– Hi everyone, it has been a busy few months for me!
Working locally for a non-local client
As you may recall from my last post, I have switched to a program with (mostly) local clients. However, I recently experimented with a remote client service model for a Shanghai-based client looking to explore opportunities in the consumer space, which fit quite well with my consumer background. I led the client team – also based in Shanghai – by kicking off each day with a standing meeting via high definition video conference. We then worked in our respective cities, which was actually extremely effective team-wise. The partner lead – also a McKinsey mom – managed the daily in-person client relationship, and I had the opportunity to meet the client in-person when she came to Taipei for a previously scheduled trip. I guided the team on the content and was quite happy with the end product we delivered. I feel that if we can accommodate expecting mothers who can’t travel due to pregnancy, we should be able to make remote models work for other consultants as well, so this was a great experience.
In general, I am continuing to branch out in new areas. As I mentioned in my last post, there is not enough local consumer and retail work here in Taipei to support a local program, so I am pursuing clients in other consumer-facing industries as well (e.g., banking, telecommunications). I used to bring industry expertise to the client, but now I am acting as a convener of expertise, which is an interesting and new approach for me.
Women’s events and recruiting
Hopefully you have heard of (or read!) the McKinsey Global Institute’s latest report, The Power of Parity. In advance of the report, our Taipei women’s initiative team reached out to various local women’s groups to discuss collaborative partnerships, and we have agreed to partner with Google in Taiwan for some upcoming training events. For the first event, we will run a session covering the MGI report and then discussing the McKinsey problem solving method. The event is for both Google and McKinsey employees and it will be a good opportunity to foster connectivity and best-practice sharing.
Coming up, I’m going on an international recruiting trip to New York. Participating in recruiting is really important at McKinsey since talented people are our most important success factor. Personally, I really enjoy coaching candidates and talking to them about our firm and our roles. As I’m sure is true with most jobs, I can get bogged down in the day-to-day minutiae of work and lose sight of the big picture. When I speak with external people about what I do and whom I work with, I find myself reflecting on the many positive aspects of work, which always re-energizes me as well!
I also recently hosted a women’s afternoon tea in my house. It was a nice chance to connect personally with some of the women I don’t get to see on a regular basis.
Returning to Bali and celebrating birthdays
A few weeks ago my daughter told me she hadn’t been to Bali in “so long,” so we agreed and booked tickets to go again. We’re lucky that it’s an easy trip from Taipei. I used to travel a lot and my husband still travels quite a bit, so we are often rewarded with hotel upgrades. We think it’s quite funny that Olivia now thinks it’s “normal” to have these upgrades.
My kids’ birthdays are coming up – my son is turning two and my daughter is turning five, one week apart. We are having a joint birthday party at a children’s cooking school. Owen can’t really cook yet, but he’ll enjoy their indoor playground, and Olivia has already taken a cooking lesson (see picture) and loved it, so we think it will be great fun.
Until next time,