Whitney Farber is an NYC-based associate at Impendi Analytics. As a tri-state native, she shares the rewards and challenges of her job, how her background prepared her for client-facing work, why the Impendi Analytics team inspires ever-growing professional success, and more.
Tell us about your job.
Whitney Farber: As an associate at Impendi Analytics, my role covers an array of activities including data analysis, client and vendor engagement, and synthesizing results to provide a recommendation for our client.
When you first begin a project, you are responsible for collecting data from both the client and incumbent vendors to understand a client’s spend history and look for opportunities for savings. Upon determining these opportunities and presenting a synthesized view to the client, we begin the sourcing effort.
What are the responsibilities of an associate at Impendi Analytics?
WF: As an associate, with guidance from your manager, you are responsible for creating and issuing RFP documents, communicating with the vendors throughout the RFP process and conducting the analysis on the received responses.
Upon understanding your initial findings, you work with your manager to come up with a savings recommendation for the client and begin the implementation process.
Throughout your time at a client, you are constantly interacting with your main project stakeholders to fully understand their business and gather information necessary for a successful strategic sourcing event.
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
WF: My favorite part about my job is the opportunity to communicate and build relationships with clients at a variety of different levels.
Often, you work with clients on a day-to-day basis and build a trusting relationship which gives them confidence in the work you are doing. But Impendi also gives you the opportunity to present to senior-level client leadership very early on in your career, which highlights the importance of the work you are doing.
Typically, when you are more junior in your career, you do not get exposure to this level of leadership. However, at Impendi, you have that opportunity. It is something I value greatly in my current role.
What is the most challenging aspect of being an associate? How do you overcome those challenges?
WF: The most challenging aspect of my job can be working with clients who are undergoing widespread transformational change in their organization and may be under-resourced to support a project of the magnitude we are working on.
For example, the client may not have the resources to pull the data we need or early-stage project demands may affect their day to day job responsibilities.
To overcome this challenge, it is important to start off the project being organized and process-driven to accurately portray the level of client support you will need for the effort and level set expectations. It is important that we take on as much of the effort as possible to reduce the amount of time the client has to devote to the process while achieving the greatest value for the client.
Tell us a little more about yourself. Where did you grow up and go to college?
WF: I grew up in Connecticut and moved to New York City right after college.
I studied at Cornell University and graduated in 2018. My major was Industrial and Labor Relations, which is not a typical business education.
How did your unexpected major prepare you for life at Impendi?
WF: While my major was somewhat unconditional, it gave me some foundational skills that have been useful thus far at Impendi.
Industrial and Labor Relations looks at the world of work from a people perspective which has helped me to understand the people side of the business world.
When we work with clients it is so important to understand how their organization works and what motivates the stakeholders we are working with. While my educational background is not necessarily a typical path for a consultant, the skills I learned in my major have ended up being very useful in my current role when working with different types of clients.
Impendi is known for quite a few team bonding activities. What has been your favorite Impendi outing so far?
WF: My favorite Impendi outing occurred during the first couple of weeks when I was at Impendi. Each year, we have an onboarding training week for new employees where we have training sessions throughout the day and a few social gatherings throughout the week.
During this week we went to a shuffleboard club and partnered up for a few games of shuffleboard. As a new employee, it was a great opportunity to meet people at the company while also enjoying a fun social event.
You typically spend a lot of time with your project team, so it was nice getting to spend time with people at the company you don’t have the opportunity to see as often.
Last but not least, how has Impendi Analytics helped you grow professionally?
WF: Impendi and my teammates at Impendi have taught me invaluable skills that will help me throughout my career. Both by leading by example and using their experience to teach different lessons, I feel like I have grown tremendously in my time here.
As a new hire out of college, you oftentimes do not understand the intricacies of working with different types of clients and how to best work with different aspects of an organization. However, my teammates at Impendi taught me how to work with different clients to accomplish our goals.
Impendi and my teammates supported me in developing the skills necessary to be promoted from business analyst to associate and I hope to be able to support others in their growth in the future.
The entire organization is also incredibly supportive when it comes to assistance with analysis questions or important knowledge share when working on a category that others have worked on before. This helps me to pass along that knowledge to newer members of the team and use those skills throughout the rest of my career.