‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’

 2015 is the 10th anniversary of the Young MCA, former Chair Des O’Connor looks back at his time with the network.

‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. That’s always been my motto – and being involved with the Young MCA has certainly broadened my professional network tremendously. I have been heavily involved in the network over the past four years, and I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of its flourishing success.

I started my consulting career in 2011, and first became involved with the Young MCA when I was six months into my graduate scheme at Mott MacDonald. I was given the opportunity to represent my firm on the network’s steering committee and was an active member from day one. The committee back then was only eight strong but has since grown to have representatives from over twenty firms.

I work within the Business Transformational Department at Mott MacDonald, specialising in Business Change. I learnt a significant number of new skills during my early professional career at Mott MacDonald, but additionally the Young MCA has also helped me develop my professional skills by being around other like-minded consultants. Liaising with other consultants through the informal events hosted by the network enables you to draw on mutual experiences from a broad range of sectors whilst sharing thought leadership ideas. The Young MCA is a fantastic platform for improving your professional attributes. The events cover a range of skills that can be applied within your professional environment and I regularly attend these events to broaden my horizon and actively network.

What I loved about being involved with the Young MCA was the passion that people have for delivering their services to their clients. The network is a great forum to meet and learn about different areas within the industry and the challenges that they face. I strongly believe that my confidence grew through engagements with the Young MCA. This was underpinned by the opportunity to Chair the steering committee for eighteen months. Working with the committee, we delivered a number of successful events that catered for hundreds of people throughout the UK.

Through this association, I have been very fortunate to meet fantastic people whom I would now call friends and regularly socialise with outside of work, which has been an added benefit. I know that if I need advice or direction, I could call any of them up for a chat, which highlights the importance of my motto – ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know…’

Written for the Young MCA Update