As a consulting firm, Protiviti is in the business of helping others. That’s our passion. While helping our clients is always top of mind, we place just as much, if not more, emphasis on helping our employees to grow their careers by providing opportunities to mentor, to lead, and to get engaged. This series is aimed to help tell the stories of our employees, their passions, and why they continue to choose a career in consulting.
“I really didn’t find my niche until a few years in to my career. I was staffed on a Business Continuity project and found out that I loved it because there’s the IT aspects of Disaster Recovery but also the business side in Crisis Management and Business Resumption. You get views from both sides and have the ability to see how it impacts our clients both technically and operationally. I’ve now worked in this space for the past two years.”
And that’s not uncommon — in fact, that’s the beauty of consulting! Today, we get to meet Nick, a Manager in Protiviti’s Houston office.
Nick is a former #ProtivitiIntern who joined Protiviti full-time in 2012 after graduating from Texas A&M University with his degree in Management Information Systems.
Fun fact about Nick? His twin brother Keith also works in Protiviti’s Houston office in Technology Consulting. Nick is also the first manager we have the opportunity to feature in this series.
This is Nick’s story.
Q&A with Nick
As a seasoned Protiviti professional, you now know the ropes. Thinking back on your career here, what advice do you have for others? “I think I would say for new consultants, that tactically, it’s doing the small things. Be prepared before a meeting, do your homework on the topic, always assume you will take notes, be proactive and professional, and be respectful of others’ time. If you make those things a habit early, I think it makes your skills that much stronger as you progress in your career.”
You mentioned you found your stride in the last few years. What led to that discovery? “I think part of it is, as you start to progress in your career, don’t feel pressured or worry about becoming a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in a particular field or solution. Of course, that’s likely a goal of yours, but getting experience in a lot of different solution areas and industry types is valuable in the long run. The best thing you can do is learn a broad set of skills. Finding that niche or expertise will likely happen naturally.”
As a manager, you have the added responsibility of helping others to find their stride. What guidance can you provide on being a mentor? “I found a lot of different mentors and informal advisors through my projects, who have helped me. When you identify those people, remind yourself of the attributes that those mentors had and understand how they challenged you to become a better consultant and person. What did you like about their management style? What didn’t you like? As you build your own management style, use what you learned from those mentors and be open to different approaches.”
Protiviti has an Advisor Program that helps to provide opportunities for mentoring. What impact has that had for you? “Particularly with Protiviti’s Advisor program, I’ve always felt that it is an open-door policy with my advisors. It typically is a very fluid conversation, and I really feel as if they care about my career. You can talk to them about goals and things you are working on, but you can also talk about the tough situations and get advice on what to do. It’s important to have someone to bounce your thoughts and ideas off of. ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ ‘Have you been in this situation and if so, what approach worked for you?’ They are there to help you make those decisions or at least get pointed you in the right direction.”
It’s important that the work you do provides you with value. What value do you find in your work? “As your career progression occurs, your responsibilities may change. When team members feel more accountable for their projects and empowered to make decisions, their perspectives change. They start to see the bigger picture as typically their confidence rises, and they understand the value we are providing to the client. At the end of the day, being proud of what the team delivered and understanding that it has made an impact to the client is where I find value in our work.”
So, why consulting? “There’s a variety of different projects in consulting and you’re constantly learning something new. You learn about different companies, industries, cultures, and you get the opportunity to meet a lot of people (at the various client sites and internally when working with new project teams). If you are flexible to the type of work you do, able to adapt and learn new solutions, and are comfortable working with various team members, I think consulting is a great option.”
Protiviti Memory? “There’s a group of us who interned together in 2011 and, for every progression we’ve had in our careers, we’ve attended the same Consultant, Senior, and Manager training together. It’s always fun to be able to catch up with that group and others that you have worked with across the globe to reconnect with what they are doing and how their lives have changed.”
If you could be from another decade or era, which would it be and why? “I’d say anything prior to 1990s when life was a little bit slower and there was less of a connection to your phone and technology. Although technology is great and convenient, it can be overwhelming, and you never really feel like you can completely disconnect or unplug.”
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why? “I’d want to have an exceptional memory; I think it’s called ‘Hyperthymesia’ – a condition in which someone has a superior autobiographical memory, meaning he or she can recall the vast majority of personal experiences and events in his or her life. You can remember things down to what t-shirt you wore on a specific date, where you were located, who was there, and what you specifically talked about in detail. My memory is TERRIBLE so it would be pretty special to remember all the great moments in life. Plus, it would make it easier to take notes during a meeting 😊.”
Favorite 00’s song? “ ‘Little Secrets’ – Passion Pit”
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We’re looking for more great people – come join us on our journey! For meaningful career opportunities and open positions, visit Protiviti.com/careers.