One of the attractions of management consultancy is the variety of work – different industries, disciplines, cultures. I found more and more that this was less available in the large consultancy I worked for, partly due to my industry knowledge and experience, and partly because the scale of internal work increased as I became more senior.
Berkeley’s admin-light structure offered the opportunity to focus completely on client work, and its diverse portfolio combined with a deliberate lack of categorisation of consultants by sector or discipline meant that I could get that variety back.
The whole set up of Berkeley is unique, and its success is remarkable. If I had to pick one thing, then I would say that it is the fact that there is not a constant hard push to sell work. We are a company built on strong, trust-based relationships with our clients, and that leads to most of our work coming through repeat business and referrals.
My background with a large consultancy was very different and was not unusual in that respect – after all they were competing with other big consultancies that were very similar. It was a bit of a culture shock to discover that if you do consistently great work and forge genuine, long lasting relationships with clients, then the selling bit largely takes care of itself.
I graduated as an engineer and spent my first five years after university in manufacturing and R&D, in aerospace power generation and food production and processing. I decided that I wanted to try something new: to be able to experience working a variety of businesses in different industries and sectors, but to keep using the problem-solving skills I attained as an engineer. Management consultancy ticked those boxes, so I made the move.