What did you do previously in your career, and what made you choose the independent path?
I started my career in IT consulting and joined McKinsey after completing my MBA. I joined Richemont, the Luxury Goods conglomerate after McKinsey in a strategy role.
I became an independent consultant about 3 years ago. It was at a point when I was considering a new venture and needed the flexibility. But soon, it became a way of life. I enjoy the flexibility it offers but perhaps more importantly, I enjoy the problems I get to solve. It feels a bit geeky to admit this, but I really enjoy consulting. I get a real buzz from having new questions to answer and having real impact. With independent consulting, I get the best of both worlds – solving real problems and having impact alongside the flexibility I need.
What are the main other activities you do alongside your consulting projects?
I am a mentor / coach for OnPurpose, a social enterprise focused on developing talent to address issues faced by society and the environment. I mentor a few start-ups and new ventures. My soon-to-be 4 year old also keeps me fairly busy when I’m at home. And when I have a moment between all of that, I enjoy painting (although I’m not an artist!).
And what are the most fulfilling aspects of what you do?
Having real, tangible impact – seeing recommendations being put into practice. I’d be mortified if the work I do ended up on the “shelf”.
As an independent consultant, why do you choose to work with Eden McCallum?
I really like the people at Eden McCallum – the partners, the staffing team, the analysts and the support staff are all very supportive and friendly. The projects at Eden McCallum really push my thinking. With the Eden McCallum model, I also get to work with other independent consultants – I’m always fascinated by what they are doing, and I always learn a lot.
What have been some of the high points in your work with Eden McCallum?
It would have to be about the people I’ve met and worked with. The projects have been great and really fun, but it’s the people who really make it tick.
In what ways does being an independent influence your impact on projects?
I believe that the answers are always sharper as an independent consultant. I think that you are even more objective (compared to traditional consulting) – there’s no pressure for “on-sell” so you fully focus on delivering the best answer for the client.
What would you say are some of the characteristics of a successful independent consultant? Any advice for those considering this path?
Resilience – lots of it. I suppose it is true for life in general but with independent consulting, you are effectively a business owner – you are fully in charge of your own destiny.