My first six months as a management consultant

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3 mins
Written by
Lubaina Cementwala

I joined Clarity in October 2023 as part of the Graduate Scheme.  It has been a novel and exhilarating experience so far and I have been reflecting upon how I arrived here and my first six months here.

Whilst completing my Masters in Public Health at Imperial College London, I realised that a role in healthcare consulting would be well suited for me. I enjoy fast paced, project-based environments which are at the intersection of healthcare and business.

The application process at Clarity involved submitting my CV and responding to short answer questions, a psychometric test, an online interview, and an in-person assessment centre. By March 2023, I had received and accepted my offer. I accepted Clarity’s offer over others because their main client is the NHS and my training in public health primed me well for the role. I want to impact and improve the public sector through my work. I also found their remote model of work interesting because it meant I could live and work from anywhere in England.

Following my acceptance in March, I was invited to Clarity’s annual summer event in Nantwich where I had the opportunity to meet everyone before my start date in September 2023. It was a great introduction to the company in the beautiful English countryside.

On my first day of work, we had a digital induction and met with the Partners in our first week. I started my first client shadowing project in my second week. At Clarity, we are assigned internal corporate rotations – I was assigned to ‘Knowledge Management’ which means I create monthly newsletters which summarise the latest relevant publications in the field, conduct literature reviews, and help to host topic-based expert round tables. Our time is split between client work and internal corporate work.

During the first 3 months, I had weekly 1:1’s with my line manager where we discussed my progress. We also have a development programme with weekly Lunch and Learn sessions where we are introduced to a wide range of topics such as integrated care systems, project management, project evaluation etc. During the first few weeks, I had plenty of induction sessions to ensure I understood the company culture.

Some of my favourite moments from my first few months at Clarity have been:

  • Virtual cheese tasting with the team – we had a package of cheese delivered to our homes for a guided virtual tasting session. It was a fun way to connect beyond work.
  • Annual Christmas event - an overnight stay in York where we had a choice between go-karting or chocolate making, followed by a formal dinner.
  • Coffee with a Director – I had just moved to Leeds and a Director from the company who has lived there for 20 years reached out to me and met me in person to ensure I was comfortable in the new city.
  • Consultants co-working day in London – while we have two monthly co-working days in different cities in England, I realised there was no space for consultants at my level to build peer to peer relationships. When I asked for a co-working day just for us, the company agreed. We met in London and will now continue to meet every other month in different cities.
  • Growing my consultant skillset – my first client deliverable was working closely with a Director to conduct a literature review. The client changed their mind about the format of the review halfway through the project and I had to quickly realign my approach to the new requirements. The Director and my line manager helped me understand that this is a crucial component of the consultant skillset.

While this is the highlight reel, there have been moments where I have made mistakes. For example, I missed a client meeting because I was juggling two calendars and two emails IDs (the company ID and the client ID). This was a learning experience, and my line manager showed me the tips for managing multiple calendars.

In my first few months with Clarity I have been part of two client projects, published two newsletters internally, attended 10+ training sessions, had conversations with almost every member of the firm, attended seven co-working days in person, and learned a lot about communication and operation in the consultancy world.

I passed my probation just in time for the new year and I look forward to growing my skills and working on some really exciting client work in 2024.

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