At Actalent, we are committed to the career growth and advancement of our talent. Through partnerships with innovative companies in a wide range of industries, our teams will have countless opportunities to apply expertise to critical, life-changing projects in engineering and sciences as well as develop and acquire new skills in the process.
In this interview, Damien Jackson, an Actalent Program Manager, shares how his career has grown and expanded with Actalent. Damien began his career with us as a consultant supporting a large manufacturing client. In his current role, Damien is responsible for managing more than 40 on-site consultants for a global leader in capital goods manufacturing as well as ensuring consultant satisfaction and strengthening business relationships with the client.
Q: Can you walk us through your Actalent journey? What brought you here? What are you doing now?
A: Prior to Actalent, I worked at another engineering services provider, but found myself stretched thin between the people and projects I was managing. I was struggling to feel like I was doing anything particularly well, including being the leader and mentor my team needed me to be, which was very important to me. I had thought about leaving my position, but I wanted to make sure that wherever I went, I felt like I was a part of something significant.
In January 2022, I left that position and accepted an offer from Actalent working in electrification with one of the world's largest manufacturers of construction and mining equipment, something I was incredibly excited about. I was in that role for four months doing continuous project development work when I had a conversation with my manager about other interests. Shortly thereafter, I was contacted by Ryan Vanderslice, who told me about an open fulltime position for a Program Manager within Actalent's engineering services business. I already had experience being on that side of client management, so this seemed like the best path forward for me. I'm so grateful that my manager and the Actalent recruiters were so committed to finding me a position that met all my professional wants and needs.
Q: What would you say had been the most impactful in the past six months since joining Actalent as a full-time employee?
A: I would definitely say the recruiters. My recruiter Kacie Cusick really made the difference – she took the time to get to know me as an individual, figure out what I was looking for in my next career move, and connect me to the right opportunity. That stuck out to me the most – the recruiters and their interest in my success. Actalent's recruiters gave me the sense that they really care about what they do and the candidates they work with. They take care in the process, knowing they are the first face people see when they open that Actalent door. It made me wonder “If the recruiters are like this, what is the rest of the company like?”
Q: What are you most excited about as you embark on this new journey with Actalent?
A: There are opportunities for growth and learning in so many different areas across industries and positions. Just the fact that Actalent is willing to invest in and help grow individuals, not only personally, but professionally, means so much to me. That is exactly what I was looking for. My goal is to be able to grow as a leader and a manager - I'd even like to get certified as a PMP eventually, so I'm looking forward to that. If I know my employer is willing to invest in me and strengthen me as an individual and a professional, I want to be able to do the same for them. Being here at Actalent, it already feels like the right place for me. It's only been six months, but I couldn't be more excited with where I am and where I'm going.
Q: Do you have any advice for other Actalent consultants on how they can embrace the Actalent culture to have an experience that is just as impactful as yours has been?
A: I want consultants to know that your goal doesn't have to be – shouldn't be – going direct with the client - there is opportunity within Actalent. With the flexibility that Actalent offers, there is room for growth and opportunity, whether it be with new client, different projects, or even in a different type of work altogether. I believe that Actalent has the flexibility to help you go wherever you want. No matter where you see yourself, Actalent can help you reach that goal.
Q: Can you share any thoughts on what you think the future holds for Actalent?
A: Looking at Actalent's strategy and how far they've come, I would say the future looks great. From an engineering and sciences standpoint, Actalent has positioned themselves for success. We have the flexibility and expertise needed to meet client's needs, whatever they may be. If they want us to do the work, we can. If they need help finding the right talent, we can help with that too. If they don't want to manage those people, we can do that. We can meet any need the client has, positioning ourselves for success. At the pace Actalent is going, I think they'll continue to grow. They provide opportunities for success, not only to the clients, but to their people as well.
Q: Are there any other meaningful aspects of your Actalent journey thus far that you want to share?
A: Just being recognized is amazing. To have a company invest in your growth and success is an amazing thing. Again, Actalent saw value in me, in my skills and traits, and acknowledged that. For me, I feel like this is it - I feel like this where I am meant to be. Ryan Vanderslice, Kacie Cusick, and so many others I've worked with all saw possibility in my future – I am definitely looking forward to what comes next.