Claudia’s journey of change
For Claudia change has always been personal. It’s about self-discovery, continuous learning and development so you can be at your absolute best, and then using your knowledge to help others to be at their very best too.
As the first in her family to graduate with a higher degree Claudia has pushed herself to achieve more at every point in her life. Now as a Talent Executive in the Strategy & Consulting team at Accenture, she helps others to achieve their potential too.
But Claudia’s journey to where she is today wasn’t simple. Having spent much of her life living in different countries, her career experiences were diverse and intercultural, but her career path not always stable or secure. Moving around so much meant access to ongoing education or being able to work at the corporate level she wanted wasn’t always possible. When she became a mother, she found it even harder see a path back to the career she wanted.
Starting a flexible, distance learning MBA at Warwick Business School was all about being able to take ownership of her learning and development at a time when other parts of her life were changing rapidly. She didn’t want to lose sight of her own goals and ambitions, and she also never stopped believing in her potential. She felt she just needed the right foundations in place and to bring her knowledge and skills bang up to date so she had the business language and tools to get to where she wanted to be.
Have big dreams – go and fulfil them
“I decided to do an MBA with the aim of developing in-depth business knowledge and keeping up to date with market trends. I liked the fact you had to have four years’ leadership experience to take it on, because I wanted a cohort that matched my level and that I could really learn from,” said Claudia.
As a Japanese Brazilian Claudia is used to experiencing different cultures and not always feeling like she belonged in one place or the other. And at times during her life, it’s felt she has had to work harder to drive herself forward. “It’s not always easy to be an immigrant. I was the first in my family to graduate with a higher degree”.
These feelings have characterised much of her life, as she lived and worked in countries from different continents across the world, including Brazil, USA, India and Germany. But it’s also given her tenacity and passion for exploring new things and new opportunities; open-minded and interested in the wider world; excited by different cultures and perspectives, and motivated to take any new chance or opportunity afforded to her. It’s this mentality that’s driven her forward, alongside her passion for education instilled in her at an early age by her parents.
“My father told me education was all I would inherit and to always focus on learning and gaining a good education”.
Education has always been a central part of my life. Everything I have now is down to my education
A Psychologist by training, Claudia had a natural desire and affinity for working with people and used these skills in different talent, people and organisational development roles wherever she was based. She had experience working in large organisations with more than 15,000 employees, leading training and development, engagement, performance, talent management, attraction and selection, and internal communication.
But when her visa situation stopped her from working and returning to corporate life she wanted, Claudia decided the time had come to return home to Brazil, and look for other ways she could make herself attractive in the international job market and refresh her skills.
After checking online MBA rankings, Warwick’s Distance Learning MBA caught her eye. “I found a great cohort of very experienced people from truly diverse and different backgrounds,” she said. There were people from different professions, different industries, at different life stages – where else in the world would you have the opportunity to meet and learn from so many different people and perspectives?”
It was in the early months of starting the flexible programme that Claudia experienced a few life-changing events. Not only was she preparing to move back to Brazil, having been abroad for seven years, but she discovered she was pregnant. Then the coronavirus pandemic was hit. Almost two years later, Claudia was proudly finalising her MBA dissertation and starting work as a talent manager at Accenture in Brazil. “If I can make it, anyone can,” she said.
For Claudia it was modules like Digital & Analytics that really helped to sharpen and advance her skills, developed her ability to take a data-focused approach to highly complex problems or understand how to use modern analytics tools and then communicate the results to stakeholders. Critical Thinking and Leadership modules enabled her to look at challenges with a different perspective and consider how to optimise resources to create better value-led solutions. It also renewed her confidence and gave her reassurance in her abilities. “Every time I shared a personal challenge I felt so supported – the course was so much more than just academic” Claudia said.
It can be hard for women to find their way back to work after motherhood. You can feel vulnerable or lacking in current skills. Sometimes you need reassurance that you are good enough, to get back into the job market. The MBA gave me this
The major benefit of the programme was the flexible, online format; being able to study remotely and, in a pattern and timeframe that suited her family life. Put simply, her MBA, her way. “MBAs are time-consuming, even online — so, I really benefitted from the flexibility,” said Claudia.
After two years flexible learning, Claudia achieved a distinction across all of her modules. After motherhood Claudia wasn’t sure how to get back to a career she loved and wanted, now she’s doing everything she’s wanted to do and more.
Her investment in her learning gave her the experience and tools to restart her career and secure a talent role at Accenture in their Strategy & Consulting team. “Today, I help clients to unlock human potential at scale to drive enterprise-wide value. Business and functional transformation, leadership and culture, talent management, organisational design, and workforce transformation are just some of the ways I work with our team to add value to large corporations across different industries,” said Claudia. She added, “I’m really proud of what I’m achieving now. As an advisor my role is to earn the trust of my client and support them in making big decisions which can affect many other people”. And it’s not just on an organisational level that she’s supporting others - Claudia coaches high-potentials and senior leaders to achieve their potential, just like she is achieving hers.
My role is to help other people be at their very best
And one of her big focus areas now is helping more women to realise their ambitions and goals by returning to work after motherhood, as well as to create the right environment and awareness within organisations to make this happen. “I want to help more talented women back into work and help organisations to understand what they can do to make this easier. It’s good to be driven by something bigger than yourself,” said Claudia.
“My advice to any woman considering her career options after motherhood would be to focus on your learning and development, and if it’s right for you, to consider doing an MBA. Be resilient. Change is necessary in life”.