- Over 8 years' professional experience
- Consulting background with Bain
- Extensive work with clients in PE, industrials, and B2B services
- Track record across strategy, value creation, organisation, and due diligence
- Recently worked with Eden McCallum clients in primary industries, manufacturing, private equity and venture capital
Sam’s fascination with learning and variety has not wavered since his early days at Bain. It fuelled him through projects across a wide range of sectors, latterly specialising in work for Private Equity, industrials and B2B services clients. When he left Bain as a Senior Manager it was not for a different role, but instead:
“To live a different life. I knew I loved the consulting job, but I didn’t love the way I was doing it anymore.
I was planning on becoming an investor with family and friends, we were looking at investing in a small company with the intention of running it ourselves then selling it on…. so my initial thought was to do independent consulting as a side gig to bridge the period between leaving Bain and that really taking off.”
Soon, Sam was surprised to discover that his freelancing ‘side gig’ was really interesting as a career.
“The ability to choose your work was such a game changer for me. And then just the ability to have a bit more flexibility around work in terms of doing projects and then in between being able focus on other things.. that has been super valuable to me.
Now I’m really thinking of it as a career. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I look back ten years from now and I’m still doing the same.
Ultimately, I took all the great elements of the job I had at Bain, and stripped out the elements I didn’t like, and all of a sudden I have the best job.”
The move wasn’t without its risks. But demand was one of the surprises.
“It feels like there is a lot of work out there – it doesn’t feel like a big risk anymore. Stepping into it, it did. My daughter was on the way at the time and that was quite scary, giving up a paycheck, but it turned out quite well.
I also do work through my own network which has been quite a pleasant surprise. In addition to working with Eden McCallum, that has been quite enriching.”
One of the more fulfilling aspects of working freelance has been working in flatter teams and even solo.
“At times I have been the analyst, consultant, manager and partner all in one, and playing the various roles in different parts of the day. In the morning I could be speaking to the CFO at a strategic, high level, later in the day to the Financial Controller about a specific number in more of the analyst role. I have really enjoyed that. It can be daunting to switch constantly between the helicopter view and the detail, but when you have the helicopter conversation you really know what you’re talking about.”
And in teams as with working solo, Sam has found the relationships he builds with clients are different than in a traditional, big-firm setting.
“The relationships you build with clients are different: in a sense there is no filter between you and the client. If you’re part of the big firm, clients see you as one part of that big machine.
In 2 years as an independent I have built stronger relationships than I did over the 7 years before that, with some clients actually becoming friends.”
And Sam has forged great relationships with his fellow consultants also, including the Eden McCallum team in-house.
“Eden McCallum takes a very personal approach, it’s not a platform of being automatically matched and clicking boxes, it’s actual people working with you and the client to find the best team. And I have been extremely impressed with the people staffed alongside me.
The same goes for the in-house partners – it’s extremely helpful to have somebody there to bounce ideas off and pressure test some of your thinking, someone who has done the job themselves for years. They’re not on your back all the time, but they are there when you need them. It’s the perfect balance.”
So now Sam is doing consulting the way he wanted, and for the foreseeable future. And he has become an evangelist for IC.
“It’s a virtuous circle. You do the projects that are interesting to you and where there is a good fit with the client. That allows you to achieve real results together with the client. Happy clients come back, and you keep on going.
If you are truly motivated by the intrinsics of the consulting job then this is a great fit. I tell people to just take the leap, and try it.”