At AG Consulting Partners, we value the growth and career development of everyone on our team and recognize this starts with transparent and supportive leadership. Our AGCP Leadership Spotlight series sheds light on the work and experiences of our leadership team, providing a glimpse of who we are as a company and how we stand out in the consulting industry.
For the fourth and final installment of our AGCP Leadership Spotlight series, we spoke with one of our Associate Partners, Brandon Rubens, about his experience in consulting and what it takes to grow a strong company.
The Journey of a Consulting Career
As an Associate Partner at AG Consulting Partners, Brandon supports company growth and manages our recruiting team, in addition to leading his own client delivery work.
Brandon’s career experiences inspired a passion for building strong networks to support the acceleration of company growth. Inspired by a series of successes and challenges starting early in his career development, Brandon’s excitement for business development deepened further. Entering college, Brandon set his sights toward becoming a doctor. While chemistry was not his strong suit, he excelled in economics. With this realization, his attention quickly pivoted away from medicine and to pursue business and finance classes. Following graduation, Brandon accepted a management trainee position at Caterpillar Inc., a construction machinery and equipment company, where he learned every aspect of the business.
“I went out [to work] on fishing and crabbing ships, like those from the show Deadliest Catch, and even had the opportunity to work on Bill Gates’ property in Bellevue. My job at Caterpillar exposed me to every aspect of the business from hands-on ‘in the field’ work to business development.”
Brandon’s career ambitions pushed him to learn quickly and uncovered his desire to seek out leadership roles, aspiring to become the CEO of a company. On the advice of a colleague, he learned about the possibilities to achieve this goal through consulting. Influenced by the opportunity for challenge and growth, Brandon left Caterpillar to join Hitachi Consulting, where he worked for 3 years. He later left Hitachi to join Slalom Consulting, where he began to see his career path take shape.
“During my time with Slalom my career in consulting really took off because I got on a project where I was able to prove myself. I began getting involved in project and program management related to systems, tools, and technology…At the same time, my desire to get into leadership only grew.”
After Slalom Consulting, Brandon brought his breadth of experience to Matisia Consulting with an opportunity to contribute to the leadership team. At Matisia, his responsibilities ranged from project work to account management, and business development. Brandon’s contributions significantly impacted the success of the company. In 4 years, he helped grow Matisia Consulting from 42 to 230 employees and landed a number of large client accounts.
Brandon eventually left Matisia to Coppei Partners, before joining the leadership team at AG Consulting Partners. After experiencing four different consulting firms, Brandon felt confident in his ability to grow the client and employee base of a company.
Strengthening Company Growth
There are three pillars to consider when growing a strong consulting firm: (1) recruiting, (2) culture, and (3) sales. Brandon believes each pillar contributes equally to the success of a consulting firm. Discovering the other partners at AGCP shared this belief reinforced Brandon’s decision to join the firm.
“We spend 8 to 9 hours a day doing this, and I want to have fun with what I’m doing. I want to be excited to come into work and feel challenged by the people that I work with. So, I wanted to make sure these pillars were established, and the leadership team were willing to expand from there.”
Apart from filling open roles, effective recruiting ensures the consulting candidates want to join AGCP’s team environment. These talented consultants support and strive to live the vision and values of the company. In this manner, effective recruiting heavily influences culture, the second pillar, in growing a healthy consulting firm.
Prioritizing culture means putting people first, being genuine and transparent, and understanding employee needs. Brandon’s experiences taught him the value of setting culture through leading the firm by example. However, employee engagement captures the culture ethos and brings it to life.
“If the marketing and sales of our company are dictated by only a few, then we are limited by what they can individually contribute. Encouraging more engagement from the broader employee base is beneficial not only because it makes one feel included, but because each person plays an active role in building the company into what they want it to be. We are part of a corporate effort.”
Lastly, when recruiting and company culture thrive, then selling becomes a natural extension of the client-consultant engagement. Consultants feel confident in sharing their successes in solving the toughest client challenges. This confidence ensures a loyal client base returns time and again to partner with trusted consultants who deliver quality outcomes. Brandon stands behind this proven approach to growing a consulting firm.
“This is an industry of people — and people can make or break the success of a company. Understanding the different dynamics of the people I work with helps me provide them with fulfilling client engagements. This is why I love what I do and it’s a valuable formula to building an efficient and effective company.”
At AG Consulting Partners, we believe in taking care of our people first to enable them to bring their best to every client project. Our employees embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and embody our core values: transparency, stewardship, and intention. Founded in 2009, and headquartered in the Greater Seattle area, AG Consulting Partners is recognized as one of Inc 5000 and Puget Sound Business Journal’s fastest growing private companies.