Campus Class of 2011: Chip Shields, Chris Miller, Cameron Cross, Dillon Czerny, Foster Tidwell, John Nicol, Kyle Moore, Letteer Lewis, Meghan Hughes, Peter Fantham, Ryan Milton, Sam Dawes, Ted Nubel
This week, members of the 2011 campus start class are officially celebrating our 5-year anniversary at the West Monroe’s 3rd-Quarter meeting. We wanted to thank West Monroe Partners and specifically the leaders and mentors we have relied on at the firm for our successes and all that we have learned over the years. As a tribute to those that have helped us along the way, we have collected perspective from the class of 2011 to share with our new hires and others starting their careers out of college, to pass the baton. We find motivation and energy in our new hires and incoming start classes, and while there is nothing that we can say that will compare to the experiences this class will encounter, we seek to be the same supportive platform that was provided to us five years ago.
1. Stay Curious
By: Ted Nubel – Technology
No matter what you’re doing, there’s always something to learn. During the five years I’ve spent at West Monroe Partners, I’ve found that our people and our work are amazing sources of learning and discovery. Our teammates are a wealth of information and inspiration – it’s deceptively easy to learn the ropes of your current role and miss out on tons of interesting topics or skills that were a simple ‘What are you working on?’ away. It’s especially important to branch out from your role and understand how the different parts of a cross-functional team can work together to accomplish a single goal.
As a technologist there’s always something new and shiny to research that I can apply to my next project – and at the same time, taking a closer look at the work I’ve done can lead to gaining a greater understanding and taking my knowledge to the next level. Even if I’ve used a technology ten times in the past, there’s always been a new best practice to learn or a lesser-known feature to discover.
Even after more than doubling in size since I started, West Monroe has stayed true to its values of 100% employee ownership, people first, and meritocracy through new initiatives such as the ESOP, the Fischer Fellowship, and Career Equity. This commitment to values and nimble response to growth makes West Monroe a great place to call home.
– Chip Shields, Mergers & Acquisitions
2. Jump in and Start Something
By: Chris Miller – Technology
One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had over the past five years was organizing and executing a technology case competition at three of our target schools for technical campus recruiting. Somewhere between a standard business case competition and a hackathon, the competition is designed to test the skills needed by our technology consultants. Four years ago, I felt that we needed something like this to increase our technical brand presence on campus so I pitched leadership on investing in it and now we’ve done it annually ever since!
“West Monroe has always operated with a lean methodology when it comes to people. We don’t throw people on our projects just for an additional bill rate. Each person plays a key role as part of the team, accelerating career growth by continuously challenging our people to step up and take on new roles.”
– Letteer Lewis, Technology
3. Pursue Your Passion
By: Sam Dawes – Operations Excellence
One of the things we were taught early on is to always “sharpen the saw.” In a nut shell, it suggests you should prioritize some time every now and then to refresh your skills and / or find a way to get perspective on the day to day grind. Early in my career, I only thought of this as sharpening my professional skills – learning a new process, technique, or tool to make me a better consultant. I sought out training and opportunities that pushed and stretched me mentally – seeking knowledge and insights from the brilliant people around us. But over the last five years, I’ve learned that this also includes skills and hobbies outside the workplace.
To pursue passions and excellence in your personal life – sharpen those skills and create balance. For me, I picked up skiing. It’s now my favorite hobby and I spend as much time as I can each winter on the slopes out West. What better way to get perspective than up in the mountains? The biggest thing I’ve learned in 5 years is that “Pursuing your Passion” doesn’t just have to be good career advice, but it can be good personal advice too.
4. Put People First
By: Cameron Cross – Advanced Analytics
The question that I get asked the most from candidates and new hires is “What keeps you at West Monroe?” — The People — is such an easy answer that I have to slow down myself from blurting it out too fast. Working with people that genuinely impress you day after day makes the work easy. I am inspired by my leaders and mentors to improve myself. I am constantly learning and growing in my roles, which is entirely due to having the right people around me – people who trust me, who teach me, and who genuinely care about my progress and success. I am inspired by our new hires to stay sharp and learn to be a better leader and pass along what I’ve learned. I think this cycle of people helping people is really what has shaped West Monroe into a really great place to work. It’s important to think about the effect you have on others and stay grounded in your past experiences and roles.
“At West Monroe, we truly care about our people. Whether that is staffing them in roles that enable accelerated career growth or giving people the chance to lean out and focus on life outside of work, the individual always comes first.”
– Foster Tidwell, Mergers & Acquisitions
5. Build Your Brand
By: Chris Miller – Technology
Late last year, another WMPer gave me the opportunity to co-write a technical how-to book on AngularJS, a technology that our practice uses on many client engagements. Opportunities like this are a great way to build your personal brand as a deep technologist. Writing a book on my own time was difficult to get done, but being a published author is definitely an accomplishment I can’t say I’d have without WMP!
“When I started at WMP after my internship, I thought that I’d continue being a junior developer. I never thought I’d be managing a key account within just two years!”
-Chris Miller, Technology