Life as a (BSPP grad) Consultant

A recent BSPP alum, now working as a consultant in the private sector, writes:

“I’m currently working on a 6-month project for a large consumer packaged goods company, and the goal is fairly simple: to generate quick cash by making it a much leaner and meaner machine overall.  In so many words, this means that we’re trying to cut headcount without sacrificing any quality.  It certainly isn’t a pleasing topic, especially in light of the economy, but I am learning a great deal about what makes a company healthy and responsive to this kind of downturn vs. sluggish and stubborn.  Long gone are the days of 30-year careers with one company, because large companies like these must constantly adapt and morph their workforces in order to stay ahead.  For me in particular, one of the most exciting aspects of this project is working hand-in-hand with top executives who truly care about the future of their company.  This is also where I find my policy background most relevant, because each exec is a large stakeholder in his/her area of responsibility, and it is very difficult to gain consensus on certain initiatives with such deep-seeded biases around the table.  The situation even reminds me of an exercise in one of Dr. Barke’s classes, where the class created a near-exhaustive list of all the stakeholders involved in a controversial project — the building of a bridge at the peril of endangered fish.  It seemed impossible to come to any conclusion after acknowledging all the conflicting points of view, but that is the reason why policymaking exists.  This cash generation project is no different, so I am challenged to build consensus around an initiative by playing a give-and-take with the company leaders.”

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Filed under Alumni Updates, Jobs, Other Stuff, Public Policy

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