As part of our ethos as a Great Place To Work, we’re committed to promoting learning and development, ensuring that everyone in the team has access to opportunities for accelerated career progression.
Reflecting on our growth is arguably just as important as having these opportunities in the first place, encouraging our team to take pride in their development journeys, and adopt a structured approach towards their career progression.
In our ‘Working at BFY’ blog series, we’ve asked our people to share their stories since joining the team, showcasing their achievements so far and what they’re aiming for next. Ed joined BFY in 2020 from a Finance role in the Energy industry, and has been on a progressive journey since then.
Q: How has your journey with BFY played out so far?
A: After graduating from university, I spent almost 10 years working in the Finance team at a large Energy supplier. My last role before joining BFY was as a Senior Finance Business Partner, making the switch to become a Senior Consultant here.
There’s a Career Development Framework at BFY, outlining different grades which encourage you to progress within your role, as well as into a new position. Working through these grades has helped me to build a really clear understanding of the skills I need to develop to reach the next level. I joined the team as a Senior Consultant and have progressed to ‘Expert’ grade within this role, with my focus now geared towards a promotion to the next role, which is Manager.
I’ve found the variety of projects at BFY to be eye-opening and refreshing, giving me experiences that I’d never thought about pursuing before working here. My early work was understandably focussed on Financial Modelling, and since then I’ve been involved with Debt, M&A, and Operational Excellence projects.
Q: What skills have you developed at BFY, and how?
A: There are three skills that stand out when reflecting on my time here. The first is Leadership and delegating to others within a team, because in previous roles I’d had little to no experience of this. By working in project teams at BFY, and with access to training opportunities via our L&D Manager, I’m now confident in leading others internally and externally, the latter being particularly unique due to the two-pronged approach of managing colleagues and clients at the same time.
Secondly, the nature of our work has helped me to improve my approach to Project Management. Working with colleagues who are experienced in this space is extremely valuable, influencing my ability to think proactively and manage my workload more efficiently. Our leaders are serious about giving people genuine opportunities to develop, with a personal example being my responsibilities for internal project management, which were given to me early in my time at BFY, knowing this would act as a pathway into managing projects externally with our clients. As someone who was new to Consulting, this opportunity helped to build my confidence in leading projects and adhering to Consulting best practice, while also being involved in the day-to-day external project environment and learning from these experiences.
Finally, BFY have encouraged me to recognise my natural strengths, helping me to realise how beneficial these are in my role as a Consultant. I love meeting new people and building a connection with them quickly, finding out a little about them, and quickly establishing common interests. I have taken this for granted in the past, simply seeing it as a part of my personality. At BFY, the team have encouraged me to leverage my personal skills for engagement with both internal and external stakeholders. They’ve also shown me how to maximise the benefits of these skills, using them to deliver tangible benefits for my projects and the business as a whole.
Q: What are you focussed on achieving next?
A: The natural focus of my development will be to continue polishing the skills we’ve just spoken about. Again, our Career Development Framework is a hugely valuable tool here, as it allows me to determine the next steps to take in order to elevate my capabilities. Rather than just knowing that I’m strong in a certain area, this approach encourages me to double down on those strengths and always look for the next level of improvement.
I’ve been keen to accelerate my development over the past 6 months, and our L&D Manager has been brilliant with helping me to materialise this and make sure I’m seeking the right opportunities to aid my progression. As an example, I’ve personally moved to having weekly development check-ins with my designated Performance Coach, rather than at monthly intervals – which is the standard approach when working here. The fact that BFY will happily accommodate this change speaks volumes about their approach to developing people. Having this support is really motivating, while giving me complete assurance that I’m on the right track to achieve my goals.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about working at BFY?
A: Where do I start! Our culture at BFY is unique in the sense that we encourage fun, while also delivering the best quality of work for our clients. Some of the team are dotted around in different areas of the country, so there’s lots that we do internally to ensure everyone feels connected as a team.
Quizzes, team challenges, and hobby groups are just some of the things that we offer remotely, while we also make the effort to meet physically as a full team through regular socials. I launched our Social Team when joining BFY, which has grown from trips to local restaurants or pubs, to off-site days in different cities for team building events!
Alongside this, flexibility and the recognition of personal circumstances are definitely huge benefits. Our client work can involve travelling, but this is always assigned on the basis of what’s preferable to you, depending on your situation with family and other personal commitments. Since I’ve been working at BFY, we’ve welcomed two children into our family, and the additional commitments of this have been recognised in how I engage with clients, offering a balance between remote and physical working.
Q: If you could give advice to anyone considering a move into Consulting, what would this be?
A: My biggest piece of advice would be to avoid placing unnecessary pressure on yourself. The support and opportunities available at BFY are designed to help you make this transition as smoothly as possible. There’s a risk that imposter syndrome can creep in when you’re entering something new, but there’s a conscious effort to minimise this here, taking high achievers from the industry and training them up as Consultants.
This means it’s OK if you don’t know the answers straight away. And it’s absolutely fine to ask your colleagues for support. Most of the team have been on the same journey from industry to Consulting, so they’re the best people you can be around when making the switch for yourself. For me, opening my mind to Consulting has helped me to develop new passions and skills that I’d never considered pursuing before, so embracing the change really can pay off.
If anyone would like to chat about this in more detail, I’d love to help. You can contact me directly here with any questions about adjusting to life as a Consultant, and what this typically involves.
Central to our people focus is Corrine Osborne – Learning and Development Manager at BFY. Corrine has helped to elevate our approach to L&D, providing more opportunities for the team to improve their skills.
Corrine has expanded on this in her comments below, giving insight into the thinking behind our L&D efforts.
Learning and Development Manager
Q: What L&D opportunities are available at BFY?
A: There is a razor-sharp focus on learning and development that is driven from the top, ensuring everyone has access to the tools and resources needed to succeed in their current role and plan their next move through the career development framework.
We encourage our people to think about the 70, 20, 10 rule when planning their L&D. Each employee has their own personal Performance Coach to help them plan their personal development goals.
70% - Learning from experience (on the job/projects)
The most valuable lessons are learnt applying skills practically and completing reflection exercises to ensure continuous improvement.
During resource planning sessions we will look at our people’s development goals and look at where we can give them opportunities to gain practical experience.
20% - Learning from others (coaching, mentoring)
Encouraging a ‘Pay-it forward’ culture from the top. I strongly believe everyone has something they can teach.
Regular coaching sessions with Performance Coaches and Engagement Leads who support our people deliver exceptional work for our clients.
Regular Lunch & Learn sessions where people from the team share their expertise.
Peer learning groups with similar development aspirations come together to work through learnings together, share experiences and support one another.
10% - Formal learning (training, reading)
Specialist skills and qualifications can sometimes only be acquired by undertaking formal training courses.
The L&D team will support our people by reviewing their development goals and either run in-house training sessions or signpost any external courses to help them achieve these.
All our people have access to LinkedIn Learning, where we have created learning pathways to support ongoing learning and development needs.
When someone is ready for their next move, they will move onto the promotion pathway where they will get the necessary support from their Performance Coach and learning resources to complete their journey to the next level.
Curious about Working at BFY and how we can support your development? Our recent blog, ‘A week in the life of a consultant’, will give you a deeper insight into the work that we deliver for our clients. You can also read more about our culture here.
You can also find our current job listings here.
Ed works with clients to improve their cash flow/revenue delivery, and leading the Commercial/Financial Modelling within our M&A/Transaction Advisory engagements.View Profile