Anna Csepanyi - She/Her
People Analytics & Insights Consultant
Anna Csepanyi is a Consultant in the Workforce Intelligence team within People & Organisation at PwC. This is a new team specialising in data analytics & insights, helping improve workforce experience, drive transformation programmes, and then supporting organisations with creating better workplaces overall. Anna’s specialism is in data-driven Employee Experience, which involves helping organisations measure the experience of their workforce throughout the employee lifecycle, identify key pain points, create actionable plans to improve, and then helping them to implement these plans.
Please tell us about your career
I joined PwC after university, with essentially no experience in data analytics, Workforce/People issues, or consulting. I moved to the UK in 2017 for university, and like many other students from Eastern Europe, I had a number of jobs during my degree to help make ends meet. I worked so many different jobs in that time - I had a number of hospitality jobs, worked as an administrative and events assistant, and even as a Welfare and Accommodation manager in summer schools, all of which taught me a lot and were valuable experiences, but didn't necessarily prepare me for Consulting. I got my ADHD and dyspraxia diagnosis during my final year at university, and only got treatment after starting to work in my current role, so I was also figuring out what my neurodiversity diagnoses mean and how to work with them (rather than against them) while adjusting to working full-time in a corporate environment.
I was surprised that I ended up specialising in people analytics, or data in general. I actually was really bad at maths and computer science throughout school, and was always drawn more to foreign languages and social sciences, but during my onboarding I spoke to a few people who specialise in data in the team, and quickly realised that it's actually fascinating. My neurodiversity means that I am really good at picking up information, skills, and knowledge about areas that interest me, so I have been able to upskill myself in a short amount of time. My brain is also wired differently than many of the clients I work with, which I initially though would be a challenge, but actually ended up being one of my biggest strengths - since I know that the way I think isn't the same as everyone else's, I pay careful attention to how I convey information, and usually come up with real-life, relatable examples or similes to help people understand what I am saying. Because I think differently to others, I am able to show them a different way of thinking, and help them understand concepts they may not get initially by explaining it in a new way that they understand. And then sometimes, my mask will slip and my passion and excitement for data and insights comes out, which I was very worried about at first, but most people have actually found it a welcome change, and say that my passion for data gets them excited about it too!
I am extremely proud of the journey that has led me to my current job, and everything I have since accomplished at PwC. I have not only tried out things that I thought I would hate and perform badly in, I have excelled in them. I am also proud of helping to create the Neurodiversity community at PwC where Neurodiverse people can talk freely, share questions, problems, and successes, and support each other. My career path has definitely had some challenges, some ups and downs, but I’m also very grateful that I had unknowingly lucked into (what I think is) a very ND-friendly career. Consulting can be very demanding, but it allows me to learn a lot about new areas, constantly experience new things, and have a variety of different roles while still having the stability of working at the same company and with the same team.
How has being Neurodivergent shaped the direction of your career?
I think it probably shaped it both in a good and a bad way? I actually was speaking to someone about this the other day - growing up with any type of disability that goes undiagnosed often results in people feeling like they are not valued, aren't able to contribute or take part like others can, and end up with massive imposter syndrome - but it also drives you to always be your best, often to the point of perfectionism. I realised that I am great at data analytics/insights, something I never thought I would even like to try doing, but the way my brain works is actually a very good fit for data analytics. So I just needed an environment where I was able to learn at my own pace and in a way that I enjoy (rather than traditional classroom learning).
What advice would you give to another Neurodivergent woman navigating their way through life?
The most important thing that has helped me immensely since realising that I am neurodivergent is understanding my brain better, and finding the tools that work for people like me - rather than things meant for neurotypicals. If you understand your neurodivergence, you are able to understand what helps you and hinders you, and you get better at not working against yourself. Using advice or tools meant to help neurotypical people with an issue that I am facing (such as time management or planning) actually often just makes me feel frustrated and annoyed, and makes me feel like I am doing things wrong or I am not capable of doing something. If you learn how to navigate and work with it, you will feel a lot better about yourself and do things easily that you never thought you'd be able to do.