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Insights 'Ex' Management Consultants – are you ready to shine?

01 April 2020

Where your expertise and knowledge mean a lot

Annabelle is a Management Consultancy Returner based in our Strategy, Operations & Procurement (SO&P) team within Business and Digital Consulting (BDC). She's currently working on the Heathrow Cyber+ project, supporting Business Change. She's thriving, pulling on her past experience in Transitions/Mobilisation and Training Delivery to help our client adopt new systems in line with their new programme. 

Image of Annabelle smiling

Here we catch up with her about her experience with our Management Consultancy Returners (MCR) Programme.

How did you find out about the programme?

I was looking on LinkedIn for inspiration when I saw the advert for the MCR Programme. It was recruiting for experienced professionals who had taken an extended career break. The more I read, the more I thought, "This sounds like me!" I applied, and joined the programme in November 2019. 

What has been your career journey to Atkins?

I started my career at Accenture in 1998 but left 10 years later when I moved with my young family to the Middle East. We spent 10 years in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Oman before returning last year. During that time, I worked for a local consultancy delivering training while studying for my MSc in Organisational Psychology. I was keen to get my career back on track when I returned to the UK, and the Atkins MC Returners programme gave me the perfect opportunity. 

Did you have any worries about returning to work?

image of Annabelle with her family

I was concerned that the world of work would have changed so much, particularly technology. And that I would feel out of my depth, and my skills would no longer be relevant. However, a lot is remarkably unchanged, and so far, the rest has been straight forward to pick up. 

My biggest worries were actually logistics. I have four children (and a dog) who were used to having me readily available for ferrying around different sports and music events. With Atkins' great approach to flexible working, and everyone at home getting used to the change – we seem to have settled into a good rhythm. I’m proud that I can be a positive role model for my children. They know that whichever career they choose, they can make it work if they really want it to!

What was it like being back at work?

I really enjoyed my first day at Atkins. Two other Returners were starting at the same time as me, so it was good to be part of a team going through the experience together. We also had great support from a colleague who had been through the programme the year before. My children didn’t recognize me on the first day when I came downstairs in my ‘office clothes,’ it felt great to be using my brain again. Studying was really interesting and thought-provoking, but nothing beats actually applying your learning and skills practically.

Do you have advice for people who have been in a similar position to you?

Just do it. It can be daunting going back to work, surmounting logistical issues and wondering if you’ll be able to fit everything in. But life has a way of working things out. And once you take that leap of faith, you’ll be fine!

So far, what do you enjoy most about Atkins?

The greatest thing about working for Atkins is the people. Everyone has been so supportive and open to sharing their knowledge and experiences. It’s a company where I can see myself growing.