Homepage Hero: Denise A.

Sara: So, tell me a little bit about the journey that brought you here to us.

Denise: I was a mobile technology veteran and then transitioned into digital technology. In between working for global companies and startups, I founded my own boutique marketing agency focused on wireless and entertainment industries because that was my core skill set. But the dots have always been connected – the commonality is that I have connected people with tech, and each other, creating enabled and empowered users. So that's really been the golden thread throughout my career. Early on in my wireless career, a small consulting firm in Dallas was looking for someone to come on board for an international assignment. It was a joint venture between Leap Wireless, which was a very big player in the day, and different countries. My first consulting assignment was in Mexico and I loved it. I realized that people valued subject matter expertise, and they valued your approach to problem-solving, rather than clocking the hours. That was my first real experience of being paid for the worth of my experience and my knowledge.

How did I end up here? I had worked with Simplicity before – on a T-Mobile assignment, which I loved. After I'd left T-Mobile as an FTE, I came back through Simplicity to help them launch their Uncarrier model for Enterprise and Government. When this new opportunity with Providence presented itself, I didn’t realize it at the moment, but it was great timing.  Coming into the healthcare industry when I did, and being placed on this team provided a great deal of balance for me; both of my parents had contracted COVID, and my Mother passed away unexpectedly two days before Thanksgiving while my Father was already terminal with stage-four cancer. Being in a remote position and working for a very empathetic, compassionate healthcare company allowed me to still do what I love professionally while doing what I wanted and needed to do for my family, which was care for my Father in his dying days. I just love everything about the team and the project, and I get to explore my interest in the intersection of healthcare and technology. We have an opportunity to really ease the patient's way on this project and the team always keeps the patient front and center. To see Providence as a healthcare leader leveraging innovative technology to continue its care of the poor and vulnerable, has been very gratifying.

Sara: That's amazing. I’m curious about something; may I ask what you studied in college?

Denise: Fashion! I’m a proud graduate of The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. I earned my associate's degree in Buying and Merchandising and then completed my Bachelor's degree in International Marketing after an International Business study abroad in Rome.

I don't know if this is unique to Simplicity, but there’s something I’ve noticed about the consultants I’ve met. Most of them were scout or school club leaders; they were always problem solvers and leaders. It doesn’t seem to really matter what the path has been – how we got to where we are now - the core DNA of consultants is a love of problem-solving, and it comes naturally for many of the consultants on our team. They're great communicators with very high EQ, and that appears to be a common trait among Simplicity consultants.

Sara: So, Simplicity is not the only consulting firm you have worked for. What do you think makes us different from other firms you’ve worked for? And why do you think a client would benefit from working with Simplicity?

Denise: From a consultant perspective, the core team is the differentiator for me. They lead with empathy and believe in bringing their authentic selves, which they encourage through to the consultant team. Other firms can be very transactional, and while Simplicity doesn't have a “bench” model, you offer great personal and career growth benefits that consultants can take advantage of that other consultancies or placement firms don't offer. So, while you have to be mindful that your project can end anytime, you have all these great resources, and you're getting to learn from other consultants and hear their stories, and you have opportunities to really shape yourself a little bit more and learn some other skills.

I’ve also been on the client side, where I do think Simplicity stands out. When you’re working with other firms, it can feel like, ‘this is going to be a big, expensive endeavor, and you’re going to get a beautiful PowerPoint at the end, where the interaction ends at data gathering.  They're not really solving your day-to-day challenges and certainly don’t dig deep enough to understand the culture. They might be very surgical on a specific problem around revenue or optimization of something, but I think the difference with Simplicity does not only do the client have a consultant (or team of consultants), you get the benefit of the HQ team too where the project is thoughtfully curated to staff holistically for what you need. In my experience watching the team, they’re always very interactive with the client, and they quickly attune to the pain points and needs for client success which inevitably contributes to the success of the project. Another thing, because so many consultants were once FTEs from large or tech companies where they’re placed, the ramp-up time is much quicker and more efficient – there’s already an understanding of the culture and expectations of how things work.

Sara: Our consultants are definitely strategic doers, they say ‘yes’ to challenging things.

Denise: Yes, and I believe much of that comes from the confidence of knowing you're resourceful and having a pretty good track record of figuring things out. From a client perspective, that is so refreshing – they don’t want to babysit or handhold – they expect a good consultant to be resourceful, find a creative approach to address challenges, and come up with solutions.

Sara: If you run into someone in the wide world, who was thinking about making a career shift or transitioning into consulting, what would you advise them to do if they wanted to come into consulting? What are some of the perks you’ve found?

Denise: It’s funny, when I first interviewed with Simplicity back in 2014, Lisa had her very first book on the lobby table. Lisa and I had a very similar, parallel background in that when I was running my own consultancy firm, I was teaching classes on personal brand. I've always used the term free agent. Being a consultant is like being a free agent; you are loyal to the jersey while you are wearing it and you will support that jersey. You will make that jersey the best and most valued jersey in the space. But when your contract is up, you happily and respectfully part ways and seek out a new home team jersey to wear.

I think the best benefit for me being a consultant is being there for the client while nurturing my desire for continuous learning. The reality is I'm there to solve problems as an SME, I'm there to make my client be the best client they can be, make them the star, and shine so that their work gets recognized by leadership and industry. Their success is my success, so while I'm on the project I am fully focused on the client, but it affords me the flexibility to also try different things, learn new skills, and try new roles. And knowing that it’s a contract term, you always want to deliver your best because you want to impart a great experience for both you and the client which is great for referral business and allows for the flexibility that you may desire. The ability to take on something new and have that confidence beginning each new project continually builds your resume, network, and skills!

