I have essentially taken on the role of a consultant this semester with The Athens Foundation as well as Ohio Campus Compact. Before these internships, I had not considered consulting as a career path…but after these five weeks, I feel like consulting in some capacity is something to consider when I grow up.
An aspect of being a consultant that peaks my interest is that I would get to do what I love every day while experiencing new organizations and having the opportunity to work with new people. I found that when I was employed with the bank that I got bored once the work started to become routine. I know that some projects may be more interesting than others, but every organization I would work with would bring something new to the table. No matter how similar nonprofit organizations look on paper, each is unique in their structure and leadership style. It would be so interesting to experience these differences among nonprofits and be a part of the changes happening for each organization.
One of the most interesting concepts in regards to being a consultant, which came out of a meeting with my advisor, is that I would control the tone of the meetings and final report with the way I present the information. It is interesting to consider that someone could be the best at what they do, but because their people skills are not great they would not succeed at this type of work. Scripting messages correctly is something that I need to internalize and work on during the next year and a half. I am a very direct person by nature and I know that not everyone responds well to that type of approach. While I have my advisor, Dr. Judith Millesen, reviewing and approving all of my work for my internships, I need to ensure that I am gaining these skills now before I am out in the real world soliciting information without such valuable feedback.
I am extremely grateful that the MPA program at the Voinovich School is giving me the opportunity to expand my scope of career fields. If I didn’t have these internships, then I would not have the valued feedback and practice on how to be the best consultant I can be.