On April 2, 2013, I was honored to participate on a panel at Purdue University, where I had the opportunity to speak to students enrolled in an elite capstone course called the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program. The course, with 16 handpicked students consisting of mostly seniors, worked in teams of four and has been engaging with local business clients on a consulting project all semester.
My spot on the panel delved into my experience leading an engineering consulting firm. From this engagement, it was important for the students to note that with consulting the overall goal is to become the trusted advisor—for everything. A consultant should provide value, create things that make the client’s life easier or more profitable, produce results, and generate more value than the competition.
Lastly, the students also learned if an engineering consulting company like American Structurepoint wants to produce effective results, it must “think backwards.” Creativity and people skills are essential. Be likeable, trustworthy, innovative, make informed decisions, and gain experience. Put yourself in the clients’ shoes.