Jimmy Chen, Senior Validation Engineer at Delta PM, shares his consulting tips & insights and why he’s chosen to stay with Delta for the past 7 years!

1. Why did you choose to join Delta PM & why consulting?

I joined Delta PM over 7 years ago when it was a much smaller company. I chose Delta because I believed in their leadership and knew that I would be treated with professionalism as a valued member of the team. 

Throughout my 13 years in the pharmaceutical industry, I've flipped between full-time employee and independent contractor numerous times, for numerous reasons. My first consulting job was not so much a calculated move; I just fell into it. However, these past 7 years, I've decided to remain as a consultant at Delta, because I value networking and seeing the big picture of our industry rather than simply climbing the corporate ladder. 

2. How has your experience with Delta been fulfilling or different? 

My experience with Delta PM is and continues to be fulfilling, because I am provided the opportunities I need to keep myself challenged.  Career growth and development cannot happen without opportunity, and Delta has provided me with ample opportunities for me to learn and grow my skill set. 

Consulting at Delta PM has been different from other consulting experiences, because the leadership is different. It's a place where I feel my skill set is valued, and I have a voice that is heard and responded to.

3. What does your role entail? 

My role at Delta has recently begun to evolve. My typical day-to-day involves supporting multiple client projects of my own, in addition to providing equipment qualification support for other Delta PM projects across the Bay Area. Occasionally, I find myself shipping off validation equipment for calibration or meeting our equipment calibration vendors. My role has become more dynamic, which I prefer because it keeps me on my toes. 

4. How would you characterize your team?

Proactive. I know people hate hearing this word, but let's be honest, no one wants to work with lazy co-workers. 

5. what are some challenges that come with consulting?

Generally speaking, I find consulting to be challenging in two ways. First, the subject matter, which is self-explanatory. Second, would be the client site, which includes all the hurdles you need to navigate in order to do your job. These can include simple things like getting access to the printer, the electronic databases, or even just access to the building. Certain aspects can also be more nuanced like developing a feel for the QA reviewer's review style. All of these things add up, and if you don't know how to effectively deal with them, your work schedule can very easily slip away from you.

I love a challenge, but I love success even more. Therefore, I try to set myself up for success by weighing these two areas prior to accepting a project. 

6. How has the industry or consulting changed over the years?

The industry has definitely seen its challenges over the years. Everyone adapts and deals with the challenges as best as they can, but in the end, return to normality is inevitable. With that said, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

7. Any other insights you can share from your Consulting experience?

When I first started consulting, I was always afraid to let my clients down. I was afraid that I wouldn't know the right answers or wouldn't be able to give the right advice. I looked on in awe at the consultants that had been in the industry for years, amassing a wealth of knowledge, and along the way, respect from their peers. I wondered how they could possibly know all the right answers. The truth is, they don't, but they are honest when the answer eludes them, and they are proactive to follow up and give the client guidance to find the right answers. They use all the resources and networks they have in order to do their jobs well. 

In this line of work, it's impossible to know everything. The best consultants know that, know how to find the right answers, and arguably most importantly, are pleasant to work with. If people want to work with you, you've already won half the battle.  

Lastly, networking is essential in consulting. When the chance arrives, it would behoove you to practice and hone your networking skills.