Interviewed by Jenny Mejia, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, Philadelphia University
Justin Peppel Picture

Justin Peppel

Title: Senior Consultant
Company: Navigate

Justin Peppel knew he wanted to be involved with business while he was a student at Lehigh University. He learned about consulting and immediately realized that it was the profession he wanted to pursue because it incorporated all facets of business such as finance, information systems, management and marketing.

Like many young professionals, Peppel found it very challenging to balance work and life at the start of his career. The first position he took upon graduation required significant travel time, which made it difficult for him to manage the role and his personal life. With time, Peppel learned to be more flexible with his schedule. “As someone who used to accept almost every invitation I was offered, I learned to prioritize better and say no to things that just weren’t that important.”

Peppel is now a senior consultant at Navigate, a management consulting firm based in Wayne, Pennsylvania that helps clients solve their business problems. He and his team focus on setting the strategy and execution plan for a multi-year business transformation program. Peppel is also is a member of several internal committees at Navigate that are focused on building service and industry offerings. The company was recently named one of the Seven Small Jewels of 2015 by Consulting Magazine for its significant growth among national firms.

At Navigate, Peppel enjoys new challenges and helping solve difficult problems for his clients, forming new relationships and driving results. “Consulting provides opportunities to change the type of work you do, the clients you work for, and level of responsibility you have much more easily than many other professions.” This field also helps him build life skills that are useful outside of the workplace.

Since forming new relationships is something Peppel enjoys to do, joining the Young Professionals Network was a no-brainer. He explained that YPN not only allows him to network with other professionals but he is also able to stay informed about what is going on in Philadelphia. Peppel recalled attending a YPN event last year that featured a panel of speakers who discussed some of the hot topics in the city. “I left the session feeling more connected to the city and knowledgeable about the critical issues we face,” he explained. “Getting information from the news is great, but learning about the action first hand makes it all the more real and compelling.”

In his free time, Peppel enjoys spending time with friends and exploring parts of the city that are not familiar to him. He joined a softball league that plays games on Sundays and is looking forward to starting soon. When asked what his three favorite things to do in Philadelphia, Peppel said that as a passionate, Philly sports fan, catching a game at one of the stadiums is among his favorites. He also enjoys running along Kelly Drive and loves the beer scene the city has to offer.

Peppel strongly believes observation is a powerful habit to build. He consistently tries to identify two admirable characteristics from leaders he meets. Peppel’s advice to others, “Practice what leaders do really well and see if you can incorporate any of their strengths into your skillset.”