On the Job with David from Partners in Performance

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Lynn Elsey
Lynn Elesy
Team GradAustralia
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David Cheng is an associate at Partners in Performance, where he has workind since joining as a graduate in 2014.

David graduate in 2013 with a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney. 

You studied law and commerce, so why consulting? 

I did two internships in my penultimate year, one in management consulting and one in law, to get a feel for what those industries were about. After my internships I felt my skillset and passion were better suited to management consulting. 

What made you want to join Partners in Performance? 

What made it stand out was their down-to-earth and pragmatic approach to consulting and problem solving. I connected and fit in with the culture right from the start of the interview process. Traditionally, consulting firms are about creating pretty PowerPoint presentations; PIP takes it further by partnering with the clients to implement solutions to get tangible results. 

How did you stand out in the recruitment process? 

I followed the ‘be yourself” advice. The interviewers connected with my experience of helping my family’s seafood business by identifying and implementing pragmatic solutions. 

What’s been the biggest challenge? 

Definitely the learning curve; it is steep and challenging. Once you have demonstrated that you are capable of delivering results, you are given a lot of responsibility and client facing work even as a junior consultant. 

The firm does give you a lot of support. For example, there is continuous formal training and you get assigned a development leader but you need to be proactive to leverage the support. 

Key skills for the job? 

Analytical skills, you need to be a structured and pragmatic problem solver. And people skills – once you have the solution you need to be able to communicate and convince the client to take action. 

What has surprised you about working life? 

In consulting your working life and career path is very much what you make of it, you can’t just sit there and wait for things to happen. I need to be proactive in terms of managing my work and career. For example, by letting the firm know which industries I am interested in I am more likely to be put on those projects.