Tell us about your job

My job is about helping our clients with their business needs. From reviewing and developing their short and long-term business strategy, conducting market scans for a new product launch, to guiding them through their digital transformation journey. It is about creating real business impacts for the clients and enabling them to achieve something that they would not be able to do otherwise.  
As an associate, I am responsible for leading the project workstream execution. This is done through problem structuring, hypothesis generation, data collection and analysis.  My day-to-day usually involves checking-in with my team to align on the tasks that each member needs to do, leading discussions and brainstorming sessions with our partners and expert network. It also includes handling client calls and being present at presentations to listen to their needs and aspirations, and in turn communicate our recommendations and insights that we gather from our work.

What’s your background?

I come from an engineering background, having spent eight years studying chemical engineering for my undergraduate and PhD. At some point during my PhD, I found my interest in consulting through joining a consulting club at my university. From there, I learnt about the variety of tasks and projects that a consultant could do and the diversity of work excites me! I was able to experience firsthand the difference that consultants could bring to their client and how much their contributions are valued. This motivated me to pursue consulting as a career after graduating my PhD.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Absolutely! People always ask me “how do you transition from an engineer to a consultant?” The honest answer is, I don’t think I had to go through any transition at all. The most important attributes of a consultant are being able to structure and breakdown complex problems into solvable pieces, think and analyze in a structured way, and communicate solutions in a clear, concise, and convincing way. These are skills that anyone can own regardless of their expertise. In fact, I believe that consulting is one of the few jobs that allows anyone from any background to apply. Personally, I have friends in consulting who came from a diverse range of background such as finance, business, and engineering — all the way to art, literature, and even music!

What’s the coolest thing about your job?

The coolest thing about my job is the scale and magnitude of impact that I’m able to create for my clients. One example, from a recent project, is when I was helping our client find a strategic partner to conduct a deal worth over US$ 4 billion. We helped them throughout the entire journey — from developing the request for proposal (RFP), and identifying potential bidders, to helping them select the preferred player and formulating the detailed partnership agreement with the winning bidder. In the client’s own words, “We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the support of Oliver Wyman. We didn’t know where to start and where this would end, but Oliver Wyman provided us with a clear path and guidance so we could be where we are today.” 

What three pieces of advice would you give to your younger self as a student?

  1. Try as many different things as possible. I believe this is the most efficient way of finding your passion and interests.

  2. Don’t shy away from new challenges or inconveniences. Often times (if not all the time), you learn the most through your most difficult moments. 

  3. Have a five-year plan of your life and career. Sometimes in life, we get distracted by many things — new hobbies, new environment, personal situations, and so on. Having a five-year plan can help you navigate your life better and enable you to make consistent decisions to achieve your goals. 

Tell us about your best moment at Oliver Wyman

I really enjoyed the Asia Pacific offsite last year, where we all went to Khao Lak, Thailand. That was a great time to bond with fellow consultants and staff, decompress from all the stress and to have fun under the sun. On projects, the best moments are always being able to deliver the projects successfully and often beyond client’s expectations. Nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing your work being implemented in real life plus, achieving great things for the client and their customers.