Meet a Better Miss Dawang in Boston 在波士頓遇見更好的自己

(附中文) When I received the offer from BCG in 2013, HR said: “You will be able to study in Harvard as many BCGer did!” In 2016, when I received Harvard’s offer for MBA program, I thought of what she said. Looking back to the past three years, I really appreciate all the things I learned at BCG – the most valuable lesson is courage.

Embrace the unknown with courage

When I first joined BCG, I was nervous about the intense business travels and new, unfamiliar projects. Oftentimes, every airport landing meant an entirely new client company, and I had to keep myself up to speed right away. After conducting countless interviews, market studies and town hall meetings, I learned to retain as much flexibility as possible to cope with uncertainties. I remember once when a client’s flight was seriously delayed, and I was left with only a couple of hours to prep for and preside over a project launch meeting. For another project, I led consumer interviews across several regions in China, and all the interviewees had different accents and various cultural norms. Despite that, I had to adapt quickly and report to client’s regional leadership right after the interviews. As I gained more experience, the concerns and anxieties I had over uncertainties have gradually given way to composure. I have grown to be more capable of embracing challenges with an open mind.

Recognize my shortcomings with courage

In consulting, we are faced with direct feedback from clients and from team members every single day. Throughout the project, there are formal and informal sessions where you are informed of your areas for improvement. On top of that, there is the career development committee. For many of us who were not used to facing up to problems and inspections, it was a lot of pressure. However, in a profession where fast growth is expected, you are most unlikely to get a foothold on the shoal before the next waves swarm in if you fail to recognize to your problems and rectify them at the first opportunity available. As much as we wanted to be seen as perfect and capable by our employers, given the tight timeline of our projects, you need to quickly weigh out the capability gap, seek support from team and learn from their experience in order to work together towards value creation.

Express myself with courage

In my first year with BCG, my PL pulled me aside after one meeting and asked, “You didn’t speak up at the meeting. What’s wrong? Did you not understand what we were discussing, or you didn’t know how to express your views?” It was a wake-up call for me. I was used to listening to persons of authority, staying in the comfort zone and waiting for instructions to be given by leaders. However, as far as teamwork is concerned, every member’s contribution counts. BCG attaches much importance to our ability to think independently and express our views. Since that day, I started to practice voicing my opinions and taking new initiatives. For instance, when I was involved in the study of Seoul Metropolitan Circle, I spent extra hours arranging for field studies, hiring interpreters and seeking necessary resources, and successfully brought back valuable materials, including an interview with former CEO of Hyundai Engineering Co. In retrospect, I started off not wanting to be slighted, but I ended up enjoying expressing myself at work—the whole journey of personal growth is much like a powerful boost to my self-confidence and I am so gratified.

Going forward, I am well poised to solider on carrying with me these valuable fruits I’ve garnered in BCG—and embrace my next adventures!

Note: special thanks for Ivy Wu and Jenny Chen for the translation!

2013年接到BCG的錄取電話,在討論未來求學規劃時,人資歡快地說:「以後你也能和很多同事一樣去哈佛念書的!」時間快轉到2016年,收到哈佛商學院的錄取郵件時,我不禁想起當時的這段話,心裡充滿對BCG深深的感謝。回顧過去近千個日子裡,BCG教我最重要的一課是「勇敢」。

勇敢面對未知

剛入職時,面對緊張的出差行程和複雜的專案內容難免有些擔心。時常飛機一降落,面對的就是全新的客戶,根本沒有蜜月期。在一次次的實地訪談、市場調查、片區會議中,我開始學習在設定目標和研擬方案之外,保有最大彈性以因應突發狀況。記得有次飛機嚴重延誤導致客戶無法準時降落,當時我僅剩數小時的時間準備以承擔主持地區專案啟動會的責任。另有一次是我獨自主持各地區的消費者研究,雖然已有相關的專業經驗,但仍然必須快速克服各地口音和生活風俗帶來的障礙,在訪談後直接與地區領導層和部門主管討論成果。當承擔的次數增加後,對未知的擔心焦慮逐漸轉變為從容淡定,更能以開放的心態迎接挑戰。

勇敢承認不足

在顧問業,每天都會面對來自客戶或團隊內部的質疑與回饋;此外,專案從開始到結束會有數次正式的回饋時間、直指可改進之處,每季還有職涯發展委員會討論每個人的表現。對許多人而言,這樣高壓的環境是難以承受的,多數人都不習慣直接面對問題、接受檢視。然而,在講求快速成長的顧問業裡,不在第一時間正視問題、積極改進,很可能就無法在下波浪潮來襲前安穩站上灘頭。每個畢業生入職時都希望表現出自己全方位優秀的形象,而在專案時間有限的情況下,唯有快速衡量自身能力差距、從團隊適時尋求協助、進而從中學習成長,才能站在巨人的肩膀上與團隊共同創造價值。

勇敢揮灑自我

第一年工作時有次開會,結束後專案經理把我拉到一旁:「剛剛會議中你都沒說話,是沒理解討論的議題、還是不知道如何表達想法?」 當時這句話在我心裡投下一枚震撼彈。過去我們總習慣讓權威發言、縮在舒適圈內等待主管的指示;然而,在團隊工作中只要有人沒貢獻,就彷彿缺了隻手腳、無法發揮全力,所以公司非常看重每個人獨立思考和表達想法的能力。從那天起我開始練習發表意見、甚至主動提案。例如:有次做首爾都市圈研究時,為瞭解當地開發情況,我額外花時間安排考察、招募翻譯、爭取內部支持。最後除了帶回許多素材之外,還和前任現代集團建設公司總裁進行成功的訪談。從一開始很膚淺的理由「不被忽視」,到後來覺得整份工作就像遊樂園般任我揮灑創造,那種心靈的滿足無可取代!

下一站——波士頓

從這個波士頓即將啟程前往下個波士頓,帶上勇敢面對未知、勇敢承認不足、勇敢揮灑自我的三樣禮物,相信一路上都會玩得很開心的!謝謝在BCG遇見的每一個人,是你們讓我遇見更好的自己,有你們真好。

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