As one of our remote employees in Colorado, Business Planning Consultant Ben Goodson knows what it takes to provide a solution that works well for your business. This week, we had the chance to learn more from him outside of his consulting knowledge and picked up some great insights and advice along the way.
What’s your role at Akili and the most satisfying aspect about it?
My role with Akili is a consultant on the Business Planning Team. What I find most satisfying about the role is the gratification to hand off projects that really provide a solution to a problem. It’s fulfilling knowing that your own hard work is being valued. In addition, this role has allowed me to grow within my career with new technologies and different platform exposure.
How did you become interested in your line of work?
It sort of fell into my lap. I originally was in an accounting role, which then moved into a FP&A position. While in this role at my former employer, they were implementing BPC. There was a need for a key business person and I filled that role. The more that I got involved with the system, the more I saw where I could hop between the true business functions and the IT faction. It allows for me to see more of the business and learn more about the given tool itself. It became a good fusion of business and tech.
What about Akili made you decide to join?
For me, it was the ability to see a variety of businesses and industries and get out of the monthly business financial grind. Since joining, I have been exposed to oil and gas, retail, construction, manufacturing and tech. I am a people person, so the ability to be able to interact not only with my fellow Akili-ans, but be exposed to a bunch of different clients works well for me.
What’s a memory that stood out to you at Akili?
Being someone who is outside of the home office in Dallas, I think that it was the first time that I made the trip to meet everyone in person. It was the overall hospitality and professionalism that I experienced on that first meeting that has stuck with me. It is sometimes difficult to sustain long-distance relationships, but every time that I am back in Dallas, it is like seeing a bunch of friends that you haven’t seen in a while.
In your opinion, what makes Akili different?
I think that there are a few things that really stick out: work-life balance and subject matter experts. The first is pretty clear-cut, but at Akili, it is true. When you say you are out of office, you can truly be off and it is respected in a very professional manner. The second is something that you realize rather quickly, the number of people on Akili’s team that are smart and knowledgeable, which is everyone that I have worked with. There have been times where I have run into an issue and you have a meeting of the minds. The specific knowledge of any number of people is very impressive and is something that makes me want to be better and know more. My fellow Akili-ans have helped me create some pretty cool solutions , so it is a true benefit to working with Akili.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Living in Colorado, I try to enjoy the outdoors with fly-fishing, golfing, gardening and snowboarding. Recently I have taken up woodworking as a new hobby, so that is a challenge when I can find the time.
What keeps you motivated?
I think that the internal drive to be able to solve a problem and be able to provide a solution that solves the problem, is something that drives me in all aspects of life. One of Akili’s core values is Excellence: Mediocrity is not an option. We prize innovation and consistently strive to better our standards for speed, efficiency and quality. This is a constant theme throughout all of our work and it makes me want to learn more and be a better consultant each day.
Tell us about some of the greatest advice you’ve ever received.
There are a few things that I try to instill in my life both personally and professionally; one, is to just be a nice person and the second, is to listen more. I think both of these are intertwined on a lot of levels, but you never know if someone is having a bad day or if there is something out of your control that is dictating a mood or response. To go along with that, and this is something that has helped me become a better consultant, is that if you allow a person to respond in full, then often times, they can provide a true answer you are looking for, without you having to interject an opinion that could veer things off course. These are easier said than done, but are little reminders to myself.