– Hi everyone,
I hope you all had a good end to 2015. I wrapped up an engagement with a banking client and have been doing a lot of client development since then, which has been interesting.
Exploring entrepreneurial opportunities in Taiwan
You may remember from my previous posting that I recently returned to the Associate Principal (AP) role, which is the role immediately before being elected a partner of the firm. I am working on creating a solely local client base here in Taiwan so that I do not have to travel for work. As a firm, we already do a lot of work in banking and high-tech here in Taiwan, and many of our partners have expertise in these areas. I have done some work in banking, but I’m not really a high tech person. I realized that there are great opportunities for client impact within other industries in Taiwan, which I am now exploring.
I have worked very hard to bring the best of McKinsey’s expertise in speaking with potential clients. Our partners and knowledge experts around the globe have responded enthusiastically, and now things are coming together: we are getting quite some traction in oil and gas here!
Thinking back on my time at McKinsey, I realize I always had someone as my sponsor, helping them with clients they already had in mind or had already served. Now, however, I have the chance to be entrepreneurial and develop my own clients and program, while bringing new clients and industries to our Taiwan office. This is very exciting and I can’t wait to see what the future brings!
Recruiting around the world
I was recently in New York for three days of interviewing. A while back I wrote something in a blog post that’s still true: speaking to potential candidates reminds me of the things I love about McKinsey. And now that I’ve been here for a long time (and am a bit more experienced in life), I’ve also realized that talented young people today oftentimes don’t realize the vast array of career choices they have. I met with some truly impressive individuals and I know that, wherever they end up for the first step in their career, they will be tremendously successful. I hope that they viewed the interview process as I did—a learning experience and a chance to meet some new people.
Travel to meet colleagues
While I prefer not to travel for client work, I am eager to occasionally travel to meet up with my colleagues. Internal McKinsey connections are really important to me—I feel that as consultants we need to have good networks of people to tap into, both to benefit our clients but also just to grow personally. Late last year, I went to a consumer practice event in Macau. I arrived on Thursday evening and spent a full day reconnecting with old colleagues and meeting new people, and then left after dinner on Friday night. It was a great way to take a short but highly meaningful trip from home. As an aside, we participated in a fun event during this trip: a blind taste testing competition for wine, beer, and snacks, where participants were to identify which of each pair was a brand name versus a local or generic version of the same product. The head of the practice won the competition…what do you think—luck or skill?
A (somewhat disastrous) ski trip and hopes for better holidays going forward
Over Christmas we went skiing with my extended family in Hokkaido, in northern Japan. As it turns out, my kids don’t like cold weather and the clothing that goes with it. My daughter ended up getting a stomach bug that eventually made its way through the entire family, including my son, mother, sister, brother-in-law, niece, husband, and me! Suffice it to say, the trip home was not fun. It was one of those family stories that will go down in history and be recounted with plenty of laughter.
Coming up for Lunar New Year we are going to a resort town outside of Bangkok where the Thai emperor used to go for his holidays. Then we have a long weekend at the end of February and we are going to Tokyo again. Tokyo Disney is having a “Frozen” theme for the season, so we are really looking forward to that as both of my kids love Anna and Elsa (well, mostly Elsa).
Until next time!