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A career at CPCS: From Consultant to Managing Partner

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By Marc-André Roy | February 9, 2020

Get to know the people powering CPCS. Meet long-time employee Marc-André Roy. He opens up about rising through the ranks and making CPCS his professional home.

CPCS has given my career a strong sense of purpose because of the impactful work we do around the world.

Did I know one day I was going to have a career in infrastructure consulting? Or become Managing Partner at CPCS?

No.

Going from junior consultant to managing partner didn’t happen overnight. But working for the right company and with a great team helped.

At CPCS, it’s people over process.

Starting out as consultant 

It all began when I found myself doing microfinance fieldwork in Benin, Africa. I was still a young MBA student, unsure about the direction of my career. I only knew about the love I had developed for this beautiful continent.    

When I returned to Canada to complete my studies, all I could think of was how to set foot on African soil again.

The opportunity showed up when the Canadian Council on Africa held a conference in Ottawa. I went there as a graduate and networked with tooth and nail.    

There, I met our company’s then president and current chairperson. Our common appreciation for Africa along with my general interest in consulting and management training got me through the door.

I joined CPCS shortly after.

I quickly developed a passion for my career in infrastructure consulting by tackling cool projects and being open-minded about new opportunities.

A fulfilling career at CPCS 

Among my first assignments were a railway market study in Tanzania and a port sector reform project in Nigeria. No tutorials here. You’re sent to the frontlines right off the bat. 

But that also meant I had to put in twice the work to get up to speed. Seeing how our work created measurable impacts kept me going despite how challenging it can be. 

There were just so many opportunities to make a difference. I wanted to take part in all of them. I flew everywhere during my early years at CPCS. From China to Brazil, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad and Iran, to name a few. Not to mention meetings and conferences in Dubai or Miami.

This high-flying lifestyle lost its glamour when family commitments started calling. 

I confided to upper management that I was thinking of leaving the company to travel less.

Instead, they offered me a promotion to set up and build the North American consulting practice. I was to grow CPCS in Canada and the U.S – right at home.

As cliché as it sounds, hard work does pay off.

Starting Applying our own infrastructure skills internally

Being a member of the executive team allowed me to get more involved in shaping company operations.

For instance, I implemented a system to help us retain and share knowledge across the company. I also introduced a program of continuous of improvement on how we conduct business.

Refining the corporate culture and tightening business processes got me noticed yet again, which eventually led me to a managing partner position.  

Starting What’s next as head of a global company

Designing how we do things and thinking long-term is what I enjoy doing now. Strategy and company culture are top of mind for me.

This means nurturing a company based on talent, depth and growth. It’s about perpetuating the same values that forged my own career.

Honing our talent implies learning from each other through regular knowledge sharing sessions and encouraging our teammates to publish and present at research conferences.

Increasing our depth means expanding our expertise. You may have noticed that we’ve recently added a new aviation practice to our transport services.

Above all, I’m here to foster growth in our consultants. I want to inspire all CPCSers, current and future, motivate them with challenging projects and provide them with the resources to become leaders.  

Fifteen years ago, I had the chance to thrive in a stimulating, global environment. Now, I’m offering you the same.

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