We continue our Akili Employee Spotlight Series and introduce Business Planning Consultant Jordan Reyes! This week, we learned more about him and his role.

Tell us more about your role and what you like most about it.

As a Business Planning Consultant, I primarily focus on developing Anaplan solutions for our clients.  In the time that I’ve worked with Akili, I’ve had the opportunity to be exposed to a few different client-related business practices including supply chain, project management, and FP&A.

Each engagement is different in the sense that there will be a new set of requirements which ultimately brings a whole new set of challenges, and that is a big part of what makes consulting so interesting.  What I work on today will likely be different from what I work on tomorrow.

What drew you to Akili? Is Akili what was described to you and what you expected?

Prior to joining Akili I had worked with a couple big-name companies, and I felt that I didn’t have access to the type of development opportunities that I was looking for, and thought might be available at a smaller firm.  When I joined Akili, not only did I find exactly what I was looking for, but I was greeted by individuals who had deep expertise in their practice and were eager to help others develop.  The onboarding process and training development every new consultant has to complete is one that rivals even some of the larger competitors, and I believe sets everyone up to be successful during an engagement.

Akili has cultivated an environment made up of exciting people who love to have fun while contributing to excellent work, and it’s an absolute pleasure to be part of an outstanding organization that follows its principles so closely.

What’s your favorite Akili memory?

A couple months after joining Akili, I had the opportunity to attend the company’s annual summer party.  Seeing everyone from the Dallas office and remote employees come together like a big family to kick back, enjoy great food and drink, and have fun is something that not everyone gets to experience with their employers.  I was welcomed by everyone I met, and truly felt like I was part of the Akili family.

What makes Akili stand out from the rest?

Akili is an organization that trusts the people it hires and gives them the tools and freedom needed when it comes to the work they are required to do.  There are rarely cases where you will have someone watching over your shoulder every step of the way, but if you need any input or guidance, someone is always willing to lend a hand.

What are 3 career lessons you’ve learned so far? 

  1. Never be the smartest person in the room. Always welcome the opportunity to learn from your peers or superiors.  You never know when you might learn something new that will benefit your future.
  2. Plant yourself where you can grow long term. This is especially important for young professionals, as most will take a job anywhere simply to make a few extra dollars, but it’s even more important to make sure your organization invests in your growth and development.
  3. Get out of your comfort zone. Look for opportunities to learn a new skill or contribute to different areas of business.  It’s good to be a little scared when doing something for the first time.

What advice do you have for prospective candidates?

Be yourself.  Akili emphasizes the importance of having fun while doing your best work and being the best version of yourself will carry you a long way here.

Embrace feedback and welcome the opportunity to learn from others.  Akili has grown significantly in a short period of time, and as a result emphasizes the importance of the “Akili Method”.  Learning to adapt under changing circumstances, and embracing the feedback received during training will ensure that you are ready to contribute to the future success of the firm.

What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of autonomous vehicles, so I was excited when Tesla’s auto-pilot feature began making a presence in their vehicles.  They may have set the tone for the future of the automobile industry and have forever changed the way we perceive high-speed transportation.

How do you like to spend your free time? What are you passionate about?

I love being outdoors when the weather doesn’t get too hot and one of my favorite things is to be out on the lake.  I’m fortunate enough to have some family nearby at Lake Bridgeport where I will usually spend a few weekends during the Spring and Summer.  I also am a bit of an enthusiast when it comes to cars and motorcycles, and one of my favorite memories from this past year was going down to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX to watch the Moto Grand Prix races.  Aside from that, I come from a large family, most of whom live in Houston, so any opportunity to spend time with the people I love is always time well spent for me.

Motto or personal mantra?

“Spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself and a little less time trying to impress people…”

This quote from the movie The Breakfast Club has stuck with me for a while as it resonates firmly with the things I believe in as a young man in this generation.  A lot of people around my age are overly consumed with who they are online as opposed to who they are in life, and they rarely are the same person.  In this “how many followers or likes do I have” world that we live in, I encourage myself to shut it off and put more focus on the person I want to be in business and in life toward the people I will come across.