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COnsULTIng bUsIness Peeking Behind WHILE THE HOURS MAY BE LONG AND HARD, A JOB IN CONSULTING, SAYS JONATHAN MOORE, SENIOR MANAGER WITH DELOITTE CONSULTING LLP, “IS A JOB YOU DON’T FIND ANYWHERE ELSE. WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING IS THAT IT ALWAYS CHANGES. THE FUNCTION AND SPECIALTY THAT I DO REMAINS THE SAME, BUT HOW I APPLY THAT ON THE JOB CHANGES BASED ON THE CLIENT’S SITUATION; IT’S ALMOST LIKE WORKING FOR 25 DIFFERENT COMPANIES IN THE LAST 15 YEARS.” HERE, FOUR PROFESSIONALS WITH DISABILITIES SHARE HOW THEY SUCCEED IN THE DEMANDING, YET REWARDING FIELD OF BUSINESS CONSULTING. deloitte Consulting LLP: Helping Companies With Their Human Capital H ELPING COMPANIES WITH THEIR HUMAN CAPITAL IS WHAT J ONATHAN M OORE DOES BEST . A SENIOR MANAGER WITH D ELOITTE C ONSULTING LLP, M OORE PRIMARILY WORKS WITH SENIOR EXECUTIVES IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY , ASSIST -ING THEM ON EVERYTHING FROM BUSINESS STRATEGY TO CHANGE MANAGEMENT TO UNDERSTANDING THE PEOPLE POWER THEY NEED TO SUCCEED NOW , AND IN THE FUTURE . For instance, Moore helps clients to redesign their business functions in areas such as human resources, finance, and information technology. “We begin by look-ing at the entire service delivery model, how the larger company is organized, and how the headcount is deployed. We then leverage leading class benchmarks and other rele-vant data, examine whether people are in the right roles and offering the right level to of support, and then help solve formulate the solution that will make the biggest impact and pro-problems in vide the most value for the business,” says ways. ” Moore, who is based in Austin, TX. Moore earned a degree in international business and his first job out of college was with an SAP contracting organization, working in Venezuela for an oil company. When he returned stateside, he interviewed with multiple organizations and of them all, he liked Deloitte’s culture perspectives complex “ We need different innovative b y a m a n d a W e g n e r 40 Careers & the disabLed • sUmmer 2013
<br /> WHILE THE HOURS MAY BE LONG AND HARD, A JOB IN CONSULTING, SAYS JONATHAN MOORE, SENIOR MANAGER WITH DELOITTE CONSULTING LLP, “IS A JOB YOU DON’T FIND ANYWHERE ELSE. WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING IS THAT IT ALWAYS CHANGES. THE FUNCTION AND SPECIALTY THAT I DO REMAINS THE SAME, BUT HOW I APPLY THAT ON THE JOB CHANGES BASED ON THE CLIENT’S SITUATION; IT’S ALMOST LIKE WORKING FOR 25 DIFFERENT COMPANIES IN THE LAST 15 YEARS.” HERE, FOUR PROFESSIONALS WITH DISABILITIES SHARE HOW THEY SUCCEED IN THE DEMANDING, YET REWARDING FIELD OF BUSINESS CONSULTING.<br /> <br /> DELOITTE CONSULTING LLP: HELPING COMPANIES WITH THEIR HUMAN CAPITAL<br /> <br /> HELPING COMPANIES WITH THEIR HUMAN CAPITAL IS WHAT JONATHAN MOORE DOES BEST. A SENIOR MANAGER WITH DELOITTE CONSULTING LLP, MOORE PRIMARILY WORKS WITH SENIOR EXECUTIVES IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY, ASSISTING THEM ON EVERYTHING FROM BUSINESS STRATEGY TO CHANGE MANAGEMENT TO UNDERSTANDING THE PEOPLE POWER THEY NEED TO SUCCEED NOW, AND IN THE FUTURE.<br /> <br /> For instance, Moore helps clients to redesign their business functions in areas such as human resources, finance, and information technology. “We begin by looking at the entire service delivery model, how the larger company is organized, and how the headcount is deployed. We then leverage leading class benchmarks and other relevant data, examine whether people are in the right roles and offering the right level of support, and then formulate the solution that will make the biggest impact and provide the most value for the business,” says Moore, who is based in Austin, TX.<br /> <br /> Moore earned a degree in international business and his first job out of college was with an SAP contracting organization, working in Venezuela for an oil company. When he returned stateside, he interviewed with multiple organizations and of them all, he liked Deloitte’s culture best. “Deloitte’s attitude and the way representatives talked about their organization was unique,” he recalls. “Rather than asking me why I wanted to work for them, they simply stated how they worked and asked how I saw myself contributing to that vision. That tone and attitude was very different than anything I’d heard from others and it’s something I car ry through today in my own work and recruiting.”<br /> <br /> Being given support without prejudice and capitalizing on opportunities in the organization has been critical to Moore’s success in his over 13 years with Deloitte. Moore was born with a rare genetic skin disorder, epidermolysis bullosa, which affects the collagen and makes the skin very fragile; his physical condition was made markedly worse by a severe car accident in college that left him with visible scars, chronic pain, and more. “One of the nice things about Deloitte is that people with disabilities can be upfront and proactive and the organization, in turn, is very supportive. In my personal experience, the support we’re given is both empathetic and unquestioned,” he remarks.<br /> <br /> In addition, Deloitte offers a number of business resource groups and programs to promote diversity and inclusion, such as the Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion, which was just launched in March 2013. The Leadership Center for Inclusion strives, in part, to understand and discuss leading practices for attracting, developing, and retaining diverse talent in today’s competitive marketplace. When and where it makes sense, Moore already shares this information with his clients.