Why Oliver Wyman?
I joined straight from college. I had no clue what I wanted for my career. I knew that I wanted a job where I could make an impact, learn a lot, work in a team, and find variety in the experience. I thought consulting would be a good, temporary way to get some of those things. Now, some years out of school, I have found that this career checks all those boxes, has provided me a great deal more insight into what I want from my career, and is exactly what I didn’t know I was looking for. However, the main reason I chose Oliver Wyman is cliché…it was the people. Everyone that I met during the recruiting process—down to the last one—were great. I knew that Oliver Wyman people were the type I wanted to work with, day-in and day-out. Even today, if I was pressed for the most important factor that keeps me here, it would still be the people. And in a job like this—one that feels more like a lifestyle than a job at times—colleagues are the most important thing. I get to work with people who take the job seriously but who do not take themselves too seriously. In the consulting world, that is a rare and wonderful combination.
I have been fortunate to have several mentors. When I first joined, I was assigned a terrific advisor. He guided the early part of my career. He took a special interest and was always there for me, even with his own extremely successful career and his first child born a couple of months after I started. He really helped me understand that I could succeed in my own way, with my own style. When he left the firm to relocate closer to family, I was assigned another advisor who was equally transformative. She has taught me how to understand what I am passionate about and use that in my career. While these formal advisors/mentors have been invaluable coaches and friends, I have also learned more than I can detail here from the partners and managers on my projects. Each and every one has taken the time and energy to help me develop skills, become a better consultant, and ultimately, become a better person.
There is no ‘typical’ in this job. It is a fast-moving world that is constantly shifting. While that can make some uneasy, it has allowed me to experience a range of different industries, companies, challenges, and different ways of working. I’ve been able to learn and make an impact. Consulting isn’t the easiest job in the world. It requires travel and can require long hours. By its very nature, we go about tackling complex problems that others have been unsuccessful at fixing. It requires an immense amount of thinking. That kind of constant adaptation can be tough sometimes. But, I am surrounded by people who understand the demands. The firm makes space for people to be people and to have lives…large, involved, great lives.
While Oliver Wyman offers formal programs to support people through Flex-OW (such as 10 or 11 month years, non-profit fellowships, externships, and the like), I have found the most support in the little things. There’s a constant focus on work/life quality. I am fortunate to have co-workers who are friends outside the workplace. The firm has constantly supported me as a person. The job is a part of my life, not my life. At the end of the day, I am able to really make a difference for clients while making myself better…that’s a pretty good deal.