Consultant, Cadence Innova
For me, management consulting was my ‘lightbulb moment’. After first-hand experience as a consulting intern at one of the ‘big four’, I swapped my planned career in politics for a career in consulting.
In the summer of 2020, I had just completed my bachelor’s degree in politics and was due to start a MA international governance course at the University of Leeds. While I waited for the course to begin, I secured a work experience placement with KPMG, working within a capability team that offers an end-to-end learning service, delivering quality innovative learning into the market.
It opened my eyes to the world of management consulting. It’s an industry that presents a new challenge every day; working with clients to identify problems, develop solutions and deliver results that help clients to thrive. The appeal of working within a team, of like-minded individuals, to solve real-world problems for clients was tantalising.
Sitting on a Jubilee Line train on my way home from the final day of my placement, I realised that a consultancy role in the public sector was how I wanted to begin my professional career. The role would combine the political knowledge from my bachelor’s degree with my new-found passion for consulting in the public sector. So, I applied for the MSC Management consulting course at the University of Leeds Business School, and the rest is history.
In January 2022, I joined Cadence Innova, an SME with a wide reach into the public sector, both centrally and locally. I was impressed by Cadence’s reach within the sector, I could see there was a clear track record of working on large scale projects; using their shared knowledge to shape and implement policy, delivering positive transformational change for their public sector clients. As a recent graduate, finding a company that aligned with my values was an important criterion in my job search. I quickly learnt that Cadence would be a great fit, their commitment to sustainability and diversity was hugely appealing to me.
A typical week for me at Cadence Innova varies from day-to-day and is defined by the project I am working on. I am currently embedded at a central government organisation, working to scope and deliver a white paper policy initiative. The multi-disciplinary team I am working with consists of consulting colleagues and civil servants. I particularly enjoy working within this mixed team as it has given me the opportunity to build relationships within the clients’ organisation. On a typical day, I can find myself: engaging with civil servants, brainstorming with the team, presenting ideas to the client and producing documents and artefacts that contribute to various workstreams.
The journey, so far, has not been completely smooth sailing. In the early months of my first client assignment, I found myself experiencing imposter syndrome. I found myself in an industry where consultants are expected to have the knowledge to solve clients’ problems. The ability to accept that I didn’t have the answers just yet combined with the eagerness – and confidence – to seek out the knowledge helped me to overcome the ‘imposter’ feeling. I quickly learned that one of the most important attributes for a young consultant is a willingness to learn, every single day, to speak up when I needed help or wanted to check my initial thinking and to ask for regular feedback.
If you are a problem solver, always striving to identify the perfect solution to a problem, then the consulting industry may be the perfect fit for you. As a consultant, we are relied upon to solve our clients’ challenges, providing expert knowledge and advice aimed at driving meaningful change. It is a challenging and dynamic industry that requires the ability to constantly adapt and evolve to meet the fast-paced client environment. I have enjoyed every moment of my consulting career so far. It’s a fantastic industry with inspiring people, interesting clients and the opportunity to make a real difference and I’m proud to be here.