My single greatest realization
Who are the people behind Accenture? What drives Hester Prins and inspires her on a daily basis? How has William
Introducing Eva Lee, Business and Integration Analyst in SAP team - Alumna
As a young girl growing up in Taiwan, Eva always knew she’d leave her home base one day. She would tell her parents daily that her future wasn’t in Taiwan. As her dad had also studied abroad, and as she had plenty of family overseas, they supported her aspirations wholeheartedly. Faith – and love – brought her to the Netherlands, where she has been living for five years now. ‘It was only when I started making close friends here that this country started to feel like “home” to me.’
‘It’s not exactly traditional for a Taiwanese girl to study German, but my fascination with languages and cultures inspired me to do so. Learning more about German culture opened the doors to Europe for me. When I met a guy – a Dutch exchange student who actually lived in France – in my third year of university, the stars aligned. We decided to take a leap of faith and move to Holland to study further, a decision that was just as bold for him as it was for me. The whole time I’d been telling my parents that I’d study abroad one day, I had the United States or Australia in mind; never did I picture myself living in the Netherlands. But then there I was – a 22-year-old student in Rotterdam.’
From a warm family to riding solo
‘Everything went smoothly that first year. My boyfriend and I had the best time, his family was warm and welcoming, and we stayed in a lovely apartment in Rotterdam. Things changed, though, when we broke up after a year of living abroad. While everything had come fairly easily to me in that first year, all of a sudden I found myself completely alone. I moved into a tiny room in a student house in Utrecht and had to start all over again
‘To shake things up a little, I needed to break out of my comfort zone and put myself out there to make new friends. Towards the end of my masters program, I did just that. Within a few months, I somehow found myself part of a group of four girls – me, two Dutch ladies and another Taiwanese girl – who got along fantastically. There they were: the friends I had been longing for. Over the past few years, they have become my family here – confidants that I can rely on and fall back on. In my opinion, true friendship is about support, honesty and lack of judgment. That’s exactly what these three girls offer me.'
Colleagues can be friends too
‘Colleagues can become friends too. There’s this one colleague who I met on my first day at Accenture – she had joined the company a few months earlier. Working together on the same client for six months definitely fast-tracked the bonding process, as did all the social events we attended during that time. The benefit of being friends with someone who works at the same place you do is that you truly understand what the other person is going through and you can support each other like few others can.'
Wait, what? Isn’t there just one answer to every question?
‘And support certainly helps, because working for a fast-paced organization like Accenture can be intense at times. It can be especially overwhelming for me, as an extreme perfectionist who is always a little anxious about not living up to expectations or failing to solve a problem. That’s also, in part, the product of where I come from and how I was raised – it’s natural for me to want to perform to the best of my ability and to assume that there is only one answer to every question. That’s how kids are brought up in Asia, so it took a lot of adjustment from my side to accept that there is no such thing as just one answer. Although I still struggle with the concept sometimes, I can say that after engaging in various brainstorming sessions and observing how other people gather information and formulate answers, I am starting to get my head around the idea.’
‘While on the topic of learning curves, I must admit mine has been pretty steep these past two years at Accenture. At the start I felt like I was just keeping my head above water, trying very hard not to drown. I wouldn’t dare say “no” to a request and I tried to execute every task or assignment 100 percent perfectly – if not 200 percent. As time passed, I learned to project manage my own time – to adopt a more structured approach, focus on priorities and set boundaries. A significant learning was that I need to delegate. Rather than assuming that I have to come up with all the answers myself, I have come to realize that it’s far more efficient to draw on other people’s skills and expertise.'
''Finding confidence and learning to maintain that balance has been an interesting journey.''
The bridge between two worlds
‘Currently, I’m working as a SAP consultant, which I find really stimulating. As much as technology fascinates me, I love talking to and interacting with people too. One day, I hope to serve as the bridge between the fields of business and technology. By connecting those two worlds, I feel I can truly make an impact.’
Eva Lee (1992)
Studied: MSc Business Administration, TIAS School for Business and Society (2016)
Started working at Accenture: September 2017
Relationship status: Single
Gets annoyed by: People who jump to conclusions too quickly (or when I do this myself)
Favorite food: French cuisine
On my nightstand: “Dreams from my Father” by Barack Obama
Listens to: All kinds of music, from nineties to Indie pop
Last purchase: Swimming lessons (I never learned how to swim breaststroke)
Would like to sit next to in the plane: Ellen DeGeneres
Life-changing event: That second year in Holland when I had to start over again
The best lesson life has taught me: Remember how little is needed to live a happy life
What I learned recently: Hippos can’t swim; they gallop
Most beautiful place on earth: Tuscany, Italy
What nobody knows about me: That I wanted to become a singer when I was a teenager
Life motto: ‘Live in the moment’
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