Consultant Life: Q&A with Gerard Bond
Have you ever wondered what consultants do and whether it’s a path worth pursuing?
In today’s Consultant Life interview, I sat down with Gerard Bond, one of Bridgepoint’s Finance Consultants, who was recently promoted to an internal role, to get the inside track on his consultant journey, why he chose the consulting field, and what he has learned along the way. Here’s what he had to say.
Why did you decide to pursue the consulting path?
After graduating from college, I began my career working as an auditor in Public Accounting for about three and a half years. Working in an industry role helped me to grow my knowledge significantly, and gain a solid foundation in accounting. When the opportunity to work in consulting arose, I thought it offered a great opportunity to get a 360-degree view of the world of accounting and help out clients rather than land onsite as an auditor.
What are three big ways your consulting career differs from your industry career?
- First and foremost, I gain experience in multiple industries rather than being stuck in only one;
- I also get to deal with different top-level management daily, and learn from their methods and approaches;
- Additionally, being able to help a client in need is very rewarding! The simple “thank you” I receive means a lot, and shows that I am contributing to resolving client problems.
What were your biggest concerns about diving into the world of consulting?
When I started, I wondered if I had the ability and problem-solving skills to help out clients efficiently and effectively. “You can get in your comfort zone in industry life after a while. With consulting, we constantly get to tackle new challenges, and I learned that my problem-solving skills could be applied across a spectrum of clients.”
What are some of the biggest benefits of a consulting career?
For me, one of the biggest benefits of this career path has been getting to experience a variety of industries in such a short amount of time. Having this kind of unique exposure has really broadened my horizon in the business world. Also, working closely on a daily basis with managers, directors, VPs and CFOs from small businesses to large corporations (who all think and act differently)– has certainly added greatly to my learning curve. Clients can often be in a tough situation for any number of reasons. Being able to help dig them out of a hole or grind in order to help them achieve their business objectives, is very rewarding. It also helps you to grow your own skillset. Every day is a school day in the consultancy world!
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a consultant?
The reality is that in consulting, there are times when you have a team of consultants on-site with you to address a clients’ challenge and other times when you need to be able to work as a lone wolf. One of the things I have learned is the importance of being resourceful, using my problem-solving skills, and breaking down a new project that I may have never seen before.
In a nutshell, what opportunities has consulting awarded you that you couldn’t get from an industry role?
- Being able to talk to, work with, and advise the top-level management of each of my clients with potential solutions for their problems
- Having a full team of Finance, Technology and Risk experts readily available to offer help and advice to solve a client need at any moment
- Working with and learning from fast-growing/moving start-ups without the risk of being a permanent employee
- Being able to learn aspects of business development from dealing with clients first-hand, and from the insight of our internal team
That’s wonderful Gerard. We’ve learned a lot from you. Thank you for your time today.