In the first of our series profiling experienced hires, James Yule, senior consultant in Deloitte’s Change practice spoke to the MCA about why he made the transition to consulting and how his previous experience has helped make him a success.
The MCA Managers Network which is launching in April will provide networking and professional development opportunities for experienced hires and consultants with 5-10 years’ experience in MCA member firms. To register for updates email firstname.lastname@example.org
What did you do before you became a consultant?
Before consulting I was working for one of the major banks, on their group wide complaints handling programme. It was an incredible experience to see how an institution of that size and scope approaches major regulatory change. As you can imagine, change is not easy to implement in large organisations that are not necessarily used to change. At times it was a real challenge to embed a new way of thinking about complaints and a new way of interacting with customers. Prior to the financial sector, I worked at a technology company where I was doing various roles, from team management to working on an IT Transformation programme.
Why did you make the move into consultancy?
I had been independently contracting for a few years and I was keen to start to build not only my experience, but also my core change management skills within a mature and successful change practice. I was aware that Deloitte had a very successful Change practice in place, working with some of the largest organisations implementing Change programmes. They were an obvious choice as I was looking for the opportunity to learn new and innovative ways of working at a world-class consultancy firm.
What transferable skills have you previous positions given you?
In all my previous positions, the key transferable skill is building strong working relationships. I’ve carried this on at Deloitte and always make a real effort to support, help and get to know the colleagues with whom I work. Also, having moved from telecoms to financial services, I’ve experienced very different industries which has been helpful preparation for working with multiple clients in multiple industries at Deloitte.
What are the advantages of being an experienced hire?
The main advantage of being an experienced hire is the ability to see through the clients’ eyes. I understand and empathise with the client and this helps me deliver what the client wants. I also bring a different way of thinking that I’ve gained through a very different career to those that have been consultants all their working lives.
Did your preconceptions of consulting match the realities?
I had few preconceptions of consulting, so I joined with an open mind. I knew it would be hard work and in that respect, it’s certainly not disappointed! Otherwise, I’ve met some really great, smart people that have been fun to work with and from whom I’ve learnt a lot.