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I tell this to everyone I work with, and everyone that I know professionally, that working at MCA Connect has been the best career move I’ve ever made, and is definitely the best job I’ve ever had. There are things about it that are challenging, but I absolutely love every bit of it. I started in 2013 at MCA Connect, and left after 5 years to work for a local company, as an internal D365 resource to help them implement Dynamics. The company was definitely not as people focused as I thought they would be. One thing I struggled with was not having the team, or the resources I was used to having at MCA. I couldn’t just reach out and to somebody like I could at MCA Connect and say, “Hey can I spend five minutes with you?” I eventually came back to MCA Connect after only one year because I realized not only did I miss the company, but I also missed consulting. I didn’t consider any other company when I thought about my return to the consulting world. When I came back to MCA Connect, everyone was very welcoming. In one of the first “All Hands Call” meetings that happened about 3 weeks after I had started back, Claude, our CEO, made the announcement and told everyone that “Mel’s back!” Immediately my Team’s chat blew up with welcome back messages and people saying that it was great to have me back. And this wasn’t just coming from consultants, it was coming from director level positions too. It felt like I truly was welcome back, and that my fellow employees really thought that I provided good resources and capabilities to the company.
Before I returned to MCA Connect, I thought about the position I held as a senior consultant before I left. My management and my mentors were always telling me that I needed to be a Solution Architect. I always feel like I’m not the smartest person in the room. I had the preconceived notion that the Solution Architect position requires knowledge about basically everything, as opposed to being an expert in one area. I never felt like I was ready for this position, but when I came back to MCA Connect, they basically told me I was coming on as a Solution Architect. I have had to quickly learn other areas that I wasn’t familiar with, but I have also learned that I don’t have to know the details of all those areas, because there are resources and capabilities in the company that help me learn as I’m going along.
What sets MCA Connect apart is the people. It is the teamwork, and not just in the generic definition of teamwork. There isn’t any competition to show that you are smarter than everyone, because everyone is willing to share what they know. At MCA Connect, I feel like I’m the dumbest person in the room. No one actually makes me feel like that, but everyone is so intelligent that it motivates me to work up to their level. At the previous company, I was constantly feeling like I had to pull my fellow coworkers up, but at MCA Connect I feel like everyone is pulling me up. I am motivated by feeling like I need to keep up with everyone in the room, and that’s how I feel with everyone I work with at MCA
Every day I am really trying to anticipate what the client’s needs are, and you can prepare all you want, but there is always something that comes up during a discussion with a client that I didn’t predict. It keeps me motivated because it’s continuous learning. I never feel like I know everything. I’m humbled by what I learn and the people I meet on the client side. I always put myself in the client’s shoes, because they are trying to change the way they do business and it’s a daunting task. There are so many different personalities and different approaches, so it keeps me on my toes and keeps me going.
I would tell someone that is interested in joining the MCA Connect team that, number one, it will be the greatest job they’ll ever have. But it will come with a lot of things they’re going to need to consider, primarily the work-life balance and travel schedule. They are going to have to be willing to step up and not be scared. And they’re going to have to be willing to continue to do what they did when they were in school, which may mean staying up until 3am studying. It is crucial to put in the extra hours and extra work if they want to be successful. There’s no way around it. There are no short cuts. But if they do that work and they put true effort in, it is very rewarding and the people around you will show their appreciation for that hard work.