It all fell apart after my first year as a law student when I realized it wasn’t for me. Studying law means following a specific path; one studies law to become “something”, while I wanted to study to gain new insights and different perspectives on the world without being dictated exactly what to do with them. I missed the challenge of developing as a person. Slightly disappointed, I decided to switch studies after that first year.’
‘So, it was time for take two: I moved to the University of Amsterdam to study "Media & Culture Studies". It proved to be the right decision: I greatly enjoyed the variation of art and film history and philosophy, as well as the socially critical outlook on media, advertising, tv and internet and how those impact people. This was what I was looking for: not just reading books in order to become something, but expanding my mind to look at the world differently.’
Vlogging avant la lettre
‘During my studies, I took my first steps in the world of marketing and media, mostly because I needed to save money for a trip to Australia I had planned. Nevertheless, that first experience at a television production company was very interesting and definitely further shaped my interest in how media and marketing work. In Australia I met Karlijn - she’s still my best friend - and we really bonded over our shared opinions about traditional media and the path it needed to take in the future. We decided that upon our return to the Netherlands, we’d start a company. In 2004, we officially launched our concept: a platform for youth creating content for the Internet. Essentially, it was a precursor to what is known as vlogging and what people do on YouTube nowadays. Back then, people were under the impression that people would never watch movies on their computer, let alone on their phones. Not me; I have always been intrigued by forward-thinking concepts.’
‘In my subsequent jobs, innovation always played an important role. One of my key drivers was to encourage and provoke people to change the way they look at things and possibilities. During the upsurge of social media, I tried to position myself as a thought leader on the subject. Aside from video productions, clients approached us with consultancy-like dilemmas in which they wanted advice on the entire process. Slowly but surely, it dawned on me that this was what I was good at: giving people valuable advice on innovation, how they could reach a wider audience, and what mindset they needed to create services and products in a new, more sustainable way.’
‘Ultimately, this led to the beginning of my career as an entrepreneur and meeting my great love. Yes, these two milestones overlapped. I had just launched a new concept, RockstarsOnly, a network offering consultancy and training on how to transform the traditional mindset into a digital one, when Sabine approached me via Twitter, seeking advice. We became friends and, later, fell in love. Not long after, we also teamed up as business partners - we made RockstarsOnly grow and flourish, and started another company soon after called Sinq.’
The most promising European startup
‘Sinq started as a lean startup and was basically a companion project to RockstarsOnly. We came to the conclusion that after the RockstarsOnly training, people’s mindset on communication had changed, but they still lacked tools or means to present themselves in a more social, collaborative manner. What started as a sketch evolved into a prototype built in India, which was then further developed in the Netherlands. Eventually, Sinq was officially launched during The Next Web. Shortly after that, we were named as one of the most promising startups in Europe.’
‘In the time that followed, Sinq blossomed. However, after three and a half years I reflected on where we stood and what I was doing. More specifically, I had to truly determine whether I still liked what I was doing and if I was doing it for the right reasons. There I was, CEO of a software company which was great, but in all honesty, I had to acknowledge the fact that the human aspect of it all had faded along the way.’
From small-scale to widespread innovation
‘One summer night, much to my own surprise, I told Sabine I wanted to work for a corporate. While I had always pictured myself as an entrepreneur, it was never just exclusively that. I realized it was time to move from small-scale transformation to bringing real, long-lasting change to teams and companies. I figured that being part of a bigger system would ultimately lead to making a bigger impact. So, I compiled a list of the top three companies that appealed to me the most, and Accenture came out on top. Accenture’s end-to-end service really attracted me. Not only does the company offer advice and strategy, but also practical implementation - both on the creative and technological side of things. Being a part of that wider, complete spectrum really excited me. Additionally, after having spoken to a few people that work here, I was convinced Accenture was the right fit.’
"When you focus on inspiring people, you expand your reach and potential to make the world a better place."
‘When it comes to truly making an impact, I have learned a few lessons here and there. Above all, I realized that making a difference doesn’t necessarily mean you have to tackle the world’s biggest challenges on your own. Making a small contribution to a team with your unique talent can be very impactful. I believe when you focus on inspiring people, you expand your reach and potential to make the world a better place.’
