A Day in the Life of Claire Stidston, PPL

Company: PPL
Sector: Health & Social Care
University: University of Manchester
Degree: Psychology
Location: London
Job title: Analyst Consultant
I was first attracted to consultancy because…
During university I did an internship with the Research & Development Department at Exeter hospital – the role involved supporting consultations and the development of various grant proposals. Having always enjoyed variety and problem solving, I found it really satisfying in supporting a number of different clients on different projects and constantly adapting and being creative. I enjoyed these aspects of the internship – which are core to our line 
of work and encouraged me to pursue a career in consulting.
The most interesting project I’ve worked on is…
A project based around co-producing a future workforce to help individuals to stay safe and healthy within their own homes. I really enjoyed this project because it had an innovative focus and encouraged a bottom up design approach to stakeholder engagement – from the view of the patient (customer).
A normal day consists of … 
Every day is different. One work day I could be working on client site in North East London, having various meetings, and developing a toolkit to help enable GP practice improvement.  Whereas, the next  I could be cycling to work at our Tower Bridge based office, meeting with different members of the PPL team regarding business development, and attending a number of meetings around London, before shadowing an Emergency Rapid Response team to gain an understanding of how they work effectively and how we could improve it.
The skills I have that make me a good consultant are…
I have a flair for understanding people and also adapting the way I work with different people, partly due to education and training, and partly due to my natural attributes. Therefore, I often approach work problems from the perspective of the people who it will affect and the parties involved.  Understanding individual drivers is key in consultancy – there is no point in doing something if you don’t have the buy in and the ownership from the individuals who are being affected by your work and having them owning it.
If I wasn’t a Management Consultant I would be…. I’ve always had a key interest in design, particularly in up-cycling and restoring furniture. If I didn’t work in consultancy then I would start some sort of furniture restoration business.
The skill I would most like to have is …
I would love to be fluent in another language, Italian or French.
Tell us a bit about the firm you work for…
PPL was founded in 2007, specialising in public sector transformation with a key focus on health and social care.  We are currently working across the majority of boroughs in London. We won the innovation award and were nominated for ‘Best New Consultancy’ at this year’s MCA Awards. For a relatively small organisation, our advisors and consultants come from a diverse mix of nationalities ranging from Canadian, to Australian and Dutch – bringing a varied and international perspective on solving problems.  One of the main reasons I love working here is that I strongly value the company ethos of working with the client, not alongside them. There is a really good work/life balance, and we regularly have team development sessions, dinners, and social events.
If you would like to nominate someone for our ‘Day in the Life of’ feature please email youngmca@mca.org.uk  with the subject ‘A Day in the Life of’.