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Ryan Serpan

Ryan Serpan

Slalom Consulting

Principal Consultant

Personal Information

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School: University of Colorado

Major: Business

Years at College Works: 2001 to 2002

Career Information

Company You Work For Now: Slalom Consulting

Title: Principal Consultant

Industry: Consulting

Brief Description of Duties / Responsibilities

I provide professional consulting for clients across the state, mostly centered on marketing operations and strategy.

What Has Been Your Proudest Accomplishment Post-CWP?

Running and selling an interactive agency that employed several professionals and established leadership in our industry.

CWP Career Impact

In one sentence, what has CWP meant to you?

CWP enabled me to expand my comfort zone in an accelerated fashion, giving me a 5 year head start on all of my peers.

How did your CWP experience impact your career? Immediately after graduation? Now?

Immediately after graduating I started my on digital agency. The skills I learned at CWP were instrumental in being able to run this business. My comfort zone with sales and with understanding profit measurement kept us alive in the first several years.

What do you want to tell your clients about what it meant to work with them and how it has helped you get to where you are today?

Many of my CWP clients became instrumental contacts for my future business. I worked with several that owned businesses or had positions with business that helped me kick start my interactive company. Keeping that network was hugely important for my success.

What was the greatest lesson you learned from your CWP experience?

Persistence pays off. Mistakes are made, but learning to keep momentum moving forward helps me to always stay on top in my industry.

How has the friendships and networks you built during CWP affected you?

For many years after CWP I kept close with some of the interns and always had someone to bounce ideas off of. When things were scary or in danger with my interactive company, I could turn to my fellow interns for support and advice.

If you had to come up with an one line slogan for CWP, what would it be? :)

The most significant expansion of your comfort zone.

Advice

What advice do you have for potential CWP participants? Current CWP participants?

Don't think of this experience as just running a painting business, instead think of all the areas that you can expand in your comfort zone. You will make mistakes, you will have very tough weeks, but what better environment could exist to learn from these things than one where you have the support from CWP?

Many college students struggle to choose between an internship specific to their target industry or doing CWP. What advice would you give them on this subject if they wanted to enter your career field?

Most internships for big corporations are largely glorified office assistant positions. Sure you're in the industry, but you'll mostly be unchallenged. CWP gave me an opportunity to lead for real, be in real situations, and fail for real. All of this had huge value to my long term career goals, rather than targeting the first job out of college. You never know if your first job will actually take you down a career path you'll love forever, but hard work and learning to overcome big situations will pay off throughout the life of your career.

What's your best advice for someone interested in entering your career field?

Management consulting is an industry that relies heavily on networking skills. Being able to develop a network, sell to that network, and maintain great relationships is key. What I learned at College Works Painting was huge in developing those skills.

What's your favorite memory from CWP?

All of the monthly sales meetings. We had a great time and collaborated well among the interns. I'm still friends to this day with several of the interns.

Last words of wisdom

Don't be afraid to fail, just learn to fail forward.