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Consultant Spotlight | Andy Chiem - 180DC UNSW

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

Andy Chiem is a third year commerce Co-Op student and our 180DC Knowledge Manager, responsible for ensuring that information and learnings are recorded and transferred between society members with the greatest ease and clarity.

With Project Cycle 1 now in progress, Andy shares his experiences of being a Consultant with 180DC and the benefits of engaging with social impact consulting.

1. What does being a consultant with 180DC mean to you?

It means being part of change. It means being part of a project that has the potential to benefit for the greater good. As 180DC is a social-impact driven society, this resonates well with my own values. How I picture being part of 180DC is that I am part of a larger picture, where my contribution to the projects may seem small at face value but is actually incrementally changing the world for the better. That is something which makes 180DC unique to me.

Also, consulting to me isn't just about learning how to think like a consultant or what consulting skills are needed. It is how to focus on addressing the client's issue or problem at hand and working as a team to offer a solution to it. Further, it is about capitalising on the skills you have already developed, like modelling or coding, and leveraging it as part of your solution to satisfy the client's needs.

2. Why did you decide to become a consultant with 180DC?

Being a consultant with 180DC means addressing real issues, from real organisations and offering real solutions. That is what allows 180DC to stand out from other consulting societies. The experience you gain from venturing into actual projects is extremely valuable - ranging from the practical skills like dealing with clients to soft skills like teamwork. Practical, theoretical and soft skills all blend well together from this experience and that is why I believe that future consultants-to-be or social-impact innovators should try out to become a 180DC consultant.

3. What do you consider to be your most memorable experience with 180DC thus far?

My most memorable moment was having our mentor, a BCG consultant, there to guide us about the strategies we could implement, the skills she was taught, and how it could be applied to our current situation. The reach that 180DC has is outstanding and this is what made this memory so valuable to me. The thought of being able to pick the minds of a BCG, McKinsey, or Bain mentor is out of this world and it is something that no other society can do. Also, these mentors are there for us for the duration of the project, and seeing our projects come into fruition enabled us to further appreciate the help we have gained.

4. What advice do you have for those looking to become consultants with 180DC for Project Cycle 2?

My advice is to express your passion. What is unique to you that makes you stand out from the other candidates. For me, I talked about my stance on Asian-Australians LGBTQ+ members and the struggles they face in their upbringing, in resonating with their identity and finding a community that they can belong too. Furthermore, for the case interviews, it is all about being very logical and being patient with yourself.

The best advice that I can give you is to follow a significant social-issue that resonates well with you. Then reflect how 180DC can provide for you in terms of addressing your social issue but also emphasising what skills you can leverage in return when dealing with clients.

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