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by ScottMadden Management Consultants | June 18, 2024

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Recently, we sat down with ScottMadden to ask two of their consultants, Director Jon Luk and Manager Katie Davis, about what it's like to work at the firm, from the firm's culture to involvement in employee resource groups and more. Read on to hear their perspectives on what it's like to be part of the ScottMadden team.

 

Vault: How would you describe the culture at ScottMadden?

Jon Luk: The most common answer across organizations would be that the people are what makes a culture great—and I would agree with this at ScottMadden. Taking this one step further, first and foremost, we are a tight-knit community that genuinely enjoys being around each other in and outside of work, as some of my colleagues have become my closest life friends. Second, we are a group of smart and creative individuals who apply critical thinking to the problems we solve. Lastly, we drive a culture of enablement—we care about each other’s well-being and are committed to providing the right structure and support to our consultants to drive growth and celebrate successes.

Katie Davis: It’s a culture that works hard and challenges you, but at the end of the day, you still genuinely want to hang out with your coworkers. We take pride in that, even with growth in the company, we’re still intentional about maintaining genuine connections.

 

Vault: How does ScottMadden’s culture translate into other aspects of the business?

Jon Luk: Our culture undoubtedly translates to our commitment to our clients. A large part of our secret sauce is a “no hidden agendas” policy. This means our #1 priority is delivering high-quality work that we committed to, not looking for the “next thing,” and keeping our clients’ interests above our own.

Katie Davis: It lends itself to a collaborative environment. I feel supported by peers and partners not only in project work but also in my career development. This environment helped drive employee-led initiatives such as our employee resource groups and our corporate responsibility report, which have only made ScottMadden a stronger, more well-rounded firm.

 

Vault: How do you find your balance between work life and home life? Are there any special firm policies or aspects of the firm’s culture that make it easier?

Jon Luk: I think work/life balance has become an antiquated concept, as the phrase implies a separation of the two. As a father of two children under six years old, my focus has become work/life integration. Post-COVID, ScottMadden has done an exceptional job moving away from “set hours” expectations to allow individuals to focus on life’s other needs. This required a level of trust that consultants would not allow their work quality or deadlines to lapse—something many other companies are struggling with.

Katie Davis: Leadership understands we have lives outside of work and recognizes that work/life balance is a big part of how the firm sustains its growth and culture. I appreciate the flexibility and trust when I need to block off personal time, that I will get my work done on time even if not beholden to a typical 9-5 schedule. I find balance through exercise and time with family, and through prioritization and communication, I don’t feel like I need to make sacrifices.

 

Vault: What are some ways that employees can interact socially and network with peers at the company? (E.g., employee resource groups, networking communities, mentoring programs.)

Jon Luk: ScottMadden provides many ways to socialize and network (e.g., in-person all-hands meetings, mentorship programs, ERGs, and more). However, the real magic happens in the informal moments. We’re a firm comprised of employees with many unique and interesting hobbies/pastimes. In the last month, I can think of consultants posting open invites for horseback riding sessions, golf outings, wine tastings, kickball teams, ski trips, beach trips, dinners at new restaurants, tennis leagues, and much more.

Katie Davis: ScottMadden has a lot of great opportunities to engage with peers socially and professionally, such as our “Communities of Practice,” our monthly “First Friday” all-firm meetings, and many other formal and informal events. As an example, I especially enjoy our Communities of Practice (CoP), which provides a networking community for the firm’s areas of focus (e.g., Energy Generation CoP). This is a valuable learning space to discuss industry news, project case studies, and thought leadership outside of your day-to-day project work with peers.

 

Vault: How has your involvement in an employee resource group been beneficial to you?

Jon Luk: I’m an active participant in ScottMadden’s “The Village” ERG, which is focused on the mental health and well-being of working parents and caregivers. Meeting with this ERG has become one of my monthly highlights as colleagues come together to tell stories, discuss difficult life moments, learn from other’s experiences, and ultimately support each other with the curve balls that life throws at us. For fear of oversharing, this is one of the few meetings I let my emotional guard down as I hear from new parents’ struggles with infants and partners’ difficulties with caring for their parents. Providing a safe space to laugh, cry, smile, frown, and experience every other emotion has made this ERG special to me.

 

Vault: Are there programs or policies that ScottMadden has set up to allow employees to get involved in their local communities? Are there employee-led efforts to give back to the community?

Katie Davis: ScottMadden partners with local charity and nonprofit organizations that align with our firm priorities of veterans and their families, poverty alleviation, environment, and education access. By committing to local partnerships, we are able to organize in-person events, build personal connections with the organization, and see the measurable impact in our community. ScottMadden also empowers employees to engage with a cause that’s important to them by providing up to eight hours of paid time off each year for volunteering, as well as an annual reimbursement policy that may be used toward an employee’s choice of charity. Personally, I had such a positive experience co-leading our Ser Familia nonprofit partnership last year, where we supported a range of events, including celebrating Latino heritage and cuisine and volunteering at their women’s health fair. It was really rewarding to be able to connect and listen to the experiences of the families the organization supports.

 

Vault: What is your favorite aspect of the culture of ScottMadden? Do you have a favorite story that exemplifies the culture at the firm?

Jon Luk: My favorite aspect of our firm’s culture is the inclusivity we foster. A favorite “unofficial” annual event is an employee-led ski trip. In just the past three years, I’ve had the opportunity to ski at Lake Tahoe, CA; Schweitzer, ID; and Steamboat, CO with colleagues and their families. I can confidently say that most age ranges, firm positions/levels, and ski abilities are represented—and we look at everyone as equals. I have rarely encountered this level of inclusivity at any firm.

Katie Davis: I love how intentional ScottMadden is in fostering its close-knit and inclusive culture. With this intentionality, the firm is receptive to employee input and supportive of employee-led initiatives. Every year at our annual firm meeting, we have an optional golf outing. The firm recognized that the event repeatedly drew low female participation. Not only did ScottMadden begin offering alternative activities, but the firm also engaged the Women’s ERG to solicit our perspective on how to improve events. Understanding that golf can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the sport (particularly for women), ScottMadden organized a golf lesson for the Women’s ERG. This not only was a great networking event but also gave us the confidence to participate in the annual firm meeting golf outing –translating into one of our best turnouts of women at the event.

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