After making some small adjustments to her career path, Giovanna Römkens embraced a much more radical shift this year: she decided to become a programmer through an RPA Traineeship at Accenture. ‘Learning new things on a daily basis and being continuously challenged is great.'

A wish to connect with people and a desire to care for those who need help were two of the main reasons Giovanna chose to become a doctor’s assistant. Now that she's become an RPA trainee at Accenture, she knows one thing for certain: 'In this field, there’s the added benefit of being assured that there will always be a job for you!’

‘As a young girl, it was my dream to become an astronaut. However, I gave up on that dream the first time I heard about a failed rocket launch. It was the combination of a wish to connect with people and a desire to help them that inspired me to become a doctor’s assistant. I considered it a very worthy profession. And it was, but when, due to the recession, my contract wasn’t renewed in 2011, I realized I needed to come up with a plan B. And so I made my first career shift, albeit a relatively cautious one: I became a pharmacist’s assistant.’

‘Although I greatly enjoyed this role, it didn’t quite give me the career stability I was hoping for. I wanted to guarantee consistent work and a reliable income for myself, and unfortunately, these are not always givens as a pharmacist’s assistant. So after a year and a half in this position, I joined CompuGroup Medical, a leading eHealth company located in Echt. This marked career shift number two - moving to the “other” side of healthcare: the IT side.’

Career Status: Open to Suggestions

‘At CompuGroup Medical I was still involved in caring for people, albeit in a different way: by offering software to pharmacies, doctors’ practices and hospitals. After three very enjoyable years at the company, I reached a point when I felt like I was stagnating. I guess you could say, I hit a ceiling, so to speak. I strongly believe people are meant to keep learning and growing. As soon as you stop challenging yourself, unhappiness is almost certainly around the corner. So I updated my CV and sent it to various companies, without being entirely sure what I wanted my next step to be. After three years in IT, I knew IT was a field that appealed to me, but I didn’t want to limit my options, so I guess my career status was “open to suggestions”. Above all else, I was looking for a new challenge that would involve plenty of learning opportunities.’

"Do I have the skills to become a programmer? Won’t it be too complicated? - I was more than keen to take the plunge and grab this opportunity with both hands."

‘I’ll admit that when a recruiter first called me about the possibility of working at Accenture, I wasn’t too familiar with the company. But when Ruben van Nunen told me about the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Traineeship, my interest was sparked right away. Aside from some initial doubts - “Do I have the skills to become a programmer? Won’t it be too complicated?” - I was more than keen to take the plunge and grab this opportunity with both hands. This was the challenge I had been looking for - a wonderful chance to reinvent my career!’

The Hardest Part is Also the Best Part

‘While the learning curve wasn’t steep enough at my previous job, it’s been steeper than I could have imagined at Accenture. Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed by all the new information I’m taking in daily. Although maintaining a clear overview of everything is the hardest part of the traineeship, it’s also one of the most rewarding parts. I love that it challenges me to continuously learn new things - through the MyLearning platform too. I really feel like I am in charge of my own career and how it will evolve from here on out.’

‘What I love most about programming is that sense of fulfillment you get when the software you have designed actually does what it’s intended to do. Of course, there are also frustrating moments when things don’t go the way you envisaged, but that’s part of every job, I guess. But it’s always worth it for those times you get the desired result - that feeling is absolutely priceless.’

Trading Self-Doubt for Self-Confidence

‘Programming is completely different as to what I did in any of my previous jobs. Despite the concerns I had initially, I now feel confident that I have the skills needed to become a good programmer. Plus, if I have any questions, I can always consult my colleagues. For someone like me, who tends to feel a little uncertain from time to time, knowing my colleagues are there to help is a very comforting thought.’

"I love how Accenture looks out for its employees, encouraging us to have a healthy work-life balance."

‘I love how Accenture looks out for its employees, encouraging us to have a healthy work-life balance. This is something I place a lot of importance on. In my free time, I love to cycle, run or do yoga - to relax, clear my head and keep fit. I like that this company isn’t rigid about staff working from 8 to 5 every day, but rather trusts that people will get the job done. Lastly, I appreciate Accenture’s commitment to employees’ personal and professional growth. All in all, it’s just a privilege to work for a company like this.’

Image: Portrait Giovanna Romkens - by Accenture

A Real Life-changer

‘So, looking back, I can safely say I am very happy I decided to make this most recent, and far more radical, career switch. The RPA Traineeship has met, and even exceeded, my expectations. For me, it’s been a life-changer and definitely one of the boldest steps I’ve taken so far. A major advantage has been doing the traineeship with three other ladies who, just like me, come from completely different work backgrounds. We clicked instantly, bonded over the shared challenge of changing careers and supported each other throughout the experience. I am looking forward to what’s to come: an assignment at a client to gain work experience, and after that, hopefully, a contract at Accenture. I am far from done at this organization; I still see endless opportunities for further growth.’

"The RPA Traineeship has met, and even exceeded, my expectations. For me, it’s been a life-changer and definitely one of the boldest steps I’ve taken so far."

‘Above all, this traineeship has boosted my confidence enormously. Aside from acquiring completely new skills - and realizing that I am capable of learning them - I can also take comfort in the knowledge that, as a programmer, my future will be a lot more stable and secure. After all, automation is the way forward, and there is still so much to be discovered in this field!’

Giovanna Römkens (1989)

Studied: Doctor’s Assistant AG, Arcus College (2011)

Started working at Accenture: April 2018

Relationship status: Single, living with Bengal cat Pichu

Loves: Spending time with family and friends

Gets annoyed by: Failing to achieve something I’ve set my mind to

Favorite food: Spaghetti bolognese

On my nightstand: My phone and a night lamp

Listens to: A very diverse range of music, from pop to Spanish songs, and everything in between

Last purchase: Some casual clothes

Would like to sit next to in the plane: Oprah Winfrey. I think she’s one of the most inspiring people alive  

Life-changing event: Deciding to do the RPA training - it has shown me that when you really want something, you can make it happen

The best lesson life has taught me: Always believe in yourself

What I learned last week: The importance of letting go sometimes (which is very difficult for a perfectionist)

Most beautiful place on earth: Spain, where my mother was born. She was a waitress in the hotel where my father was staying. He fell in love and a few years later, she moved to the Netherlands

Hobbies/passions: Sports, friends, family and cooking - I like trying new recipes on a regular basis

What nobody knows about me: That I love gadgets and Star Wars (and Star Wars gadgets)

Life motto: If you just put your heart and mind to achieving something, you can do anything you want!


Who are the people behind Accenture? What drives Magdelijn Emaus and inspires her on a daily basis? How has Fenna Jansens'  life, career, ambitions and dreams developed over the years? What difficult choices has Dayenne Gouverneur made in her 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.