My path to consulting is one that some would consider to be non-traditional. Instead of starting in business, I completed an undergraduate degree in medical science, specializing in pharmacology. While I can’t recall all the enzymes that help catalyze cellular respiration, my time in science taught me some important life lessons. I learned how to work smart, work hard, and always ask ‘Why?’ I also learned how to take a systematic approach to research – analyzing data to draw meaningful insights and implications.
Ultimately, I decided that medical school probably wasn’t for me, and chose to pursue master’s degree in business analytics. In grad school, I realized how much I enjoyed collaborating with smart people to work through complex problems, and I was keen to launch my career in an environment where I would be constantly challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone. I saw consulting as an avenue to learn more about myself, my working style and exploring how my interests align with different industries.
Almost two years into my journey, I can now look back and confirm that no two days are the same, and I have been able to learn something new every day. Level5 has given me all I had hoped for and more. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from brilliant people, develop my strategic problem-solving skills, and grow my professional relationships, both internally and with clients.
I believe there is a period of immense personal growth that happens at some point within the first year of consulting, or any corporate job, really. It’s the transition from being nervous and unsure of yourself to growing into a confident young professional and acknowledging the value that you bring to the table. I am happy to say that my confidence has grown leaps and bounds since starting my consulting career. My colleagues at Level5 value diverse perspectives, regardless of age or level of professional experience. All opinions and ideas are heard and respected, from Intern to Managing Partner. Being the scrappy boutique consultancy that we are, Level5 encourages us to challenge traditional frameworks, processes, and schools of thought. Seeing this openness to new ideas being modelled by our leadership has helped my own development significantly.
I look forward to seeing future analysts go through the same exhilarating period of growth that I went through, and finding their voice within the firm, because it’s freaking awesome.
I’m most proud of the work I’ve done internally with Meaningful Impact. Our ‘Meaningful Impact’ project is a corporate initiative launched last year with the goal of redefining the strategy behind how our firm gives back to the community.
Along with two of my colleagues, I’ve been able to develop and drive our firm’s post-COVID social impact strategy. Using input from the entire firm, we sought to identify which causes and organizations our team is passionate about. We went through interviews with several not-for-profit organizations to find a partner that was most aligned to our values and strategic direction. From there, we invested in building a united partnership and developed our charitable engagement schedule.
Level5 has a long history of volunteering in the local community, and it’s been rewarding to shape and refine the firm’s philanthropic efforts moving forward.
Culture is paramount to our firm – it’s one of the elements of our employee value proposition that we pride ourselves on. The work we do with Life@Level5 provides opportunities for our people to connect and engage with one another outside of client projects. Throughout my time here, I’ve learned that not only is it important for me to enjoy the work I do with clients, but also to find joy in other parts of my work life. One of my favourite things about my job is the relationships I’ve formed internally with mentors and peers. It makes me excited to come to work everyday, and motivated to deliver work of the highest quality for my project teams. I am grateful for the investments that Level5 puts into building an inclusive, fun, and engaging corporate culture, and ensuring our people are happy and healthy at work.
1) Mastering project management should be your number one priority. Proving you can be a great project manager by staying two steps ahead of your team and the client is a sure-fire way to deliver a ‘sleep-at-night’ factor and be an exceptional team member. At the end of the day, it is the junior’s job to manage their team’s time, action feedback effectively and efficiently, and ensure high quality assurance of deliverables. If you can master the basics, it will accelerate you.
2) Don’t be afraid to speak up. One of the most important lessons I have learned during my time in consulting is that everyone was hired for a reason, and that you should be confident in the value of your perspectives. When framed appropriately and with grace, challenging the opinions of others and sharing your own thoughts is a great way to build trust and earn respect early in your career.
3) Invest in your relationships, both inside and outside of work. Establishing a foundation of trust and connection with your colleagues and leaders will provide you with many opportunities, whether it’s mentorship, leadership, or friendship. On the other hand, maintaining relationships outside of work will enable you to grow both your personal and professional network, which will only serve you well in the long run. In consulting, we are in the business of people, and you should embrace it fully as early as possible!