Life of a Consultant by Erik van Tilborg
29 April 2020
Learn, make impact
As a consultant, I am in the lucky position to work with a collective of highly talented people. Not only does this enriched working environment enable me to learn about varying topics, it also empowers me to grow as a person and means that our work never becomes tiresome or boring. Every day we, consultants, get to work with scientists and entrepreneurs that are global authorities in their fields, and we are challenged with obtaining a complete understanding of their often complex ideas and technologies. Our job is to translate their ideas into easy–to–understand, feasible, winning project proposals.
Learning From Colleagues
At Catalyze, many talented people collaborate to put forward valuable advice and winning project proposals for our clients. Within the consultant teams we work with direct colleagues having had training ranging from business-oriented studies to scientific experts with PhD/post-doc experience. This results in a perfect mix to co-design projects of high scientific quality and with a convincing business case or implementation plan, creating a highly inspiring environment in which we learn from each other. Our highly skilled and experienced management team is very approachable and keen on transferring their knowledge built over years of experience developing winning project proposals. Moreover, we have a personal development budget that we can tap into between projects, to improve on specific hard and/or soft skills. All in all, being a consultant at Catalyze fosters continuous growth as a professional and as a person.
Learning From Our Clients: Experts in the Field
As life science consultants we are lucky enough to work with clients that are highly talented and intelligent top-performers. Although challenging at times due to their busy schedules, productive meetings with our clients are one of the most inspiring aspects of our job. Whether it be a leading professor in the field of gene editing, or the CEO and CSO of an aspiring biotech startup with a promising new cancer treatment, their innovative ideas, passionate attitude and tenacious persistence always give me a lot of energy. What better person to explain the mechanics of complex biological processes and complicated innovative technologies than the world-leading expert in the field?
Our work as consultants requires us to dive deep into specialized topics and learn new things every day. Whether it be for a large Horizon 2020 grant with 20 top-tier academic experts on the cardiovascular system, or for a startup developing an innovative AI-driven sensor system: for each project we build knowledge on specific areas, putting us in a better starting position to apply that knowledge to the next project in that field. Another important aspect is coaching new team members. With each completed project we further develop our analytical skills, that we transfer to our newest team members. With our training program, but mainly through coaching on the job, we transfer our skills and knowledge on grant writing, client management and many other important aspects to allow new team members to quickly become invaluable assets to the team. Transferring knowledge to new team members and see them grow and flourish into successful consultants is another part of the job that gives a lot of gratification.
To conclude, one of the most exciting aspects of being a consultant is working in a team of highly talented, studious people and with the world’s greatest and most entrepreneurial minds to develop projects with the potential to make this world a better place.