‘At Accenture, there are many extremely talented people, but some can still be insecure about their own capabilities. I am really humbled and moved by the fact that, apparently, I’ve been able to empower some of them to unlock their potential, and ultimately motivated them to be the best version of themselves. It’s perhaps an even bigger impact than I ever anticipated I would have.’
They’re not “like” sisters, they’re sisters
‘Meeting Sabine turned my life upside down for various reasons. It meant my 2-year-old daughter, Sophie, moved in together with her and her 3-year-old girl, Lotus, making us a so-called blended family. Today, the girls are 9 and 10, and when people remark, “They are just like sisters”, they get upset. “We’re not 'like' sisters, we are sisters”, they’ll say. Of course, it hasn’t always been easy - going through a divorce never is - to navigate this kind of merger, so to speak, and turn it into a loving environment and fully functioning system. I am proud to say that by investing a lot of time, energy, love and effort, we have managed to get through it all in a respectful, loving manner.’
‘My father’s passing in 2013 changed my life - especially because I was there when he took his last breath. Witnessing him die has had an enormous impact on me. There was always a strong connection between us, which is still there. Sometimes, I can actually feel his presence around me. Just saying something like that used to be very unlike me: his passing led to getting more in touch with my spiritual side. Before his death, I never even thought about meditating; now it’s something I do on a regular basis. I have definitely learned to trust my intuition and follow it; there’s more than just the “rational” out there.’
Meet the team at Accenture Interactive!
Tu Ngo, Digital Consulting Manager at Accenture Interactive
"When I stumbled upon the field of Industrial Design, I knew I had found my calling."
Serenity of the sea
‘My happy place is along the coast: I love being close to the sea. The fact that we live in Overveen, which is a ten-minute drive from the beach, isn’t by chance. Being near the ocean always makes me calm and happy - and it doesn’t even have to be typical “beach weather”. It’s especially lovely when it’s Sabine and I having a cup of tea or a glass of wine at a beach bar, with some nice music in the background and watching the girls have fun - that is when I am truly content.’
Ingrid Tappin (1980)
Studied: MSc Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (2005)
Started working at Accenture: December 2016
Relationship status: Married to Sabine, mother of Sophie (9) and “bonus mother” of Lotus (10)
Loves: Watching the waves roll in
Gets annoyed by: A messy home - I love it when things are in place. I won’t go to bed before everything is clean and orderly
Favorite food: Everything my mother prepares - she’s a fantastic cook. Plus: Asian food - Japanese, Thai, Indian
On my nightstand: The subtle art of not giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, and a notebook for when I need to write down something that comes to mind. Lastly, my mobile for when I want to meditate - I use an app for that
Listens to: Singer-songwriters, like James Vincent McMorrow, lots of old soul music, but I also enjoy Dutch artists like Marco Borsato and De Dijk
Last purchase: Yellow ochre Nikes
Would like to sit next to in the plane: Michelle Obama
Life-changing event: Witnessing my father taking his last breath
The best lesson life has taught me: The last thing my father told me before he passed away was: ‘I am responsible, you are responsible’. If he had more time, he would’ve added ‘we are all responsible’. What he meant by this is that we are all ‘able to respond’. It’s a life lesson I try to apply every day: life throws things at you that you can’t always - very often, you can’t - influence; often things just happen. But you can always influence the way you respond to them. The way you choose to deal with life eventually determines how you experience it
What I learned last week: That a healthy work-life balance isn’t a nice to have; it’s a must have
Most beautiful place on earth: Barbados - my birthplace
Hobbies/passions: Traveling, going on trips with Sabine, cooking, reading
What nobody knows about me: When I meet new people they are often surprised about my first name; they expect something a bit more exotic. Fun fact: the first three days after my birth I didn’t have a name - my parents just referred to me as ‘the baby’. It took my dad three days to agree on Ingrid
Life motto: Love is everything and everything is love
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