A coffee with Hugh Sullivan, manager, consulting
In a new series celebrating our employees and the careers they are building with Crowe, we talk to staff about what it is like to work with our firm. They outline the career opportunities that Crowe offers, our unique firm culture and the CSR and social programmes that staff run.
What was your primary degree?
B.A in Management Science and Information Systems Studies from Trinity, and an MA in International Higher Education from the University of Nottingham.
Before working at Crowe, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I worked in England teaching ‘life skills’ to apprentices in the motor industry who left school early as part of their college qualifications. Essentially I drove all over England sitting in freezing garages teaching young people how to read their payslips, do basic budgeting and read and write well enough to finish their exams.
I was also a security guard for the IRFU briefly.
What is it about a career in consultancy that appeals to you?
Consultancy appeals to me because I prefer not to sit still – in consultancy the next project is always fresh, interesting and at times bizarre.
What does your job entail?
Working with clients to develop bespoke solutions to organisational challenges and issues. This ranges from assisting with strategy and planning, to review of workforce deployment, to training and development in governance and almost anything else.
Describe a typical day
The average week is about 25% preparing proposals, 25% preparing reports for clients and 40% working on assignments, and 10% other tasks and responsibilities. This could involve running a workshop for a State Board, sitting at my desk writing, or researching and investigating a particular issue.
What three words would you use to describe your role?
Varied, challenging, high-paced.
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
Consultancy involves managing multiple competing priorities simultaneously. Deadlines need to be carefully managed and work planned and delivered in good time.
What do you like most about your job?
The diversity and focused nature of our assignments means that each assignment is a challenge and involves something I have never seen before.
What is different about working at Crowe?
The consulting team is very collaborative. I had previously worked primarily on my own so transitioning to an environment where there is a strong team dynamic and a shared expectation of high-standard work outputs has been positive.
How has Crowe helped you in your career development?
As part of our team taking on responsibility for GDPR compliance within the firm, I was asked to undertake training as a certified data protection practitioner.
I was also recently promoted and given additional responsibilities, which always reflects well on career development.
What are 3 words to describe Crowe?
I’m not sure I could distil the Company down into 3 words. A phrase we use (and mean) when speaking with prospective clients is that we try to stay flexible, grounded and realistic when dealing with their particular circumstances.
Crowe’s values are Agility, Curiosity, Affinity and Clarity.
What personal values define you?
Humour (my colleagues might disagree), sound judgement, open-mindedness
Favourite memory from work?
Working with an animal welfare charity and spending some time on one of their premises (surrounded by the animals) while interviewing staff.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
My grandmother – “Never drop your standards!”
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I ride my bicycle up the largest mountains that I can find.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Dodgy late 90s rock music
What is your hidden talent?
I’m a good table-quizzer
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Early bird, provided there’s hot coffee.
Hugh works on our consultancy team.