Three Baylor Bears and members of Credera’s Management Consulting Practice—Bria Ford, Lauren Glick, and Melanie Tingue—work together on a project serving one of the leading U.S. airlines. Credera is supporting the client’s implementation of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). SAFe is a method used by large corporations to move from a waterfall development style to an agile influenced method, in a digestible way, that focuses on scalability and successful adoption. On this project, Credera is focusing on the Portfolio level – which is the level that focuses on aligning the business’ visions and objectives with the development strategy and “roadmap.” All three women work closely onsite with the client but maintain different perspectives based on their different experiences—Bria is a senior consultant, Lauren is a consultant, and Melanie is an intern. These three women share insights into the early stages of their Credera careers.
what are your responsibilities at your current client?
Melanie: At our client, I support my team in a variety of ways. So far this summer I have been responsible for multiple tasks, including conducting research and passing along relevant findings to the team, designing a framework to evaluate maturity within the program, creating an operating model that outlines individual roles and responsibilities, and building a program management plan to decrease time and effort necessary to onboard new team members.
Lauren: My time at our client has focused primarily on portfolio management for program leadership work. I work alongside our client to review and explain financials, create change management initiatives, lead daily scrums, facilitate the governance process, and manage both internal and client status reporting.
Bria: Our client began the adoption of SAFe methodology at the Program and Teams levels. My role as been to help guide the client in creating and iterating on the Portfolio Kanban, identifying gaps in the current SAFe process, and aligning Portfolio, Program, and Teams levels to the vision and business objectives of this new initiative.
how has credera supported you in your professional growth?
Melanie: As an intern, Credera has supported me in both my personal and professional growth by providing honest feedback and transparency. I am thankful that throughout my internship I have been given feedback from my mentor, which I have utilized to see certain growth areas and begin to improve upon them.
Lauren: During my first year at Credera, I have experienced support through organic and structured mentorship. Credera has fostered a competitive yet encouraging learning environment. Credera has surpassed my expectations thus far, and I expect to continue to be challenged as a consultant and as an individual to push myself outside my comfort zone.
Bria: I’ve been a senior consultant for nearly a year now, and I find myself reassessing my goals for my career here at Credera. Do I want to continue working within the agile space? Do I want to move to a more marketing technology focused area? Do I want to do something entirely different? As I’m working through my plan for the future, I expect Credera to provide me the guidance and opportunities necessary to answer these questions. Over the last three years, I’ve had great mentorship as I was learning what path I wanted to take. Now that I’m beginning to have more client responsibilities and can make a bigger impact on project success, I’ll be needing a lot of support as I’m making choices for where to go next.
what are your current career goals?
Melanie: Coming into my internship, I had a goal of exploring management consulting as a career path. In addition to that exploration, I also aimed to develop valuable connections, both with mentors and peers, that would positively influence my professional and personal life. In my short time at Credera, I have increased my understanding of management consulting and hope to continue utilizing the consulting skills I’ve developed this summer.
Lauren: As I approach my one-year mark at Credera, my current career goals are to make a positive impact on my current teammates, and at a larger scale with the companies I get a chance to interact with. I am hopeful to expand my interpersonal skills, leadership abilities, and ultimately develop senior consultant capabilities over the near future.
Bria: One of the consistent pieces of feedback that I’ve received is in regard to my lack of interaction in client meetings. I’ve been working hard to improve my involvement in client conversations and presentations, by making sure I’m as prepared as I can be beforehand, and speaking up when I have a comment, question, or answer. Working with my project director, and making them aware of my goals, has led to many opportunities to contribute and even lead client meetings. My end goal is to leave this project with confidence in my ability to add value to interactions with my clients. I like to think my hard work is paying off.
how do you practice work-life integration?
Melanie: As an intern, I have often felt like my life is siloed and my “personal life” is back in my college town. However, I am thankful that Credera has provided me with such an amazing group of interns to connect with! I have made a life here in Dallas this summer, through getting to know the other interns, spending quality time with my family, and working at Credera.
Lauren: As a recent college graduate, work-life integration has been a constant learning process and I believe it will continue to be an evolving journey as seasons of life come and go. The transition from college to post-grad is a radical shift in time management and the overall structure of your day. However, I am thankful that Credera has fostered an excellent environment that encourages healthy work-life integration.
Bria: Honestly, I’m still learning how to better manage all aspects of my life. How do I balance work, relationships, hobbies, and interests? I’ve been asking myself these questions since I graduated, and while I’m better at it than when I started a year ago, I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered it. The thing that has had the most impact in integrating my life is learning to say “no.” My friends are still my friends even if I don’t attend every outing. My career is still progressing even though I passed on that latest internal initiative. That new hobby could be fun, but what about the other projects I’ve been trying to finish? I’m an introvert and highly value my time alone. I can’t recharge when I’m constantly interacting with people, and it can be really exhausting trying to please everyone by saying “yes.” So, I’ve stopped committing to everything people ask me to do. So far, my quality of life has improved dramatically from where I was a year ago.
Sharing their alma mater, Credera, and the client, provides Bria, Lauren, and Melanie much common ground in their present experience. Even with all of the similarities, these women have their unique responsibilities, expectations, and goals both at their client and within Credera. Through their responses about client responsibilities, expectations on Credera, career goals, and work-life integration, you can see that each stage along a consultants’ career journey brings new responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities spanning an exciting career.