Prior to Berkeley I was working at Accenture, having joined as a graduate straight from university. I had gone into consulting originally because I thought it would give me a good grounding in a wide variety of industries and help me figure out what I should do when I grow up! I thought I’d stay a couple of years and in the blink of an eye, that turned into seven years. I learned a lot during my time at Accenture but as I progressed, I felt as though my personal development started to slow. I was working on similar projects in the same industry, and I craved more variety and stretch.
I had heard about Berkeley through a friend and it all sounded rather too good to be true. I decided it couldn’t hurt to apply and find out more and from the first interview, I was hooked. Berkeley offered me exactly what I was looking for, the chance to work across all sectors and industries, and across the full project lifecycle, from strategy and operating model work through planning and delivery. Berkeley’s culture was also a big draw. Here was an organisation where everybody not only knew my name, but they were also interested in me as an individual and in helping me develop to my full potential. I should really have getting married to my husband as the best decision I ever made, which makes deciding to join Berkeley the second best decision!
I’ve learned so much at Berkeley and I’m still learning every day. I hope that never stops. There have been many significant learnings, but I think perhaps the most important thing I learned is that it is ok to ask for help. Consultants can often be over-achievers and when I was starting out, I felt a pressure to know the answer and to be able to handle whatever was thrown at me.
Joining Berkeley, initially I was still reluctant to let anyone know if I was struggling with something, but I witnessed how other consultants and partners were comfortable reaching out. It was a pleasant surprise to realise it wasn’t frowned upon, in fact it was lauded. I realised that all anyone wanted at Berkeley was to help me deliver the best results to our clients and the best way to do that was bringing the full force of Berkeley, not just trying to do things on my own. Over the years, I’ve often asked for help and the response has always been overwhelmingly positive and resulted in the best possible outcomes for our clients.
It often comes a surprise to people when they discover that outside of work I’m a competitive boxer and powerlifter. Apparently, I don’t quite look the part. But it’s actually a huge passion and something I devote a lot of my spare time to. I also find it’s a great way to manage the stresses that come with work. When I’m in the ring, the only thing I can focus on is my boxing. It makes me completely forget about everything else for an hour or so, and that head space is an invaluable way to unwind. And despite not looking the part, I’ve been pretty successful – I’m currently AWPC European powerlifting champion for my weight class and my record is four wins and two losses in the ring.