I fell into consulting after university, having realised that I wanted to apply logical thinking and make an impact in my career. By joining a specialist healthcare consultancy, I was able to make the best use of my medical background, whilst still building the skills of problem-solving that underpin all consultancy.
Even within my first few weeks, I was exposed to an incredible array of ideas and diverse thinking that have given me love for my career ever since. I have had the privilege to work with incredible clients, who can act as a source of insight and learning alongside the leadership role models within CF.
A standard week in the life of a consultant can be difficult to capture, it is hugely variable and can be a real test of your adaptability. Now I am a manager, my time is spent supporting, advising, and coaching. I see it as crucial to my role to be able to develop my teams to be the next group of outstanding management consultants to push our industry forwards.
The ability to support people, giving them the insight and tools to succeed, is what defines consulting to me. My projects so far have had far-ranging impacts from operational work to improve discharge processes at hospitals, to strategic planning for national programmes that define the vision of digital healthcare across England.
The societal impact of consulting, and especially in healthcare, is tremendous and gives a huge amount of job satisfaction. Patients are being seen sooner and receiving better care thanks, in part, to the collaborative work of my clients and teams. Building my professional network as I progress through multiple projects, it is brilliant to speak to and hear the journeys that clients have continued to go on after the conclusion of my support and that genuine transformation is possible.
The variability that makes consulting so rewarding can also be its greatest challenge. The breadth of projects covered, based on where people need my help, can mean that I must rapidly pivot from one area to another. It can be a real test of your personal resilience, and this was never more evident than during COVID, when I rapidly pivoted from a previous financial recovery project, into modelling the demand for ITU beds across London. However, over time, you can recognise the patterns in projects, even where they seem initially different. I have built a repertoire of skills and techniques that allow me to break down issues and plan out solutions.
Consulting is a journey of constant learning and challenge. For people that want to build a core set of skills but apply these with a variety of people and settings, consulting is the place for you. It can have a wide-ranging impact on organisations and society while tackling the hardest problems that people face. You can stretch your thinking further than you thought possible, and support people to do business and provide services in a better way. I have engaged with hundreds of incredible people during my consulting journey, and every one of them has provided me with a lesson. I can take these into my next project, wherever that may be.