I entered management consulting in 1987 at the age of 27. My employment as a Financial Officer for the Canadian government at the time did not challenge me enough, so I took a leap of faith and switched careers. Consulting offers a rich and diversified career, which very much appeals to me. Thus, I left government and joined a consulting firm that, by coincidence, was promoting the CMC designation, so I started my CMC right away. Even though I already had a B.Comm. & MBA, I feel it has been helpful because it provided me with a solid foundation of what management consulting is all about.
I was not disappointed in my career choice! Management consulting has provided me with great opportunities to work on a variety of challenging projects with many different professionals – I’ve learned a lot. With the passage of time, I’ve come to understand that we never stop learning and the consulting profession is a great teacher because it forces you to frequently start new projects with different people, work environments, and topics.
At first, it was report writing. I am French from Quebec, and working in Ottawa, I had to write in English. Written communication is extremely important in consulting so I have worked hard to improve this skill.
It is very difficult to choose one. I was very fortunate to have numerous engagements that I truly enjoyed. Some I appreciated because they were difficult, complex, and a fascinating challenge to overcome; others because they provided the opportunity to organize things the way I wanted to.
However, if I really had to say the one that I most enjoyed, it would be an assignment for the International Monetary Fund in Trinidad and Tobago, 2015. I say this because I had to work with a culture I did not know and had to quickly adapt to, work with issues previously unknown to me, as well as design a customized solution and deliver something I had never done before. The engagement was a success. Furthermore it brought me to the Caribbean in January, the middle of winter in Canada, which was great and as I developed a closer professional relationship with my client, toward the end of the engagement the client took time to show my wife and I some Caribbean hidden secrets. So, while the assignment provided the opportunity to do something completely different, I was also able to absorb the beauty of the Island and the uniqueness of its culture.
This is a difficult question. So many personality traits are vital for a successful career in management consulting. However, I strongly believe that continuously striving for excellence in the quality of my work, developing a good relationship with my clients, and leaving a LASTING good impression have particularly defined me.
The book: 25th Anniversary Edition of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Don't be deceived by the title, this best seller is about much more than habits. Also, the 25th edition has several extras. A few US Presidents have read the book twice. Being stranded on a deserted island would give me the opportunity to read the book for a second time.
The luxury item: A laptop (MacBook Pro) with a fast internet connection, unlimited data usage, and the ability to connect with the Apple Support Team so they could assist solving frustrating technical issues in getting the most out of my Mac.
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