JB (Article)

Looking Back On A Year At Fairgrove

Joe Brown

Associate

Joe reflects on his first year at Fairgrove, exploring how his role has changed and the emphasis placed on a healthy work-life balance.

Tell us a bit about your background, and how you have found your first year at Fairgrove?

I joined Fairgrove in September 2022, having spent a year volunteering in Costa Rica and travelling around South America after graduating. I have loved my first year at Fairgrove, which is testament to the fun and friendly, yet ambitious and motivating, culture that the team has created. I can’t believe that I have now been here for more than a year, something which only really sunk in when we recently welcomed our new graduates this month – the time has absolutely flown by!

How has your role evolved over the first year?

During my first year, I have worked on projects across a range of sectors, from learning about the live events market as part of a project for an entertainment & sports staging business through to researching the future of global energy on a project for an equipment manufacturer for oil rigs and wind farms. For new Associates, Fairgrove runs a formal training programme which is supplemented by on-the-job training. I had a Director asking my opinion by the end of the first week! This may sound a bit daunting but it truly is one of the best ways to learn. The exposure to clients and senior colleagues that I have had from the off has given me the skills and confidence to take on more responsibility with each project. My role now includes conducting complex market sizing and business performance analyses, leading interviews with customers and industry experts and contributing to the development of the firm through my role as co-head of team building.

In your view, what sets Fairgrove apart from larger consultancies?

At Fairgrove, everyone is assigned a role outside of project work to help the firm grow and become a more exciting and motivating place to work. Ranging from marketing to team building, you can turn your hand to whatever it is you’re interested in, working in a role for a year or so before moving onto something else. You are actively encouraged to bring new ideas and initiatives to the table, allowing you to a make a significant contribution to the development of the firm, in a way that would likely not be possible at a larger firm. On top of this, we maintain a culture of being “more-than-colleagues” and an informal, dynamic environment that ensures everyone is comfortable being completely themselves. After a year at Fairgrove, I have been able to build strong personal relationships with everyone at the firm which makes working together on projects so much easier!

What is the work-life balance like at Fairgrove, particularly for more junior members of staff?

Without a doubt, one of the best things about Fairgrove is the emphasis placed on work-life balance. The nature of project work means that we sometimes have relatively quick turnarounds in order to support time-sensitive acquisitions or strategy assignments. However, the ability of the team to pull together for projects like these (expect to have your inbox filled with colleagues offering to help you out!) is incredible. The senior team also keeps tabs on everyone’s workloads to ensure that no single person is overburdened, and, where appropriate, you’ll be offered some time off to relax after a particularly busy project. We have a hybrid working style, encouraging office attendance to maintain our close-knit feel but simultaneously recognising the benefits of home working, as well as a flexible holiday package and volunteering opportunities that encourage the team to pursue a wide range of interests outside of work.

Dream dinner party guests:
Robin Williams, Lewis Capaldi and a very bemused Queen Elizabeth!

Film you wish you could watch again for the first time:
Fight Club

Three words to describe Fairgrove:
Humble, Motivating, Determined