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On the job as a junior consultant at Boston Consulting Group
Christine Wong studied Arts (English Literature) and Laws at Sydney University and is now a junior consultant at Boston Consulting Group.
What's your job title? How long have you worked in your current position?
I’ve been a Junior Consultant at Boston Consulting Group for eight months. I was previously a Senior Associate in the disputes team at Herbert Smith Freehills.
What is your employer’s goal?
We solve problems for our clients and help them to succeed in the marketplace by achieving their organisational goals. BCG does this by bringing together people from a range of backgrounds and encouraging them to think creatively about how to help clients.
What’s your process as a consultant? Have you worked on any projects that you’re particularly proud of?
At the outset, I define the problem at hand, come up with a hypothesis of the answer, and identify the analysis (or analyses) needed to test that hypothesis. From there, I work with clients to do the analysis. This typically involves conducting client interviews, collecting performance information, and drawing on BCG's global network of experts who have solved similar problems in the past.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your role?
Coming up with the hypothesis of the answer in the first few days of a new case, when there is usually a lot of ambiguity and very little data to hand.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your role?
Supporting clients to solve their most difficult, but highest impact, problems, with a team of people from very diverse backgrounds. The group I started with at BCG included a composer, a telecommunications expert, a computer science graduate, a renewable energy engineer, an economist, and a former lawyer (me).
Where were you educated and what did you study?
I completed a combined Arts (English Literature) and Laws degree at Sydney University.
What attracted you to that field of study?
I've always loved reading and writing, so pursuing a degree in Law and English Literature seemed an obvious way to follow my passions. The idea was planted from a young age – I wrote that I wanted to be a lawyer in my year 6 yearbook!
What personal qualities are required for success in your position?
A natural sense of curiosity and drive to solve complex problems, as well as the ability to deal with ambiguity, agility and resilience
What’s one thing that people might surprised to learn about your job?
There's not a monotonous day in this job. Every client and client problem is different, as is every BCG case team you're part of. There are incredible opportunities for learning in this environment where you are exposed to different industries and the problems they face over a short period of time.
What are the limitations or downsides of your job?
We travel to our clients for most of the work week, wherever they are located. This provides a great opportunity to explore different parts of Australia and the world, but it can be difficult when you're away from home for longer periods of time.
If you could give three pieces of advice to your younger self at university, what would they be?
- Try as many different things as possible
- Take at least a couple of subjects that really stretch you. For me as an arts/ law student, it was taking Business Tax in my final semester of university.
- Enjoy university, and travel as much as possible – you'll never get those three-month-long summer breaks back!
What inspires you?
Seeing the work I do create real and significant change for organisations, while getting to learn lots of interesting things about the world!