Emergent leadership is a concept you have heard different organizations say they’re focused on. But if you’re just starting in your consulting career, it’s difficult to know whether and how that applies to you. It’s important to recognize emergent leadership as not only an industry buzzword. All across the globe and industries, young consultants are making names for themselves. And beyond just making their own names, emergent leadership tells us who and what will be leading the business world forward into the next generation of problems, solutions, and opportunities.
In this article we will look at ten leading young consultants. Studying the moves these leaders have made can help aspiring consultants learn where their industry is going and how to position themselves to make an impact. One common theme you’ll notice is clear development of expertise in a particular area. As a young consultant, it’s difficult to rise rapidly with only a general analytical and communication consulting skillset (even if it’s a critical skillset). If you pair this with an interest and clear expertise in particular business functions, you’ll have a better chance of rising rapidly and managing others!
Consultants To Watch
Amy Kao works as a Strategy Engagement Manager at Deloitte Consulting. In that capacity, she focuses on corporate strategy for technology companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. She also works on Go-to-Market strategies in emerging markets. This work builds on her experience working on global customer experience projects in Hong Kong and China. It also relates to her work as the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at RxAll Inc., an AI-based platform that combats the trafficking of counterfeit medications in emerging markets. Kao holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and was a TedX speaker before the age of 30. She was also named Miss Connecticut U.S. International in 2016.
Jessica Chiu works as a Senior Managing Consultant at IBM iX. Her work at IBM iX involves advising clients on ways to improve customer experiences across all channels and touchpoints. She leads the contact center and customer care consulting, and in this role concentrates especially on strategy and execution. She has helped IBM iX grow partnerships with firms in the financial services sector. One of her main focuses has been on Voice and Digital impacting. Chiu holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce from Ryerson University and was the youngest recipient of the 35 Under 35 award from Consulting Magazine in 2019.
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Neha Banerjee has already made a name for herself as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the CEO at Cognizant. Neha brings an impressive amount of academic firepower, with a dual Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) and Master’s of Science in Information Systems from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, with concentrations in Strategy & Innovation and a focus on Technology Management. This has given Banerjee the special ability to help clients combine business expertise with technology-oriented capabilities. Banerjee notes a particular excitement for helping businesses grow in efficiency and transform in operations through technology – especially AI and machine learning. She also works to inspire and lift up other women through her efforts with Cognizant’s Women Empowered group.
Sarika Amin holds the title of Managing Director at Huron. Amin brings over twelve years of experience and expertise across many areas of healthcare administration, including revenue cycle consulting, case management, patient access, and more. Amin has served in many multi-faceted leadership roles within large sized organizations. Her various forms of experience can be grouped under the umbrellas of performance improvement and large-scale process re-design. Like many of the people on our list, Amin’s career trajectory proves you don’t necessarily need to have an MBA to make an impact. She holds a Bachelor’s in Finance from UT-Austin’s McCombs School of Business.
Sharon Delgado works as a Director at Protiviti, working in Business, IT, Risk, and Internal Audit. Most of Delgado’s efforts go toward various forms of project management assistance, including IPO initiatives, internal audits, and SOX & FDICIA compliance. She has worked in these capacities with many large national and global companies. Delgado assists project managers with various dimensions of oversight, including coordination, monitoring, and reporting. She is a CPA with a Master’s of Accountancy degree from the University of Florida.
Taylor Traficanti has been working as a Business Consulting Manager with NTT Data since 2016. Most notably, Traficanti has worked on projects for two of the world’s biggest financial institutions. After working for NTT Data for only a year, in 2017, he began to lead a large portfolio with over 70 analysts and consultants across many locations working under him. Traficanti cites his focus on the clients themselves as the key to his success. His client-oriented approach helps guide Traficanti and his team toward optimal insights and solutions, which account for multiple stakeholders.
In addition to his role as Risk Advisory Executive for Ernst & Young, Godson Sowah holds an impressive array of certifications as a Public Accountant (CPA), an Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and an Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT). Sowah has over twelve years of experience focusing on business transformation, financial reporting advisory services, and enterprise risk management. In that time he has worked with many Fortune 500 and multinational organizations, leading teams that include workers across multiple continents. He also manages a team of risk professionals with 65 employees in Minneapolis and over 50 offshore workers in India. Perhaps most impressive is the degree to which Sowah has given back. Within EY, he works as an instructor for the EY Advisory Consulting Course. Beyond EY’s walls, he helps recruit professionals of color from local schools across the region. For his outreach, he was named a Community Hero by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal (2016). He also won the Public Service Award from the Minnesota Society of CPAs in 2018.
Harvind Raman is the Director at AlixPartners in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he is part of the High Tech, Media, and Telecommunications team. In that capacity, he focuses on private equity due diligence, mergers & acquisitions, organizational transformation, and enterprise turnaround. Raman holds an MBA in Finance, Strategic Management, and Economics from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He also has an impressively vast and diverse array of industry experience, having worked at GE, Caterpillar, Inc., American Airlines, and Sensata Technologies before his work at AlixPartners.
Becky Huber works as the Director in Business Advisory Services at Slalom. In that capacity, Huber helps management lead organizational transformation. She accomplishes this by drawing on her experience in building infrastructure and systems that support enduring, sustainable transformation. Huber incorporates both thought leadership and data-driven strategies to help clients deal with complex problems. Before working at Slalom, Huber led the Operating Effectiveness team at Cigna for three years. Before that, she earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Management, with a concentration in Finance and Management Information, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lally School of Management and Technology.
Heeren is a Senior Managing Director and the Head of Latin America at FTI Consulting. Much of her work there has drawn on her past experience and education in the energy sector. Before coming to FTI, she worked for the Global Energy division of the PA Consulting Group. At FTI, she has led many different projects and helped clients with administration, execution, and profitability. She also accumulated a great deal of experience leading teams through crises and issue management campaigns. This includes work for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority as the organization attempted to renegotiate debts and improve infrastructure. She also helped the Panamanian law firm at the center of the Panama Papers data breach work through the ensuing scandal.
Young people looking to enter the consulting industry are often highly ambitious and focused on figuring out how they can make an impact. One of the best ways to learn how to grow in the industry is to study trends in emergent leadership. These younger leaders will define the next generation of the consulting industry and provide a model aspiring consultants can emulate.
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