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Jonathan Kennedy

Partner, UK

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Jonathan Kennedy

Partner, UK

Connect on Linkedin

1 What do you like most about Berkeley?

For me, it has the perfect balance between the nature of the client work, a really strong and cohesive culture, and lots of personal autonomy.

Even though I have been here since 2004, each client engagement gives me the opportunity to stretch and develop, be that by working in different industries or by doing different types of work.

It’s also an environment where I have been able to put my energy into the work that I enjoy, and to take a few risks knowing that I have the full support of the firm behind me. I love working with so many bright people, and the one-team culture gives me confidence that support is on hand when it’s needed. This has been particularly valuable when I’ve been breaking new ground in unfamiliar environments.

2 What’s the most important thing you have learned at Berkeley?

Almost all of the work we do in client-side in nature. In my time here, I have become very conscious about putting myself in the client’s shoes and trying to see the situation from their perspective. I run a training course for our consultants called Clarity in Thinking and Writing, and while it has a handful of technical concepts, the most important thing that I try to get across is “It’s not about you!”. How the consultant builds up the analysis can be interesting, but it is largely irrelevant to the client. We need to explain it in a way that works for them and this is usually different from we who have done the work. Making complex things digestible to people with different professional backgrounds and skillsets is absolutely pivotal to what we do.

3 Why did you choose your career?

I still haven’t really worked out what I want to be when I grow up! Honestly, my career has been an exercise in keeping my options open and I have found myself as a Partner in a business which manages to tick all my boxes.

I focused on maths and sciences at school (knowing that I didn’t want to be a mathematician or a scientist). I did mechanical engineering at university (knowing that I didn’t want to be a mechanical engineer). I became a chartered accountant as it was a really good route into a business career (but I never wanted to be an accountant). And then I moved into consulting as it sounded interesting and I didn’t think it would shut down my options. Over 25 years later, I’m still doing it!

Consulting has kept delivering for me, especially since I have been at Berkeley. I continue to stretch and develop through client work, and I get great energy from working with smart people every day.