Daniel Hebda is a Senior Executive Advisor in Legal (hCEB General Counsel Roundtable). He started June 18, 2018, and is currently based out of Arlington. He shares his journey from the private practice of law to Gartner.
The last two months of my life have been a whirlwind of exciting changes. Two months ago, I was successfully practicing law at a midsize firm with a corner office and firm partnership on the horizon. Today I am two months into my job at Gartner, sitting as a brand-new associate in an open-air cubicle in a 20-story building with an incredible view of DC. Strange as it may seem, I couldn’t be more thrilled, and it’s not just because there is now free espresso in the kitchen on my floor.
While I enjoyed practicing at my firm, I noticed that I loved something about my job that was not necessarily law-related. I loved connecting with people while creatively solving problems. I loved doing that in client consultations; I loved doing that in the courtroom; and I loved doing that with my colleagues and with other attorneys. In many ways, lawyers are professional problem solvers. They are fundamentally counselors, and I really loved that role. I just found that over time, I wasn’t thriving within some of the other constraints of the legal industry, like the burden of providing black-and-white advice in a world that was almost completely made up of shades of gray. I also realized that I enjoyed structuring solutions from a big-picture perspective, rather than sorting through the nuances and details of the implementation. I wanted more freedom and incentive to pursue a collaborative approach to solving problems. That’s where Gartner came in.
I had never heard of Gartner before I was contacted by a friend about an opening on the Legal Executive Advisor team. As I learned more about the job, it seemed to combine many of the parts of law I enjoyed while removing some of the burdens I did not enjoy so much. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity at Gartner to effectively become thought partners with some of the smartest people in the industry in solving problems that have far-reaching impacts. As I have begun digging into my role in the first few weeks, I continue to be excited about collaborating to advise and problem-solve for clients.
For me, Gartner was an opportunity to expand my problem-solving opportunities and toolkit and to challenge me to grow in how I think about serving clients of all different kinds. I am incredibly blessed and humbled to be invited to join Gartner, and I am excited to grow in my role.
Are you interested in joining Dan’s team? Search for available Research opportunities here.