AtkinsRéalis Consultant, Lewis Hodges, was one of the first young professionals in the country to obtain the recently introduced Associate Chartership Accreditation. He was able to apply for the accreditation as he had already met the criteria for two of our three eligibility routes.
Before joining the 2019 Management Consultancy Graduate Scheme offered by AtkinsRéalis, Lewis had already obtained his CMI Level 7 Diploma in Professional Consulting. The qualification is a built-in feature of the MSc Management Consulting programme offered at the University of Leeds, from which Lewis graduated with Distinction in December 2018.
His time with AtkinsRéalis has enabled him to grow his expertise in the fundamentals of consultancy and apply his knowledge in more hands-on, client-facing projects. Lewis said:
“I have always wanted to go for the full five-year Chartership Award. As a young professional in consulting I think one of the biggest challenges you face is proving yourself as capable and trustworthy to the client within a short space of time. If you are going to manage teams, particularly where age gaps exist, it helps to have a qualification behind you to prove that you are accomplished and will deliver to the quality level that is required. That was my incentive.”
The Associate Chartership Award was a perfect fit for Lewis’ development plan, meeting his drive to achieve success quickly. He said:
“I realised there was a two-year gap between when I could apply for the Associate Award, and when I was going to be able to get my full five-year Chartership. I have already led delivery teams on client site and so I wanted to get the qualification next to my name as soon as possible, to help build trust more quickly the next time I start a new project.”
Many chartered consultants describe the process of reflecting on what they have already achieved as a useful catalyst for focusing on what to achieve next. Lewis commented:
“I found the whole process brilliant. If you look at it in terms of preparing you for the full five-year Chartership, it is incredibly worthwhile. There were two key things I drew from it. Firstly, the final report on your submission, which lets you know where you are operating at both Chartered and Associate levels and highlights key areas for development.
“The second key benefit is the interview. Throughout the 90-minute conversation, the assessor talked about his own experiences as a Management Consultant, which I felt were similar to my own, as many of his anecdotes reminded me of my own projects. Like many young professionals, at times in my career I have felt twinges of impostor syndrome. The interview gave me reassurance. If I could relate to such a senior Management Consultant with my experiences, then perhaps I am more competent than I give myself credit for.”
At every stage of his consultancy career to date, Lewis has reached out to achieve the right benchmarks to assure his clients of his credibility. Now, having completed his Associate Accreditation, he is on the home straight towards gaining full Chartership.