This week’s non-clinical spotlight features a PT who got his executive MBA and now works as a Solution Consultant for Deloitte!
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What is your full name and title at your current job?
Shane Hamman, PT, DPT, MBA, SCS – Solution Consultant at Deloitte
Where are you located?
Where did you go to PT school, and what year did you graduate?
Ithaca College (MSPT/DPT), 2010 for both
What did you do when you first finished school, and for how long?
I began my career in Honolulu for six months.
In what setting(s) did you work, and what types of patients did you treat?
Private Practice, Sports Medicine, and Orthopedics
What did you do after that, and for how long?
What did you enjoy about your early roles?
It gave me the opportunity to learn from many incredible clinicians who were able to guide me to what type of professional I wanted to be, and what type of professional I did not want to be.
I was also able to become a more well-rounded clinician. This allowed me to help treat “anyone who came through the door.” Even though I became a Sports Specialist, the ability to pull from Neuro/Pediatric/Cardiac experience was valuable.
What didn’t you enjoy?
Due to the availability of roles, I was limited in what roles and settings I was able to do unless I became licensed in numerous states (had licenses in HI, NJ, DE, PA). Definitely looking forward to when clinicians will have immediate reciprocity for all states once they pass the exam!
At what point did you realize you wanted to do something non-clinical with your background, and why?
It was eight years into my PT career and I was the multi-site manager of a private practice. It was all of a sudden–a crystallizing moment where I realized that I was not on the path I wanted to be on.
In addition, the hours of being in an administrative and clinical dual role were starting to add up. I wanted to have a better work-life balance, so I needed to make a change.
While it was fulfilling to help the communities where I’ve treated, I felt there was something more I could do to impact more people simultaneously, and I felt I was hitting my personal ceiling.
What are you doing these days?
After deciding to transition from clinical work, I enrolled and graduated from Villanova University’s Executive MBA program to develop skills to pivot into a new role. Easily one of the best decisions I ever made, along with choosing to attend Ithaca College’s physical therapy program.
My role is with an international firm called Deloitte. Currently, I provide project management within the Government and Public sector and act as a liaison between government leaders, Deloitte client delivery and cloud software teams.
While I perform additional tasks within the firm, one of my favorites is being a Well-Being ambassador for Deloitte team members. This provides an opportunity to meld my experience as a PT and advocate for employees’ mental, physical, and emotional wellness.
Are you still treating patients, or are you solely non-clinical?
I’m no longer treating patients, which is wild since it has only been 10 years since I graduated from PT school.
How long have you been in your current role as a solution consultant?
Officially one year as a non-clinical PT.
How did you find your job? Did you apply or find it through a connection?
When I enrolled at Villanova, I aspired to become the CEO of a healthcare system since that’s how high I wanted to go in an organization to make decisions and help entire regions. But, as I went through the program, the more I realized it would be duct tape on a leaking dam.
When I gained insight into consulting at a larger firm such as Deloitte, I realized they had the influence and ear of not just one CEO of a healthcare system, but federal and state governments, public and private companies, and organizations serving millions of people.
That’s how I realized consulting would be the ideal route to impact numerous entities and millions of people simultaneously.
I found the solution consultant job by networking with the appropriate people, but it absolutely did not happen overnight.
Transitioning to a new role outside of my field, even with the Executive MBA, was not easy during a global public health crisis.
Over the course of a few months, I connected with various alumni of my schools, and networked on LinkedIn. All it took was one connection to get the conversation started.
I was fortunate enough that my skills translated to what Deloitte was looking for! Reaching out on LinkedIn to a member of the firm was the first step towards an interview.
Did you do anything special to your resume and cover letter to land the job?
Prior to getting the interview, I made at least six different resumes and cover letters. Eventually, I was able to create a hybrid functional resume as opposed to chronological, which better highlighted my marketable skills.
Editor’s Note: Learn more about the types of resumes, and get 40+ non-clinical resume templates — including hybrid functional ones — in Non-Clinical 101!
What was the solution consultant interview like?
The interview was with three individuals over the course of a day. It covered various topics but was broken down into overall mission details of the various projects, the technological capabilities, and how I would be able to fit into the firm after being a clinician for a decade.
Did you get any special certifications or training along the way to help you get into your current role?
I obtained my Board Certification in Sports Physical Therapy in 2016, but did not obtain any additional certificates other than my EMBA to obtain this role.
What are some of the things you can do to stand out, take initiative, and advance, as a solution consultant?
The number one thing you have to do is take initiative, but still ask questions.
As a consultant, you are basically the creator of your own path. The way you can move forward is by being inquisitive, open minded, humble, and ready to make many mistakes (which you can learn from) along the way.
It’s no different from being a clinician, where you cannot have a long-term memory for things you did wrong or if something did not go your way. You have to move forward because the next person or next step with the project needs support and you have to give it your all with a clear focus.
How have people reacted to you leaving patient care?
I would say it’s been mixed. There is a level of disappointment from individuals, including friends, that I am no longer clinical, but honestly, I am getting numerous PTs and other professionals reaching out for advice related to my journey.