NTXGD22 Denise Fundraiser

Finally, to illustrate the flexibility of the consulting lifestyle – I’m also very passionate and deeply involved in a nonprofit based here in Dallas-Fort Worth, She Supply, whose mission is to end period poverty. We distribute free pads and tampons, and we'll start our 6th year next month. We hope to raise enough funds in our current campaign to distribute the 1 million free products before the end of the year - a huge milestone!

Read more about ‘my why’ for this campaign www.northtexasgivingday.org/story/shesupply1m and more about She Supply at www.shesupply.org.

Interested in a consulting career with Simplicity?

Homepage Hero: Tracey White

We loved learning about the incredible work Tracey put into this year's Tableau Conference - and it looks like she had a blast!

Would you tell us a little bit about your current role?

I am a Graphic Designer on the Global Brand Creative Marketing team at Tableau at Salesforce. I collaborate with and support Art Directors and the creative team to create a visual design, UX design, and environmental design for digital advertising, social media posts, web landing pages, virtual events, conferences, event spaces, and more. Most recently, I helped bring the annual Tableau Conference to life online and in person. 

What do you enjoy about consulting?

I enjoy engaging with incredible companies that appreciate my talent and expertise. At this stage in my career, and as a working mother, consulting allows me to do exactly what I want. It provides me with the opportunity to take on challenging projects, and work closely with talented and diverse teams, all while supporting the balance I need. As a consultant, I don't have to choose between my family and a successful career.

Tracey at the Tableau Conference in 2022

What advice would you give to someone who is considering consulting as a career path?

Consulting has been one of the best decisions of my career. If you want to use your skillset to help your clients be successful, I highly encourage everyone to try consulting! Lean on a supportive community like Simplicity that's eager to provide connections and resources to help you thrive on your personal journey.

Interested in a consulting career with Simplicity?

Homepage Heroes: Félix

As he morphed from Professional Hockey Player into Power BI afficionado, Félix has learned to leverage his passion for structure and organization to manage projects across a wide range of stakeholders. We loved hearing his story!

Sara: Tell us a little about your career journey and how you ended up with us at Simplicity!

Félix: My career had an unusual start to it. I was a professional hockey player for five years, and I was fortunate enough while I was playing to get scholarships to go to school. I did my bachelor’s degree in Canada, and I did my MBA in the UK while I was playing there. I wanted to be able to get an education so I would have something to focus on after playing professional hockey. Then I met my wife, moved to the US, and realized how hard networking truly was. I saw Simplicity when I was looking for consulting agencies and right away, I saw the professionalism of Simplicity - it was on another level in comparison to other agencies that I talked to. I immediately thought, “Ok, these, these people are the people I want to work with”. So that's honestly how I ended up at Simplicity: a little bit of luck, and I felt that Simplicity was (and is) better than other agencies out there.

Sara: What have you enjoyed about consulting and doing this role in particular?

Félix: With my first contract, Simplicity knocked it out of the park. I wish I could work with this team forever. In this role, a big part of what I love is my manager, Claire. Claire is honestly- she's amazing. She provides the type of leadership that I perform well under; she's very transparent and straightforward. When there is something wrong, she tells you. Especially with how big a corporation Microsoft is, I've seen with a lot of other colleagues that they're trying to be politically correct and there are a lot of you know, things that you can and cannot say. But Claire's team has been great. And the fact that I'm get to work with Kayleen - she's been a great mentor. I like what I'm doing - working with a lot of different stakeholder teams like marketing sales, data analytics - we're filling this little gap that Microsoft didn't even realize they needed to fill.

Sara: What are you looking for in your next role?

Félix: I really enjoy project management. I'm someone who's very structured, which probably stems from my background playing professional sports and going to school at the same time - it's a skill I had to develop. You have to figure it out. You know you have the schedule. You stick with it. You have to be disciplined with it. In some projects that I'm managing, I know my experience as an athlete has been very beneficial for me. I also love data analytics part - because numbers don't lie. In my current role, we provide insights and then we give them to sales, and we consistently get positive feedback from our sales partner - the insights are helping them to do their job better and more efficiently, with greater accountability.

Sara: Right. If you met someone out in the world and you were networking and they said “oh, I'm at my job and I don't really like it and I don't know what to do next”, would you recommend consulting for them? And if they were unsure about it, what advice would you give them?

Félix: I would definitely suggest they explore not just any consulting, but I would tell them to go, from my experience, to go to talk to the people at Simplicity. I've said to many people that Simplicity is the way to go if they want to consult. I would also say that success comes down to having structure, and having a plan which you can fall back on if needed, because it's true that sometimes budgets change and you need to make sure you're covered if there's a gap.

Sara: There's definitely the potential for a lot of variety when you're consulting too.

Félix: True - as much as I love my current role, there's the possibility that maybe my next contract is going to be totally different than the one I have now, and maybe I'm going to love it. Maybe doing something I didn't know I even wanted to do. So, it's really all about the open possibilities of being a consultant. That's definitely a huge plus because you get more exposure to different things. You learn more skills with every contract.

Are you interested in the consultant lifestyle? Please visit our consulting page to learn more and start the journey!