Joining Plural as an Experienced Consultant: an interview with Sam Kelly

28 February 2022

Sam joined Plural Strategy in September 2020 as a Senior Associate and was recently promoted to Manager. He talks to us about his experience at Plural so far:

Q: What interested you to join the Plural team?

One of the first things that interested me, without knowing the people, was the work that Plural does. The sectors they focus on are really interesting, high growth sectors where there are a lot of interesting trends and developments taking place.

Q: How have you found the work and culture at Plural?

Very dynamic and exciting. One of the great things about a smaller boutique is that the pace can be quite fast, which gives you an opportunity to leave your own mark on the business quite quickly. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to take on additional responsibilities, gain exposure to different sectors and types of projects, and feel empowered to contribute to the client outcomes.

Q: Have you seen your responsibilities change as you’ve progressed and been promoted at Plural?

As soon as I moved to Plural my responsibilities were different as I had much more ownership of work streams and input to each project.  As I’ve progressed within Plural I’ve taken on more responsibilities in terms of management of teams and larger workstream ownership.

Even when taking on that additional responsibility, I’ve never felt out of my depth as I’ve been supported by the rest of the team. The Partners are also very encouraging of asking questions. As we all work together in the office it is really easy to find someone who can help if needed. There’s a very open culture at Plural, a lot of time and effort goes into maintaining a positive atmosphere of learning within the business.

Q: What has been the most interesting project that you have worked on at Plural, so far?

That’s a difficult question, there have been so many fantastic projects!

If I had to pick, I have found my work with one of our Agribusiness clients the most interesting. We worked with a large organisation to explore changing needs in the face of significant challenges from changing customer environments and changing customer needs. These projects don’t just look at purely quantifiable data, but also include more subjective aspects of customer personas that contribute to their needs, preferences and decisions. Then we have to consider how we can tie all of that really detailed work back into an actionable strategy for the client.

Q: Does the work at Plural challenge you?

Yes, I think the work does challenge me in terms of being very client focused, we’re answer driven to find the best outcome for our clients.

Also, Plural has been fantastic for the culture of problem solving. I enjoy being challenged by the team around me, not just Partners, but also everyone in the team, regardless of job title. Sometimes having the Analysts and Associates challenging my thinking keeps me on my toes – I have to think if I’m focusing on the right hypotheses or the best way of approaching this project.

Q: Outside of project work, how have you found life at Plural?

It’s been an interesting time to join as for part of my time here we’ve had lockdown restrictions, but the social committee have done a great job at organising fun things. While we were all working from home they organised a virtual cooking class and a cocktail making party. More recently we also had a lot of fun outdoor swimming at Hampstead Ponds. There’s always a great team atmosphere.

Q: What has surprised you the most since joining Plural?

I think it comes back to the feeling of openness you get from the Partners at Plural. It is really valuable to know that if you ask questions or offer your opinion here it is genuinely considered and heard. The team works hard, but it’s a fun environment to work in and people show a lot of flexibility around that which is good.

Q: Do you have any tips for other consultants considering joining Plural?

I would definitely have a conversation with the people at Plural, because I think once you speak to the team you will learn a huge amount about whether or not it’s the right place for you.