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Insights

We’re always thinking. From what today’s opportunities mean for tomorrow’s businesses to how we can help clients create a stronger future.

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ACADEMY BIOS

Meet Zach J

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Before joining North Highland as an Analyst in our Atlanta office, Zach managed business operations for a real estate firm in Indianapolis. He holds a BSB from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, making him the first member of his family to attend and graduate college. Zach also leads our PRIDE Alliance Network.

On Zach's very first project, he was thrust into a nature of work and industry that he hadn't experienced before. The project entailed performing change management support for a global financial services provider. Through his learnings at the firm, and with a supportive team around him, Zach quickly discovered not only how to execute on an engagement, but also how to assess additional client needs and create an environment through which the North Highland team can continue adding value long after the end of the project. Working with this client allowed Zach to build unique solutions tailored to their business needs, and since then he has been nothing short of a change management wizard.

So Zach, how would you say the Academy at North Highland has benefited you as a professional?
“The Academy model has really benefitted my growth as a new consulting professional in more than a few ways. In the various client and internal initiatives of which I've been a part, I've been able to exercise a durable set of skills focused in more than one capability and in more than one industry, which has made for INVALUABLE hands-on experience. It's afforded me so many learning opportunities, like: certification courses, soft skill learnings, and even operational learning modules. It's also helped define a learning "journey" that creates a framework for how I should plan and monitor my continued growth. On a more personal level, I love how I have a community of such amazing and gifted personalities around me who I view not only as work associates, but as my friends, too."

Meet Brittany B

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Based out of the Philadelphia office, Brittany is a North Highland Consultant and has been a multi-disciplinary from the very start, with a bachelor’s in International Studies, a minor in Economic Development, and a concentration in Near Eastern Studies from Washington College. She also holds dual-master’s degrees – one in Political Science and a one in Public Administration. Now, thanks in part to North Highland, she is also PROSCI®-certified.
During her time as a political organizer for national, state, and local elections, Brittany developed a unique set of skills that she was able to share with her peers during an Academy “Lunch and Learn”, during which Academy members share their specific areas of expertise with fellow members. Brittany appreciates how North Highland’s on-the-job learning model accelerates professional growth that would otherwise take months or years to acquire. On her second project, she remembers how patient her team members were, walking her through points of confusion and providing necessary advice and resources. The thoughtfulness and generosity of her colleagues are just a few of the many reasons she’s invested in a long-term consulting career. Between that and the fact that she’s an avid re-watcher of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, she’s in good company.
Before you go, Brittany, what else would you like to share with future candidates?
“I joined North highland looking to pivot my career into one where I would not be confined to one sector or set of skills. It was one of the best decisions I made. Not every day is sunny – there have been many challenging moments where I questioned my choices, but I have been met with resounding reassurance from my coach, team members, office mates, and the broader North Highland community. If you are looking for a change, or a healthy work environment to share your gifts, please consider North Highland and its Academy. You will not be disappointed.”
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Meet Csilla K

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Csilla is a Consultant at North Highland based out of our Atlanta office. After earning her BA in International Relations at the University of San Diego, Csilla went on to receive her MBA from Georgia State University. Before that, she was a professional alpine ski racer for seven years, competing internationally as a member of the US Paralympic Alpine Team. Csilla currently leads the Academy's Communications Team.

Csilla began her career in the fashion industry, working for an independent fashion brand in Southern California that produced luxury footwear and handbags for the world's top boutiques, athletes, and celebrities. After moving to Atlanta, she knew she wanted experience at a larger firm and found just that while working in logistics for a global medical device company. During the four years she grew with that company, Csilla earned a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and an MBA. With such a diverse and well-rounded background, it was no wonder that Csilla found her way to North Highland. 

But Csilla, what was the moment you KNEW you wanted to join the Academy?
“During the interview process, I had scheduled all the in-person sessions to be held on the same day. My last interview was led by a Managing Director and a Vice President at the firm. It was intense but afterward we had a great conversation. As we left the room, they asked me how the day went and I said, "I had fun!" It was true. Despite the normal stress that interviews produce, it was a day of great conversations with genuine people that I would want to call my friends. When I left, rather than feeling exhausted, I felt energized and excited. That is when I knew I wanted the job and I still feel that energy and excitement today."

"Learning from Day One"

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Charlie K
Analyst

In my first ever consulting project, I had the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the North Highland automotive team to help a client, one of the consistently top 5 selling car brands in the country, to increase sales on its eCommerce website. To do so, the North Highland team proposed a business case that would migrate their current website and sales methods to a new site utilizing a brand-new eCommerce strategy.


I came to North Highland with a niche background, mainly in corporate finance, and knew I was going to need to learn some new skills, and quickly, if I was going to add value. The role required extensive Excel skills as well as the ability to formulate a realistic business case based on limited information. The data we did uncover helped me fully understand just how many considerations we would need to take into account, to include: client’s historical data, input from vendors, logistical feasibility, tax implications, legal hurdles, and executive buy-in. It was going to be a time-consuming and labor-intensive undertaking.

The outcome of the project was overwhelmingly successful. We were able to deliver value to the client, and personally, I felt a real sense of pride in facing such a big role head on. That said, I think without such an incredible North Highland team, this would have been too much of an overwhelming task to handle. I feel so fortunate that I got to work alongside such a selfless, intelligent, and creative leveraged team that included Master Practitioners, Managers, and Principals alike, to whom I was able to bring my questions and concerns. I learned more during that 10-week engagement than I did in a year’s time at my previous job, and I am so excited to continue learning and growing during my time in the Academy here at North Highland.

