Amanda Berger

Occupation: Vice President of Professional Services, Guidance Software Inc.

First Car: Toyota Camry station wagon

Favorite Restaurant: Sushisamba, New York City

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

a). I was a philosophy major in college.
b). I took the GMAT twice but both times decided not to go to business school.
c). I am truly passionate about how turning data into information can impact a business.

What’s been your greatest adventure in life? 

Living in New York City from 2002 – 2006 was a wonderful adventure.

What’s your best childhood memory?   

I grew up in Boston, and snow days were my favorite thing.

If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?

I would love to speak to some of my old college professors about how my philosophy degree actually applies to my professional services career.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life?

One of the hardest professional challenges I’ve had was taking an organization that wasn’t functioning correctly and implementing process and structure to ultimately grow the business.  It was tasking, but very rewarding.

Tell us about your favorite hobby.

I love any outdoor exercise, including skiing, running, and hiking.

What are you currently reading?  What is your favorite book?

I just finished reading Push by Sapphire, the book that the movie Precious was based on, and my favorite book is The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, by Milan Kundera.

Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?

I am very eager to travel to Asia.  I have been all over the world but haven’t had that opportunity yet.   I love the experience of walking off an airplane and feeling completely out of my element.

If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?

There are so many worthy causes and I do try to contribute to several of them each year.   Currently, I am very passionate about breast cancer research as it has recently affected many people who I am close to.  

If you weren’t on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?

I would love to have a boutique in a resort town, and still hope to do that someday.

What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?

My first job out of college was in management consulting where I was surprised to discover that I had a real knack for implementing software.    I started my career training and consulting on early version OLAP reporting tools.   I eventually became a sales engineer in the Business Intelligence space when an opportunity to move into consulting management appeared.  I embraced the opportunity and have not looked back.

What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?

Make sure that you recognize when you are working on a high profile project and the potential impact of the work you are doing.  Your willingness to go the extra mile to ensure that customer is successful will very likely get executive level attention and will instill confidence in assigning you to important projects.  Once you consistently excel on these critical projects, you’ll set the stage to catapult up the career ladder.