How to Get Hired as a Consultant

Questions and answers with David Ong, Director of Recruiting at Maximus Consulting

1. WHAT KINDS OF PEOPLE ARE YOU LOOKING TO HIRE AS A CONSULTANT?

When we hire from either graduate or undergraduate schools for consultants, our focus is on a core set of skills such as problem solving, building relationships, communications, and above all else, leadership. We believe that if a student possesses these core skills, our training will help them become strong project managers in the very near future.

 2. WHEN SOMEONE WORKS AS A CONSULTANT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? WHAT DO THEY DO?

Our consultants assist governments that want to manage programs better, secure additional federal funds, develop new policies, or procure new technologies. Our consultants understand the needs of public sector managers and help them meet their goals. Our focus is on government areas such as financial services, child welfare, technology services, education, social services and healthcare.

3. HOW IS IT DIFFERENT THAN WORKING FOR A PUBLIC SECTOR AGENCY? HOW IS IT SIMILAR?

Our consultants who have worked in both public sector and private sector often tell us that they feel more empowered to make changes by working as a private sector employee, rather than working as part of the public sector.  Private sector companies are usually more conducive to change, thereby creating a culture of individuals who are thus empowered to make changes for their clients. Another unique aspect of our firm is that we have an unrivaled amount of government subject matter expertise in our organization.  While we are a publicly traded company, our workforce is staffed by many former government employees.

 4. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS ADVANTAGES FOR SOMEONE TO WORK IN PUBLIC SECTOR CONSULTING?

Our new hires often tell us that our motto of “Helping Government Serve the People” is a big motivating factor as to why they chose to work for the company.  They know that they can come to work in a place which values their public policy background and gives them the resources to make changes which benefit those underserved citizens who need the government’s help the most.

5. WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF THINGS YOUR’E WORKING ON NOW?

In the State of Georgia, we established a Call Center and Outreach and Education function to assist Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids members with selecting a health plan.  The firm designed a logo, created enrollment materials, hired and trained staff, and established a system and telecommunications infrastructure to support the enrollment work.  One year later, the program successfully enrolled more than 900,000 Medicaid and PeachCare members into managed care in two regions of the state, and is in the process of completing enrollment in the remaining regions.

Los Angeles Unified School District: The district was not in compliance with a court order to provide centralized student information to all schools.  They relied on outdated systems that were expensive and difficult to maintain with no controls on standards or security.   They lacked the ability to track students’ medical, disciplinary and performance information during the students’ tenure in the school system.  We designed a functional student information system, which is a web driven application that is user friendly, scalable and modular.  It centralizes and maintains all student information throughout the student’s tenure within the system.

And our Australian practice provides services for job seekers, employers, the disabled, and other disadvantaged individuals as part of the Australian government-funded Job Network.