Charlie came to North Highland with two years of experience in financial services. His specific areas of expertise include process improvement, business analysis, and data research. He currently leads the Academy Talent Acquisition team.

"Valuable Opportunities, Valuable Connections, Valuable Insights"

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Matt A
Analyst

As a part of an Academy initiative designed to connect Academy members with senior North Highlanders through developmental opportunities, I got to work closely with a leading change management Principal to hypothesize ideas surrounding Reskilling and the Future of Work. The research was compiled for presentation to a major financial services client that had expressed interest in the topic of reskilling the workforce to meet the human capital demands of the future.

The presentation gained traction within North Highland, and firm leaders asked that we compile a whitepaper ("Winning at Reskilling"). Multiple subject matter experts took part in the whitepaper's development, each bringing their own area of expertise to concisely break down the complex subject of Reskilling within today's environment of continuous transformation.

After the whitepaper was published, I co-authored a blog post (“Reskilling for the Future of Now”). The blog post explores why organizations must place emphasis on their workforce’s ability to adapt quickly and effectively to change. By reskilling today, organizations will close knowledge and skills gaps in order to tackle the strategic priorities that will ultimately define their success. Being able to co-author a piece of thought capital of this magnitude that was shared with North Highlanders and clients alike has been one of my most rewarding experiences in the Academy. 


Through the independent research, team collaboration, and depth of resources that went into the thought capital, I was able to discover valuable insights, learn from experiences with clients, and gain a different perspective on the industries in which North Highland consults. The opportunity to work alongside subject matter experts and industry veterans – having had only have two years of work experience – is what makes the North Highland experience so unique. 

Matt joined the North Highland team with expertise in project management, change management, business process design, onboarding, benefits, and workforce planning. He’s worked with clients spanning industries that include construction, technology, and healthcare.


"The Definitive Guide to Acing Your Academy Interviews"

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Roma P
Analyst

So you want to ace your interview and get the job? Good, we like your initiative and we're here to help. There are quite a few resources regarding interview preparation from folks with far more experience in recruiting and interviewing than me. You should definitely start there. But if you want to learn more about the interview process for North Highland's Academy an dpick up a specialized checklist for your upcoming interview, this post is for you. 
I've been in your shoes before. Right before my final round of interviews, I was shaking with nerves (the extra cup of coffee probably didn't help) and doing deep breathing exercises. Sure, I had done everything I could to prepare, but I didn't have this insider's interview guide. 
Based on my own interview experiences, conversations with my colleagues on their experiences, and feedback from those who conducted my interviews, I've compiled a list of 3 major keys to acing your interview.
1. Make sure you can explain what North Highland consultants do to a friend or family member.
Familiarize yourself with North Highland--but don't just quote us as "the leading change and transformation consultancy." Though we are a consistently top-ranked and highly reputable firm, we want you to know more than that. What are our offerings? How would you connect what we offer to the potential needs of a client? How do your experiences and interests map to North Highland's capabilities?
As an Analyst or Consultant in the Academy, we don't expect you to know it all or be able to speak to every area of our business, but passion for what we do and cognizance of it is important. You should also be able to explain how your particular set of skills can add value to North Highland based on your understanding of how we operate our business.
Need a place to start? We suggest exploring North Highland's Insights section for a topic that interests you. I've linked a few topics below that I was interested in:

2. Show your work, not just the final answer.
The case study interview is a miniature problem-solving exercise and is just one piece of the hiring process. In order to excel, make sure you are walking your interviewer through your thought process. Give the context around why you suggest a certain approach. 
We expect you to ask questions and take a moment to gather yourself. We understand you might be nervous or intimidated, but each interview is meant to mimic the consultant-client relationship and get to know you and how you approach things, so it's goingto be more conversational than calculated. 
Use each interview--whether an office tour, a behavioral fit, or the case study--as a chance to show how you are qualified, both by giving good, sensible answers, and by explaining HOW you got to that answer and what informed and influenced our approach. 
Here are a few resources we recommend to help you get started:

3. Bring your whole self to the interview.
There's a lot you can do to prepare for an interview--learn about North Highland and the services we offer, practice your elevator speech, articulate why you want (and deserve) the job, try some practice case studies--but most importantly, ensure that you are bringing your unique, authentic self to your interviews.
North Highland is a people-centric firm. We pride ourselves on having an inclusive, relationship-oriented culture. Because of this, we want to get to know you based on more than a prepared speech. We wan tto know what really matters to you, what drives you, what irks you, and what makes you your best.
As consultants, we spend a lot of our day talking to coworkers, clients, and vendors. We're not all extroverts, but we exceed at our job by truly getting to know people and responding to various personalities accordingly. So, in your interviews, let your conversations say something about who you are as well as what you bring to the table. If you do that, you are more likely to win over your interviewers and get the job. 

If this list helped you or you have any other suggestions, be sure to mention it to your recruiter--they are always looking to improve the candidate experience!


Roma is a consultant with over two years of experience in the financial services, hospitality, and healthcare industries. Her areas of expertise include business storytelling, change management, data visualization, customer strategy, and market research.