The Consulting Career Option
Joel Williams, Brian Berg, Tom Coughlin,
David M. Snyder
This presentation is directed to anyone who is considering becoming a consultant, or who at least is curious about consulting as a career option. Seasoned consultants will also find it interesting to compare their experiences with those of the panel – who are on the IEEE-CNSV Board of Directors, and who together have consulted for well over 100 years. The presentation’s slides showing why and when each panelist took the “leap” to consulting are a set of insightful case studies for attendees of this event.
High-tech consulting is not for the faint of heart. However, an in-demand skill set and the self confidence to sell one’s talents to potential clients can lead to a myriad of interesting experiences at companies large and small. In addition, the fact that consultants usually never get caught up in the “politics” that exist at most companies is by itself a huge appeal of this career path.
About the speaker, Panel Moderator: Joel Kent of Joel Kent Consulting
Joel Kent has been consulting in applied physics for 5 years, and he is active in CNSV’s Consulting Mentoring Program (CMP). His previous work experience has included inventor mentoring as well as the capture of intellectual property in over 100 patents. Joel was CNSV Treasurer in 2019-2020, and he has been a CNSV Director since 2021. As the Panel Moderator, he has molded this program into an event that he hopes will be both engaging and valuable.
Joel Williams is a consultant in communications and embedded system design, and also works as an Expert Witness in wireless systems and networking software. He coordinates CNSV’s Consulting Mentoring Program (CMP). From 2005-2015, Joel served as CNSV Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and At-Large Director, and he has been a Director since 2016.
Brian Berg is a consultant specializing in storage technology, particularly flash memory. He is Technical Chair of Flash Memory Summit, and he has extensive experience as an Expert Witness. Brian was CNSV Chair in 2006-2007, has been a CNSV Director since 2008, and was Santa Clara Valley Section Chair in 2012. He is an IEEE History Committee member, and has spearheaded numerous IEEE Milestones in Silicon Valley and Oregon. Brian has been a consultant for over 40 years.
Tom Coughlin is President of Coughlin Associates where he provides technical and market consulting on digital storage and memory as well as their applications for over 20 years. He puts on industry events, and is a frequent writer and speaker on these topics. Tom is CNSV Chair, was an CNSV At-Large Director in 2016-2021, and was 2007 Santa Clara Valley Section Chair.
David Snyder is a cybersecurity consultant with a background in engineering, financial services, and healthcare. He has worked for a myriad of companies, has consulted for much of the past 20 years, and currently consults through his own S corporation. David has been CNSV Secretary since 2021.