Consultancy, North America
In much the same way as our North American business continues to scale new heights, James Harrison's "go get 'em" approach to life, work and snowboarding has seen his career soar since joining Mace as a cost consultant for retail clients in 2013.
- How did you get in to what you do?
- I graduated from university and joined a construction consultancy firm, where I worked for about six years. The recession hit, and while I kept my job, I didn't see many opportunities to grow my career in the UK. A job came up working for a different company in New York, I'd never even been there on holiday before, but I jumped straight in. I was in New York for two years before I joined Mace as a cost consultant.
- What do you most enjoy about what you do?
- The people. The team in North America was very small when I joined. The few of us located in New York were all in a very tiny office. Now we're at nearly 100 people and to be part of that growth has been great.
- What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?
- It would have to be winning the store roll-out programme with a well known jewellery retailer. We were essentially a young business and a young team, we were committed to delivering it well but the competition was really strong so we were thrilled to be appointed. They say you need a job to get a job, and the work meant we had a story to tell, and we were able to build relationships with other retail clients on the back of that. We're continuing to solidify our work in the retail sector, but we're also looking to see how we can grow into new sectors too.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to do what you do?
- Don't be afraid to have a go or to put your hand up. Something that really differentiates Mace from other companies is that people listen to good ideas.
- What big trends do you see emerging in your specialism over the next five years?
- There are a lot of mergers and acquisitions happening in the current market, we're seeing more and more of these 'super consultancies'. Clients will always want good service, that won't change, but the shape and structure of consultants delivering this service will look vastly different.
- What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
- I love rugby and used to play a bit. I also love snowboarding and did a few seasons in Canada when I was younger. And, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy socialising!
“Something that really differentiates Mace from other companies is that people listen to good ideas.”