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I started out in Management Consultancy in 1997 having graduated from the University of Durham with a Masters degree in Astrophysics. I have worked with some fantastic clients over the last fourteen ...
Hadley Baldwin, Partner
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Home > Careers > Our People > Fiona O’Reilly
When and why did you join?
I joined Berkeley in 2007. What attracted me was the opportunity to do all the things that I love about Management Consulting, but without some of the things I wasn’t enjoying so much. The chance to have a much better work/life balance, but frankly the chance to have the independence to work on my own or in very small teams at very senior levels; that was just too good to pass up.
Berkeley has really helped me to develop both my experience and my career, because I’ve had the independence to take on the roles I wanted to do but the support that’s enabled me to make those big steps up when the chance was there, and I’ve also had the opportunity to work with senior clients and to make my own judgement about what was the right thing to do, and that really helps you learn.
How are we different?
I think what makes Berkeley different is two things. Firstly, we’re still a partnership; that means we have huge freedom in who we work with and in how we work with them, and that makes a big difference. The second thing is that we get to work at the most senior levels in clients, but in a way where we are shoulder to shoulder with the client, you haven’t overwhelmed them with a team of hundreds; it’s a few key people in a few key roles making all the difference.
Most satisfying project?
One of my favourite assignments was working with a global oil company to completely transform their graduate recruitment. I worked with a team of occupational psychologists to overhaul their entire selection process, including writing a ‘day in the life of the oil industry’ assessment centre and we also recruited a marketing agency to really sharpen up how they interact with graduates and make sure it was a two-way conversation. By the end of the season we had transformed what they were doing on campus. The result? We took 20% off the amount of time it took them to recruit graduates, and we moved them inside the Top 10 Employer of Choice at all their key universities. They were delighted, the graduates were delighted – it was a great product.
Working for Berkeley has given me a better work/life balance in two key ways. Firstly, the majority of our work is London based, so I get to go home every day to the place where I live. That’s got to be better for you than getting on a plane at 6am every Monday morning. I think, secondly, even in the most demanding roles, you’ve got a network of support behind you that is collaborative, that is collegiate and means that you’ve got what you need in order to succeed and take those big steps up in a way that still gives you a good balance to life.
For me, one of the big highlights is the annual Away Weekend where the partnership takes everybody away to try some new things, and so this year we were surfing in Cornwall, last year we were flying helicopters in Goodwood – you get to do some stuff you wouldn’t normally, and you get to do it with people whose company you genuinely enjoy. For me that’s the other side of working at Berkeley that I really like – I would happily go out for a beer, for a bite to eat, for a coffee with the majority of the people who here. And that’s a lovely thing to be able to say.
If someone is thinking of moving to Berkeley, I would say start the conversation. Because it’s only when you come and talk to us that you’ll get a real sense of what we’re about and that we’ll get a sense of what’s important to you, and that way we’ll both be able to figure out ‘is this a good fit?’.
Graduating from Dublin City University with a primary degree in International Marketing and Languages, Fiona joined the Management Consulting industry and began a career with Accenture. During her 10 years with the firm, Fiona worked in a variety of roles, primarily programme and project management, change management and value realisation. Here, she gained extensive experience of the industry and worked with a broad range of clients across every area of the programme lifecycle. In 2007, Fiona made the leap from a large firm to the smaller Berkeley Partnership, keen to embed her know-how and skills into our business.
Over the course of her ten years with us, Fiona has been involved in numerous projects, from the transformation of learning for a global consumer goods company, to the shaping of a policy for a UK government department. Each project has helped to shape her as a talented and dynamic consultant with outstanding capabilities in mobilising and leading IT and operational change projects.
1. No pigeonholes or comfort zones. The chance to stretch yourself in different roles across a variety of assignments and industry sectors.
2. More time consulting, less time selling. At Berkeley we focus on the quality of our work and the client relationships we build. Sales naturally follow from that.
3. We stay connected. Most of our clients are in London, but for those who do travel more widely we keep you connected to the firm through regular social activities and firm wide updates.
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