Finding a Niche
I went to school thinking I was going to be an engineer. A pivotal class I took at Yale, called the Foundations of Green Chemistry, grew my passion for sustainability and convinced me to major in environmental engineering. My first year out of undergrad, I did a little bit of exploration. I researched climate policy at Harvard Law School, analyzed data at a water quality firm, and finally ended up at an energy consulting firm. This is where I really found my niche, working as a project manager with local gas and electric utilities to help them think about their energy efficiency strategies. When I went back to Yale for my MBA, I shaped my own experience by taking half my classes at the School of Environment because that’s where my interest was.
The Stars Align
For me, outcomes are important. I enjoy being able to work with companies going under tremendous change, learning about different industries and uncovering how sustainability shows up. Companies are now thinking about the whole lifecycle, from supply chains to end products. Being a strategy consultant allows me to shape outcomes in a positive way, by being a voice in the room where decisions happen. One of my most memorable projects is working with a utility in the Midwest to help them construct their renewable strategy using the “future back” framework. This was an industry I had expertise in, for a cause that I deeply cared about, with a fantastic consulting team and client who were all women. In the end, I learned a ton of core Innosight IP, was able to contribute from day one as a subject matter expert and did it all alongside a group of truly awesome and powerful women who inspire me.
All About Teamwork
On the teams I’ve been a part of at Innosight, we’ve worked hard to create a space that caters to everyone no matter their working style. If you prefer to process more independently, you’re able to voice that preference and carve out space. At the end of the day, it is all about teamwork. In our internal problem-solving sessions, anyone can vocalize ideas, regardless of seniority or tenure. Each person can bring their strengths and become experts in their domains. This kind of teamwork is both heartening and necessary to get to the best answer.
Detectives and Entrepreneurs
Innosight is unique in the questions we ask as we think about the future. We get to play two roles at once, detectives as well as entrepreneurs. We are detectives in that we investigate industries and clients 10 to 15 years in the future. There are really no answers about the future, but there are different avenues we can look down and clues we can put together to create a view of the world. And then we’re entrepreneurs when we help clients come up with new ideas and new business models. We are managers of change and coach companies through transformation. I think that’s very atypical of the type of work people imagine when they think of consulting.
Applying Lessons to Sports
Some skills I learned in consulting like project management, communication, and leadership have helped me outside of Innosight. Ultimate Frisbee is a huge part my life. I’ve played competitive Ultimate for ten years, and this past year, I captained a mixed team that pulls from elite players in the greater Boston area. We travel for tournaments and we’re nationally ranked. As captain, the concept of “jobs to be done” helps me plan practices and create tournament strategies. Across the whole season, from communications to logistics, and even inspiring the team in tough moments, I am pulling on learnings and skills I’ve developed to help develop individual players and deliver on teamwide goals.