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News > Alumni spotlight > James Rowntree: Senior Consultant in Change Management at PA Consulting

James Rowntree: Senior Consultant in Change Management at PA Consulting

"Don’t try to conquer the world in the first five years after school. The time for that will come"

Current Job Title & Employer:

Senior Consultant in Change Management, at PA Consulting.

OB years:

1997 - 2004.

Brief description of your path after Brentwood:

I left Brentwood to study Biology at Sheffield University, at a time when the vast majority of us did a degree. Heavily shaped by my love of CCF, I wanted to be a pilot in the RAF; so it was the opportunity to ‘study’ for three years rather than the content of a Biology degree I fancied. During Fresher’s week I ended up joining the Army’s Officer Training Corps rather than the RAF equivalent, and never really looked back. After my degree and a fantastic few months travelling the USA, I joined the Army as an officer and went to Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to start my Army journey. I joined an infantry regiment called The Rifles where I made a new family. I did a great array of jobs over the course of 12 years serving, including some time in Afghanistan and other trips around the world. After my wife followed me round with the Army for that decade, I decided it was time to put her job first and left the Army, finding a job in management consultancy.

How has your career path led you to where you are now?

Army officers becoming management consultants is a fairly well-trodden path. There is lots of overlap and it is somewhere that the years of leadership training and operational experience do not go to waste.

Did you develop any particular skills or attributes at Brentwood that have helped your career?

Undoubtedly the CCF is responsible for my career in Defence, and therefore the work that has followed. I especially remember teaching my first ever lesson, during the CCF period on a Friday afternoon, about the key components of an airfield. That love of teaching has carried forward into my leadership style.

Favourite Brentwood memory?

There’s a lot to choose from, perhaps too many. Maybe the assembly where I was awarded school colours in front of the whole school; it was a surprise to me and came with a wave of muddled euphoria. 

Any words of advice for those graduating this year?

Don’t try to conquer the world in the first five years after school. The time for that will come, but above all else be sure to enjoy those first years.

 

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