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Nous Group

  • #4 in Management Consulting
  • 100 - 500 employees

Vincent Chan

The people and the culture at Nous is the highlight for me. It’s a place you can do great work with people who want to make a difference.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in the Philippines, spent my childhood in Auckland, New Zealand, and studied in Queensland.

Engineering students need to complete a mandatory period of work experience prior to graduation. I completed mine in Brisbane where I was a process engineer at a wastewater treatment plant. I also interned at an intellectual property law firm working on medical device patents. In my final year, I travelled to Nepal with Engineers Without Borders to learn about human-centred design in humanitarian engineering.

After graduating, I moved to Sydney to take a job at a clean-tech start-up designing and manufacturing next-generation semiconductor materials. I’ve stayed in Sydney ever since.

How did you get to your current job position? 
After two years of working in a highly specialised and technical role, I decided it was time to broaden my experience. I came across consulting briefly while I was at university, and I felt that now was the time to try it out. I applied for a consulting role at Nous and have worked here for six months.

How did you choose your specialisation?

Nous consultants work across all sectors and business offers – rather than choosing a specialisation right away. Since I was coming from a highly specialised background, this opportunity for breadth was exactly what I was after.

What was your interview process like?

My interview process consisted of an online case study, a phone interview, and two in-person interviews. The phone interview was an opportunity to share my experience and motivation for working at Nous. The in-person interviews had a behavioural component and then a typical consulting case study. Nous’ emphasis on delivering positive influence was evident in all of my interviews. I’m glad I had prepared to discuss my thoughts on important issues facing Australia, and what I’d do to solve them.

What does your employer do?

Nous is a management consulting firm that partners with governments and organisations across sectors to improve their performance and solve their challenges.

What are your areas of responsibility?

As a consultant, my focus is on delivering project work for our clients. This includes everything from conducting research, data analysis, stakeholder consultation and engagement, workshop facilitation, project management, and anything else the client requires.

Can you describe a typical workday?

A typical workday depends on the nature of the projects you are working on, which can vary. You might be meeting with clients, conducting interviews, doing desktop analysis, or preparing a presentation. The last thing I worked on was conducting geospatial analysis on a portfolio of retail stores to inform the implementation of a new logistics model.

What are the career prospects with your job?

Consultants at Nous are encouraged to develop their professional skills both on the job and through training. Twice a year our performance is reviewed and promotions to Senior Consultant and beyond are considered at this time. Consultants also build a wide network both within Nous and externally with clients, which can provide career opportunities in the future.

What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
If I wasn’t a consultant I would probably be working in a technical engineering or science role – or maybe studying a master's or a PhD.

What do you love the most about your job?

The people and the culture at Nous is the highlight for me. It’s a place you can do great work with people who want to make a difference. Nous has a growing data analytics capability and I enjoy using these tools to uncover insights for our clients.

What’s the biggest limitation of your job?

Nous’ self-management culture means that you have a lot of responsibility to yourself and your project teams. The work is fast-paced and the cyclical nature of consulting means that there can be periods that require late nights or weekend work, however, these are balanced out by quieter times. Self-management at Nous also means we are empowered to manage our own workloads flexibly.

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?

  • Take any opportunity you can to travel and live in different places.
  • It takes a bit of effort to keep in touch with your uni friends that move away for jobs and life, but it’s worth it.
  • Identify early what you value in a workplace. e.g. Money, your colleagues, interesting work, work-life balance. They are all valid and everyone has a different set of motivations. Find yours and stay true to them.