I think there are more clinicians that are at least exploring the idea of a change to roles where they can continue to grow and push themselves while still helping others.
What’s a typical day or week in the life of a solution consultant?
I work 100% virtually since my role collaborates with numerous colleagues and clients across the country (and some globally).
So a typical day involves status updates for the project, getting in a virtual meeting to discuss next steps, and meeting with the clients to ensure everything is progressing. Internally, I also create team presentations and training to help guide teammates.
What are some of the challenges of your role?
My greatest ongoing challenge is learning about the design, development, and implementation of cloud based software. It has involved a lot of studying and learning the basics of the new platforms I am using, and how my role is helping to move it forward.
Another challenge is making sure I am accounting for the overall holistic nature of the project including supporting both internal and external stakeholders and how certain actions or inactions can affect the people involved with the project.
There were some facepalm moments along the way, and I had to just take it in stride and become better as a result of those situations.
What are the rewards?
Home-life balance is substantially better–especially not having a commute, and being able to disconnect at a time that is convenient. In addition, projects I am working on are not life or death type situations which helps to turn off the day more effectively once work is done.
Being virtual allows me the flexibility to get the work done when I need to get it done. On days where I have appointments, I can log in a little earlier or stay on later, instead of having to take PTO or having to get coverage for a patient.
Also, having a vacation where you don’t require an entire team to take on your caseload and have patients work with a new provider is a benefit.
Lastly, and most importantly, this role allows me to be a part of projects that can benefit millions of people and be in the room with people who make decisions impacting those consumers. It still does not get any better than helping millions of people simultaneously with the work I do.
How do you think working as a PT prepared you for being a solution consultant?
I am adamant that being a PT absolutely helped prepare me for this role.
The amount of patience and active listening that comes from being a clinician is so important when working with teammates and clients.
Which skills transferred?
Thinking three dimensionally and not also thinking algorithmically. There have been situations where it’s been “have we thought about it this way?” because sometimes the obvious answer isn’t always the correct one.
We know, as clinicians, that no diagnosis is the same because we aren’t treating pathologies–we are treating people.
Each individual person that comes to the clinic has their own story, their own lives, and their own background that feeds into what happened. It is up to us as a provider to be like “I know you tore your ACL, but why did you tear your ACL?” and to think critically about the influences on a particular patient. It’s no different for the role I’m in now, where the obvious answer isn’t always the right one. The skill of taking a deep breath and looking at an overall situation is a top skill that transferred.
People skills also translated very well due to the thousands of clients I have worked with, and dozens of staff members I’ve supervised over the years.
The interpersonal skills I honed from all those interactions help to navigate the challenges in my new role, from either a client, or team perspective.
Roughly speaking, how are the hours and pay compared to patient care?
The hours are definitely fewer than what I was working as a clinician (from a treating, documentation, and administrative perspective).
As for compensation, I initially took a pay cut; however, the room I have for growth both professionally and with salary has a higher ceiling compared to PT.
What type of person do you think would do well as a solution consultant?
Definitely those who do not get frazzled by things changing on a moment’s notice and who can be resilient.
Do you work remotely or on-site?
Does your organization hire PT, OT, or SLP professionals into non-clinical roles? If so, what type of roles?
Currently, I am only one of four PTs in the entire Deloitte US firm. They look more at skills and how they can be applied to client projects at Deloitte.
What is next for you? What do you want to do with your career long-term?
My “next” is focusing on the right now. I honestly feel like I’m starting from scratch, similar to my first job after taking the boards. While I have prior professional experience this time, my first step is to ensure I understand the nuances of consulting life. Long term, I look forward to be playing a larger part of Deloitte’s well-being initiatives and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
What would you recommend to someone who is considering becoming a solution consultant?
Be ready to be humbled, and be a sponge. The amount of information I’ve learned since joining the firm has been substantial and is not stopping any time soon. You’ll be asking questions more than having the answers regardless of how much experience you have prior to joining a consulting firm.
Editor’s note: Interested in business consulting? Check out this other spotlight we did on Fei Jiang, DPT, who is now Strategy Insight and Planning Consultant!
Do you have any special words of wisdom for the readers?
Being a PT has skills that translate to consulting such as: patience, creativity, improvisation, problem solving, resiliency, lifelong learning, and experimentation. You can do it, but it will take some getting used to.
If you could give yourself one piece of career advice you wish you had during your PT school program, what would it be?
Appreciate every moment and patient interaction you have—for better or for worse. No matter what, you will learn something.
If you could teach anything to today’s graduate students in your profession, what would it be?
You’ve earned the right academically to be here; however, what will make you exceptional professionals are the abilities to develop empathy and to truly listen to others. Lastly, make sure you take care of yourself, because you can’t help anyone if you’re unable to help yourself.
Do you have any special advice for others who want to follow in your footsteps?
There is no one path into consulting. Be willing to put yourself out there and do not give up. If consulting (or any role) is what you truly want, then identify the skills needed and develop yourself to get there.
Want to go non-clinical, too, but don’t know where to start?