What exactly does it mean to be a consultant?

July 28, 2017 Ripple Effect Recruiter
A primer on the world of management consulting

Maybe you’re considering transitioning from working as a bench scientist to a career in policy, or maybe you’ve worked in-house as a science writer and are looking for a change. Have you ever considered consulting? And what exactly is consulting, anyway?

The Basics of Consulting

At its core, consulting is providing clients with expert advice and guidance to address challenges, solve problems, and support programs. To do this, consultants use their knowledge and experience to recommend and execute projects that accomplish specific goals. The nature of these projects varies across different consulting companies and depends on the size, expertise, and areas of focus of those companies. Consultants are usually hired for projects through a competitive process so that client organizations get the best value and the right type of expertise for their investment.

Our company, for example, works largely with federal agencies to support a range of science research and health care programs. Our work varies and may include: developing communications plans, creating interactive instructional guides, researching scientific policies, and evaluating the effectiveness of grant programs.

How We Implement the Principles of Consulting at Ripple Effect

To give you an idea of what makes a successful consultant, here are the top traits that define our Ripple Effect team:

  • Innovation. We constantly seek new technologies, tools, and creative solutions that address our clients’ needs. By embedding innovation into our business process, we turn ideas into solutions.
  • Intelligence. We are always learning new and better ways to solve problems. Our consultants are life-long learners who bring education, experience, and data-driven approaches to address complex problems in a constantly changing landscape.
  • Initiative. We have an aptitude for taking initiative and acting before others. Putting a premium on getting the job done right the first time guarantees that we will exceed expectations and improve the status quo.
  • Impact. We believe in measuring progress and using data to guide our strategy. This allows us to deliver relevant, tangible outcomes that help our clients succeed.
  • Organization. We spend time working smartly and bringing intelligent project management solutions to our client. Keeping projects on track requires careful attention to timelines, staff assignments, and budgets.
  • Problem Solvers. We are both problem identifiers and problem solvers. Rather than get stuck in the weeds, we step back to understand the bigger picture.
  • Multidisciplinary. We are NOT “one-trick ponies.” Because our day-to-day functions vary, we like having a diverse team of MDs, evaluation research scientists, communications specialists, and PhDs that can use their backgrounds in many ways. This ensures that we approach all projects in a well-rounded manner.

To see how these skills work in action, check out our case studies. And if this type of work sounds interesting, learn more about our open positions.


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Ripple Effect Communications, Inc.®

9600 Blackwell Rd., Suite 210,
Rockville, MD 20850