I did not have the typical start in consulting. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I then went on to spend three years in financial services sales. Cold calling is a tough role, and it’s surprising what 100 cold calls a day teaches you, but the experience and financial knowledge I gained, provided an excellent platform into a new direction.
Admittedly, consulting was not the only job area I considered but as someone who enjoys problem solving and communicating, it seemed the logical choice. I have no regrets in pursuing consulting as a career and the last two years have been the most challenging and satisfying of my working life so far.
Currently, I work as a Business Consultant within BearingPoint’s RegTech business. The RegTech business provides regulatory reporting software solutions to financial services institutions and regulators around the globe. Although our projects are essentially a transformation project centred around software implementations, each one has its own challenges, and presents opportunities to learn at every moment. After all, regulation sits at the heart of all banking operations.
Communicating with people is at the forefront of consulting, and coming from sales, I was able to use the skills I had already learned and apply them to project environments. One of my favourite points about consulting, is its focus on people. BearingPoint really has a great group of people to learn from and the advantage of having a smaller practice, is the cross collaboration we can have. We have wide a diversity of knowledge that we are all able to utilise and learn from.
As a member of the London RegTech team, I have found international work to be the norm. For the last 15 months, I have spent a lot of time travelling to Germany. Something that I’m sure all consultants can all relate to when on client site. Being at home during the lockdown seems like a luxury, but as banks move to the digital world, remote working opportunities increase.
My current project work is focused on assisting a major UK bank in the development of its European regulatory operations following Brexit changes. Depending on the day of the week, my morning either starts with looking at JIRA emails or attending stand up calls. After that, my day will consist of helping the client with whatever they need, whether that be requirements gathering, testing, analysis, challenging assumptions or explaining rationale behind changes. I’m the only consultant on my work stream and I have direct contact with the finance director, so the level of pressure and responsibility is both exciting and challenging.
Being able to work internationally has always been something I have looked for and a career in consulting has given me that opportunity. My time in Germany has pushed me to start learning German but it has also shown me how important culture is in a relationship.
As difficult as 5am taxis on a Monday are, the experience of working internationally and the soft skills I have gained are invaluable for my career. Whether I stay in consulting for the whole of my career, or not, I know that the skills I’ve gained have given me an excellent foundation for the future. Would I go through all the stress again if I had to? Absolutely.