Welcome to Consulting with Ian Hungarter:
This month we shift our focus of HSi’s Spotlight Series from the value our featured employee brings to the client to the unique perspective of a new consultant. Ian Hungarter recently joined the consulting world, looking for fresh opportunities and a place to grow. He is an Epic Beaker Analyst with over 7 years of lab experience, originally starting his career as a Medical Laboratory Scientist.
Q: Tell us a little about your journey from full-time employee to consultant.
A: When I joined HSi, it was my first time working as a consultant. Previously I had worked my way from Lab Tech to Lab Informatics to becoming an Epic Beaker Analyst for my organization. Through that process and the work of earning my Master’s in Health Informatics, I learned analysis, design, and implementation are where my passion truly resides. I was interested in pursuing those activities as a consultant since working at a single hospital moves from implementation to maintenance and tends to stay.
Q: What surprised you most about becoming a consultant?
A: I was concerned about how integrated I would be able to get within the client team. Despite being remote, though, I found it was easy to connect with everyone. A few of us were onsite for two weeks during Go-Live, so it was nice to meet part of the team face-to-face after 9 months together!
Another pleasant surprise was finding myself in the middle of the group experience level, allowing me to both mentor newer team members and learn from those with more experience. In my FTE role, I was the Lead and the roles within the team were pretty settled so it was less engaging with less opportunity for growth and career development. As a consultant, I also can collaborate with people from various backgrounds – some from the lab, like me, and with others with more technical backgrounds.
Q: What have you enjoyed from working with a new client as a consultant compared to an FTE?
A: While we have held short, daily meetings, the focus has been on the ‘doing’ of the work. As a consultant with a specific role, the added pressures that come from necessary (but longer!) planning meetings and the strategic and long-term pieces aren’t necessarily there. As a consultant, I can focus on helping the client accomplish an immediate, specific piece of their overall goal and plan.
Q: How do you approach work differently as a consultant?
A: Knowing I’m not at a site permanently, I take extra time to be sure I am documenting my work and looping client employees into the process. I want to be sure they know what is going on and can support the process in the future.
I also enjoy being able to mentor newer employees to help set them up for success such as offering insight in group chats and answering questions on specific situations. For example, after noticing some folks were siloed, we partnered with the client to set up weekly share sessions. With each team member sharing our own expertise, we were able to teach and learn more about a variety of topics, to the benefit of the entire team. This was something the client manager had wanted to do but had felt unable to initiate around other responsibilities.
As a consultant, I’m looking to impart as much knowledge as I can and have a positive, long-term impact after my assignment is done.
Q: What advice would you give someone looking to enter consulting and on finding a good company to represent them?
A: The biggest piece of advice I can give is to find someone who sees your potential. Interview around and find the company that will see the whole picture of your experience and not be held to arbitrary, check-box requirements.
Also, know what your own desires and expectations are and find a fit for those. Consider how much you want to travel or be remote, what type of career growth you’d like, your long-term career interests, etc.
With HSi, I found managers who were interested in helping me become a more valuable, multi-threaded employee, offering guidance and support to that end. They see me as a long-term prospect, not just someone there for a single role.
Are you considering consulting, or are you already an active consultant, but looking for a company with a sense of community to represent you? We would be honored to learn more about you and your career goals. You can connect with us or Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org or view our open opportunities at hsi-corp.com/careers.