Our Akili Employee Spotlight Series continues as we introduce longtime Akilian Joyce Sellers. This week we learned more about our Dallas-based Solution Leader.
Tell us more about your role and what you like most about it.
I am a Solution Leader at Akili where I design/architect solutions to help clients meet their business objectives, most specifically in the Connected Planning space, i.e.: Anaplan. This role affords me to learn about all different kinds of industries our clients engage in and the different types of challenges our clients face in those markets. There’s nothing more rewarding than partnering with a client, helping to strategize and solve issues they face, and then ultimately seeing those solutions put in place with subsequent benefits realized.
What drew you to Akili?
Akili’s size and independence. Early in my career, I worked for big corporations and while I enjoyed my experiences there, I often worked on large, multi-year projects and found myself dissatisfied with not having a “sense of completion” or seeing our efforts live in production.
Is Akili what was described to you and what you expected?
Most definitely. I was in the market looking for a smaller firm that afforded each person some individuality and more exposure to different industries and opportunities.
It’s also satisfying to know I have a full-support team if and when needed.
What’s your favorite Akili memory?
This is actually my 2nd stint with Akili (as I worked for them in the late ‘90s/early 2000s). One thing that really made an impression on me was my very first couple of weeks at Akili… I was working on a RFP (request for proposal) we received from a very prominent airlines with a team of other Akilians in our delivery group. The RFP was incomplete and we went several rounds back and forth with the potential client. Based on those interactions over a couple of weeks, we came to the realization that this probably wasn’t a good fit for Akili to “partner” with this client. We took this to the Akili Sales group/Sr Management and they ultimately made the decision to bow-out of the RFP process. I was pleasantly surprised as my previous experiences involved working for companies that went for “winning” the sale whether or not it’d be a beneficial partnership for both sides. This simple act impressed me that Akili wanted to set our consultants in delivery up for success, not failure, and I was on-board.
What makes Akili stand out from the rest?
Most definitely our people and culture. I get to work with a group of talented colleagues on a daily basis at Akili. In working for a smaller, boutique consulting firm, we rely on each other to be accountable and assist when necessary. Time and time again, my colleagues step up with integrity and enthusiasm.
Additionally, our smaller size gives us a “family” type atmosphere that I enjoy, as we genuinely want each other to succeed… it’s refreshing to say the least.
What are 3 career lessons you’ve learned thus far?
- Be truthful/have integrity: It’s okay to say you don’t know something. You then have the opportunity to look into/learn about something new.
- Never stop learning, being curious, and asking questions.
- Keep an “open” mind: Change is inevitable whether you like it or not, and you have to be willing to adjust.
What advice do you have for prospective candidates?
If you’re looking for a fun, challenging environment that exposes you to a diversity of different industries and business challenges, then you’ve come to the right place.
What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?
Probably wireless/mobile technology. I’ve always been in the IT service industry, but can you imagine today without wireless/mobile technology? We’d still be tethered to our phone lines, complaining about slow speeds, using pay phones when out and about, etc.
How do you like to spend your free time / what are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about anything I do but in my free time, I enjoy reading, doing logic/mathematical puzzles (nerd), attending concerts, cooking and eating out, scuba diving, golfing, and I am an avid beach goer and dog lover….hoping to add quad roller-skating to this list in the VERY near future.
Motto or personal mantra?
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re probably in the wrong room.” – Unknown