<br /> <br /> “Deloitte is filled with very talented people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities and we get our strength from this diversity. We need different perspectives to help solve complex problems in innovative ways; that’s the core of the job,” he notes.<br /> <br /> Moore advises students and young professionals interested in the consulting industry to interview those already in the field to fully understand the lifestyle of a consultant, what the job is like, and how that will fit with their life and career goals. “For me, I get to go do things at companies that I never, ever knew existed when I was getting out of college and early in my career. I have been fortunate to see how some of the biggest companies in the world work and why they are successful. To be able to peek behind that curtain, build their trust enough to share their issues, and then work side-by-side to make a valuable impact, that’s truly amazing,” he concludes.<br /> <br /> MCKINSEY & COMPANY: ITS PEOPLE, NATURE OF THE WORK, AND AVAILABLE RESOURCES<br /> <br /> JOHN SCHMIT IS A “QUARTERBACK,” BUT HE DOESN’T TAKE TO THE FIELD ON SUNDAYS. INSTEAD, SCHMIT IS AN ENGAGEMENT MANAGER FOR THE CONSULTING FIRM MCKINSEY & COMPANY, FOCUSED ON THE RETAIL AND CONSUMER GOODS SECTOR.<br /> <br /> “My role is to ‘quarterback’ the project, ensuring that the McKinsey team delivers the agreed-upon results in the best possible manner by connecting our experts, mentoring our junior team members, engaging our leadership, and partnering with our clients. If you want to work with the world's leading companies, help governments better serve their constituents, or help NGOs tackle some of the world's most intractable problems, then McKinsey is the place for you,” he declares.<br /> <br /> With the company for four years, he came to McKinsey after working at Target Corporation and then earning his MBA from Harvard Business School. McKinsey has more than 18,000 employees in over 60 countries. McKinsey, says Schmit, is a great place to work for three reasons: The people, the nature of the work, and the resources available.<br /> <br /> “McKinsey hires extremely talented and committed people who are enjoyable to work with. I have always felt that my teams are committed to helping the client, ‘in it together,’ and ready to have fun,” he notes. “Second, we work with top-tier clients on some of their hardest problems. It is extremely intellectual and engaging work that is varied and fast-paced. You never have a chance to get bored at McKinsey. Finally, McKinsey has a tremendous infrastructure of experts, researchers, alumni, and other sources that enable us to deliver exceptional work. It is great to know that I have such a vast array of resources to help me get my job done.”<br /> <br /> The accommodations McKinsey offers to Schmit, who has albinism, also helps him get his job done. Legally blind because of his condition, he cannot read a white board from a distance and navigating new locations can be difficult. The biggest impact Schmit’s disability has on his job is his ability to see and recognize people. But, he adds, “McKinsey has been very accommodating of my disability. My colleagues and clients have always been attentive to my needs and willing to adjust the ways in which we conduct problem-solving sessions, share suggestions, and communicate in general. They have also frequently taken an active interest to learn more about my situation, which makes me feel supported.”<br /> <br /> To succeed in the consulting world, says Schmit, “You have to be a strong generalist who is willing to adapt as the situation unfolds,” but also build a true expertise while retaining critical everyday skills such as problem solving and communication. Leadership, critical thinking, interpersonal skills, quantitative acumen, openness to change, humility, and tenacity also top his list of important skills.<br /> <br /> “Look for opportunities to take on the hardest, biggest problems your company or organization faces and don't be afraid to fail. You learn more from your failures than you do from your successes. Set clear but aspirational goals for yourself and work toward them. Last but not least, believe in yourself. If you don't, it's hard for other people to,” he advises.<br /> <br /> BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON: RECOGNIZING THE TALENTS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES<br /> <br /> WHEN LOOKING FOR A NEW CAREER OPPORTUNITY, ANNE RADER WAS DETERMINED TO WORK AT BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON (BAH), A STRATEGY AND TECHNOLOGY CONSULTING FIRM. THANKS TO HER DILIGENCE AND STRONG NETWORKING SKILLS, SHE IS CELEBRATING HER EIGHT YEAR ANNIVERSARY WITH THE CONSULTING FIRM.<br /> <br /> “I had heard Booz Allen was a great company that was a leader in hiring and recognizing the talents of people with disabilities,” states Rader, an associate with the firm working on health and technology clients. In her role, Rader consults with clients on the design, development, and outcomes of health policies and programs. Her work involves a myriad of skills, including policy analysis, market research, marketing communications, and engaging stakeholders to ensure programs and policies are well-implemented and effective.