Akram Halim from Arcadis provides his thoughts on navigating the dynamic world of management consulting as an Associate ChMC.

Embarking on a career in Management Consulting is akin to stepping into an ever-evolving landscape of challenges and growth opportunities. As someone who started as the inaugural Apprentice Management Consultant at my firm, I’ve been fortunate to witness and navigate the diverse facets of this dynamic profession over the last four years. From spearheading organisational transformations to delving into intricate people change initiatives, my journey has spanned across an array of sectors, including transportation, government, utilities, national defence, and financial institutions.

The essence of Management Consulting lies in its dynamic nature—each week on a project presents novel challenges that demand innovative problem-solving, fostering continuous learning. What I do enjoy is working with colleagues, experts and clients to develop solutions collaboratively. Being able to interact in person with colleagues helps to create a high performing environment. As well as that visiting our clients helps to strengthen our partnerships and shows us the impact of our work.

To those contemplating a career in management consulting, I emphasise the promise it holds—a journey filled with diverse challenges across client projects. Success in consulting hinges on diligent problem-solving, ensuring perpetual learning and growth. As a management consultant, you have a unique role that delves into different industries, revealing market trends and exposure to how different businesses operate. As our roles continues to change, we are always innovating, growing, and addressing new challenges.

The allure of the ChMC Associate accreditation stemmed from my progress within consulting. It offered a prime opportunity to reflect on my trajectory within the field, especially considering my unique entry into consulting. Demonstrating personal growth over the past three to four years was paramount—to myself, my peers, and my clients. My ultimate advice to other consultants is to take their time throughout this process and not to rush the submission. It is important to understand the ChMC framework and what the sub competencies mean, reflect on their careers so far and where they want to grow, and work with colleagues to collate a range of evidence. This will develop a well-crafted story that brings out the authenticity and individuality.

Undertaking the Associate ChMC evaluation posed challenges, primarily centred on independently collating evidence from the past three to four years. I realised my oversight in excluding several qualities from earlier drafts. Collaborating with supportive peers and colleagues, pivotal figures in my professional journey, proved instrumental. Their insights highlighted initiatives, soft skills, and experiences aligned with the competency framework, particularly within my leadership approach showcasing emotional intelligence and fostering enjoyable work environments.

The accreditation process, inclusive of professional discussions, prompted a comprehensive reflection across all competencies within the ChMC consultancy framework. It has shown me my areas of strengths and areas of growth to make a well-rounded management consultant in the coming years. It has helped me to consolidate my learning and shown me how to further my career and gain full ChMC status.

The Associate ChMC experience broadened my horizons, underscoring the vast scope for career progression despite four years of experience. It highlighted avenues to pivot into different areas of consulting. This includes specialising in different disciplines and consulting in new sectors with the transferable skills that I have developed. It has also taught me the business areas to learn about internally in my organisation, to create better informed solutions when advising clients.

To sum up, the journey towards an Associate ChMC accreditation epitomises the evolution and revelation of potential within the world of management consulting. It fortified my resolve to embrace the ever-evolving nature of this field, equipped with a deeper understanding of my capabilities and the vast landscape awaiting exploration.