Opportunities for Leadership with Meghan
Meghan, a Project Manager with Clarkston Consulting, shares her career experience and opportunities for leadership at Clarkston.
Growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs, I was always active in the community, playing sports and volunteering, and I always enjoyed math and science. I decided to study engineering and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) in 2014. While at Penn, I was also a 4-year starter on the Women’s Basketball Team and 2013-2014 Team captain. I was also a member of AOE, an engineering sorority.
The summer between my junior and senior year, I had an internship at a chemical company working with iron oxide particles. I enjoyed this, but after realizing I wanted to combine the science with the business world and leverage my problem-solving skills gained from engineering classes, I began looking into life science consulting opportunities. I found Clarkston online and loved the idea of a bootcamp summer training program. I enjoyed every discussion I had throughout the recruiting process and was impressed from the start. It was the perfect size company to make an impact, develop and grow, while working alongside impressive clients.
I attended the Associate Consultant / Bootcamp Program in the summer of 2014 and since then I have had a variety of roles at numerous clients working primarily in the system implementations, quality and regulatory, and data analytics space. I am currently a Project Manager, which has allowed me to use my passions for building and motivating teams, problem solving, and delivering results. I also volunteer with the Girls Who Code and am passionate about teaching and promoting STEM to young girls and women interested in technology. I enjoy cooking, baking, exercise, and enjoying time with friends and family at the beach.
Opportunities for Leadership at Clarkston
While at Clarkston, I have been fortunate to be on a variety of clients across both the life science and consumer products industries, and each experience has been unique and exciting. My mindset when joining Clarkston was to learn as much as I could about different industries and companies and get exposure to a variety of technologies, so throughout the last six years, I have been eager to take on new roles and learn something new. I believe this diversity of projects and experiences has allowed me to meet new people within Clarkston and explore new opportunities.
I do believe, no matter what you are doing for your client, you can always take part in internal initiatives in areas that you are passionate. This is something I have always tried to do during the last six years.
Internally, I have been a part of the Quality and Regulatory community and helping drive the Analytics workstream. I have also been a part of the StayWell community and active member in the NJ/PA/NY Regional office.
I’ve had the opportunity to present at two company meetings.
- Facilitated and Presented New Client Growth Breakout session at a company meeting
- Presented at “Bringing Your Passions to Work” at a company meeting
During 2018-2019, I was part of the Leadership Experience where I was able to grow and develop my leadership and followership skills by learning from other Clarkston leaders.
In 2019, another Clarkston consultant and I created the R.I.S.E. Professional Network with the idea to build a community of hardworking, driven, forward-thinking young professionals with 3 to 10 years of experience in the life sciences, consumer products, and retail industries to Recognize, Impact, Share and Empower our peers. This provides an opportunity to connect with others outside of Clarkston!
Lastly, I was the Project Manager for the 2019 Bootcamp class helping to mentor and grow our younger stewards.
How to Get Involved
Many of the activities and efforts listed above were either the result of me speaking up about areas I was interested, vocalizing the areas I wanted to improve, or just jumping into areas that I was passionate about.
Often times, you just have to ask. One area I wanted to improve was public speaking, so I asked my partner advisor if I could have opportunities to speak at a company meeting. A year later, I was presenting on stage in front of the Clarkston family. In another discussion with my partner advisor, I was interested in developing younger stewards. Timing aligned and leading the Bootcamp program was a perfect fit. It may not happen instantly, but if you speak up and share your goals and interest areas, then you can work on making it happen together.
Just do it – follow your passion!
I became involved in the NJ/PHL/NY regional activities when I first joined Clarkston, and this has allowed me to build relationships with other stewards I may not necessarily work directly with. This has become a more social experience, now leading regional events and holiday parties, but it’s a nice break from the day to day grind.
Wellness and fitness has always been a part of my daily routine. With all the hustle and bustle of a job, this is a piece of my life I wanted to keep consistent. During the last few years, I have been an active member of the StayWell team, but just in the last two years we have partnered with the HR team and this was an opportunity for me to step up and help lead these efforts. It’s been so rewarding!
Taking on these leadership opportunities has been exciting and rewarding. A few things I have learned over the last few years:
- Make the most of every experience: Join an internal initiative that you are passionate about, reach out to a steward to learn about their past experience, make the most of your time on your larger project teams (go to team dinners), and learn from those around you.
- Leverage your team: Don’t be afraid to delegate as you will probably learn something new while doing it.
- Build and grow relationships: Start strong when building relationships with your project team and/or client and continue to nurture these relationships throughout the years, even way past your time on that project.
- Get to know your team and client and be yourself! It makes it way more fun and helps you stay engaged
- Preparation and organization are key – I am still learning every day, but being prepared for the week/day ahead and organized with your tasks has allowed me to stay focused and balance the variety of work.
- Repetition is rewarding – the more you can get reps at something the less daunting it is.
- It may be challenging but be confident!
Growing at Clarkston
A few simple goals I have had throughout the years at Clarkston are develop lasting relationships, continue to learn and explore opportunities in various areas, and serve the client to the best of my ability.
Clarkston has allowed me to have these opportunities, provided me the resources and support to take it to the next level, and empowered me to feel confident while at the client or working on internal initiatives. I am thankful for starting my career at Clarkston and continuing the journey!