January Alumni Career Profile
Name: Andy Porter
Class Year: 1997
Current Employer: Creative Consulting Associates
Describe your career path since graduation.
I landed a really great internship during my senior year and was able to turn that into a full-time job when I graduated. I stayed at this company in various Human Resources positions for about 3 years. It was a great experience - it was a small group so I was able to get involved with many different areas at an early point in my career. I left this organization and did some HR consulting for awhile until I found the right opportunity with a biotech company. I was hired in an HR capacity and within 8 months was promoted to HR Director for this company. I held this role for approximately 4 years during which I also got my Master's degree in Organizational Development. For the past year and a half I have had my own consulting company.
What is your current position and how long have you been with your employer?
I am currently co-owner of Creative Consulting Associates, LLC and have been doing this for approximately a year and a half.
Describe the main responsibilities of your position.
My job at its most basic level involves two things. Developing business leads and consulting to my clients. Our mission is to raise awareness about the importance of capitalizing on the creative talents that lie dormant or untapped in every organization. A typical client will call us to help them find ways to get the most in a creative sense from each of their employees as their company grows. I also rely heavily on my background in HR and OD to do this work as well.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I truly enjoy helping people become more creative and helping those who don't see themselves as creative realize that they really are! I also enjoy working with a variety of different clients and the challenge of helping an organization solve their problems.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
Being a small business owner, you have to do everything yourself. The hardest part of my work is balancing the time it takes to actually do the work with going out and trying to line up the next client. It often times takes more than 6 months from the first conversation with a potential client until we agree on any work.
Describe your typical work week. (How many hours you work, your work environment, etc.)
I have a small office and am on the road pretty often onsite with various clients. Some weeks I fee like I am working every single day (and I am!) One of the advantages of having my own business however, is being able to set my own hours. If I've hit my client revenue goals for the month I've been known to hit the beach on a random Wednesday!
What job search methods did you use to obtain your current position?
Job searching and business development are remarkably similar - it's all about networking. Every significant opportunity I've had so far in my career has been a result of people I have met and stayed in contact with over several years.
What advice could you give to students interested in your field?
The main advice I would give is spend the first few years after graduation exposing yourself to many different areas within your field and find an area that you are really passionate about and become an expert in that area. Go back to school, take some courses, immerse yourself in that area. And then repeat. The competition in the workforce is fierce and it is absolutely essential that you continue to evolve and expand your skills.
Last Modified: January 10, 2006