<br /> <br /> “When working in consulting, it’s all about being able to come up with solutions to tough challenges,” remarks Rader, who has mild cerebral palsy. “It’s important to come with an open mind as well as strong strategic and critical thinking skills. Our clients come to us because they recognize our expertise and have tough challenges to address such as how to successfully implement the complexities of health care reform. It’s our job to bring innovative ideas and useful solutions to each client engagement.”<br /> <br /> When looking for a new career opportunity that was exciting and challenging, Rader scoured the BAH Website for opportunities and reached out to her own professional network. She continued to apply until she identified an individual within her network who could help move her ahead in the hiring process. “It took a while, but I was diligent, she recalls.”<br /> <br /> Since joining BAH, Rader has been active in the company’s diverse ABILITY Forum, an employee resource group that increases awareness and understanding of disability-related issues, advocates for an accessible, supportive workplace environment, and provides resources for employees, their families, friends, and colleagues across the firm. In addition, while Rader herself is fairly independent, BAH has an accommodations team that goes out of its way to make sure employees have whatever they need so they have a level playing field with all other colleagues and teammates to be successful in their job.<br /> <br /> “I would encourage people not to be worried about their disability or the perceived stigma that people with disabilities can often feel when applying for a job,” concludes Rader. “A good company will focus more on people’s abilities and the value they bring to their larger mission. Just like we have at Booz Allen, there should be an open environment that values the talents employees with disabilities bring to their clients.”<br /> <br /> AON: WILLING TO GO THE EXTRA MILE<br /> <br /> IN TODAY’S GLOBAL ECONOMY, COMPANIES NEED TO TAKE ALL THE PRECAUTIONS THEY CAN TO ENSURE THEIR EMPLOYEES ARE SAFE AND SOUND AS THEY TRAVERSE THE GLOBE. THAT’S WHERE CHAD WATSON AND HIS TEAM COME IN.<br /> <br /> Watson is the director of crisis consulting for Aon PLC; Aon is an insurance brokerage and human resources consulting firm. He runs the company’s crisis operations center, which is staffed by 22 military veterans who assess the travel risks of clients (and some non-clients) and enact crisis management plans to get those travelers out safely should an incident occur.<br /> <br /> “We try to nail down the risk to the individual traveler. Based on where you’re going in the world, your familiarity with the country, your precise travel plan, your route, side trips, your travel risk is different from my risk,” explains Watson, who lost his right leg above the knee in Iraq after his vehicle was hit by an IED. “If you lose an employee, that’s upsetting and hurts the company, but it could also hurt your brand and your reputation if you don’t have the proper plans and procedures in place. It’s our job to help mitigate that liability against the company.”<br /> <br /> Working with everyone from corporate-level personnel to operations staff, the center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and handles all sorts of situations for clients, from lost passports and visas to medical cases to special crimes. “We, in essence, work as the response organization on the company’s behalf. As 3 a.m., you can reach someone in the Aon center who has been in combat or on conveys who can think logically and calmly to help get clients through the process,” he reports.<br /> <br /> Watson started with the company in January 2011, just as the center was getting started. He previously worked for the Wounded Warrior Project’s Midwest office and happened to be in the Aon office working on the Aon Salute to America's Wounded Warriors, an innovative educational and career recruitment event in Chicago for unemployed and underemployed veterans, the same day the people who are now his supervisors were discussing the new center.<br /> <br /> While Watson himself hasn’t needed Aon to provide accommodations, about half his staff has disabilities as well and the company, he reports, “is always willing to facilitate anything they need, whether they are disabled in a physical or emotional capacity.”<br /> <br /> To succeed in his particular field, the ability to communicate clearly and concisely is a must, as is the ability to multitask while staying detail oriented. “You can’t let anything slip through the cracks in what we do. You must also be willing to go the extra mile. It’s the human skills that make the difference,” says Watson. “I always tell our team that they can get these same services from other companies, but it’s the service that makes the difference, and we have to show them that we go above and beyond.”<br /> <br /> What makes Aon a great firm to work for, adds Watson, is that it’s not just employees going above and beyond for clients, but the company going above and beyond for employees, particularly veterans and disabled veterans, as well. “The great thing about Aon is it understands the values these vets bring home and are willing to take a chance on veterans” he declares. “The company understands they can be civilian leaders as well and contribute not only to Aon, but to the client base as well. But the company also understands what comes along with vets, that there may be physical disabilities, maybe emotional, and through employee resource groups and employee assistance programs, is always willing to go the extra mile. For me, that makes it a great company to work for.”
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