Interview with Eunice Yau November 27th, 2019
In her day job, Eunice Yau is a Senior Consultant in the Management Consulting practice with KPMG. But before she was a professional consultant she got a taste for the field as a pro-bono consultant with Endeavour. When Eunice first joined Endeavour she was working in accounting and finance but the experience of using her skills and collaborating with a team of other diversely qualified professionals to help a non-profit achieve their goals, gave her insight and motivation to transform her career path.
Why did you get involved with Endeavour?
I wanted to find an opportunity to contribute to the community and seek professional development. Particularly, I was interested in seeing what consulting was like and doing something different from my day-to-day job. I was fortunate to meet my Endeavour engagement manager, who was consultant from Deloitte, who helped me understand what the consulting world was about, and that I liked it! As I’ve taken on different roles at Endeavour from being a consultant, an engagement manager leading a team, and as co-director of volunteer recruitment it’s given me opportunities to brush up my leadership skills in a safe and professional environment.
What makes good consulting?
Through my job and also with Endeavour I’ve practised different methodologies, and a lot of the time teams have great recommendations backed up by data. But while I was leading consulting teams as an engagement manager with Endeavour, I always encouraged my team members to put an emphasis on storytelling and tailoring the delivery of their recommendations to the audience. This involves active listening, understanding client’s pain points, speaking their language and translating complex ideas into messages that are relatable and comprehensible. Especially if it’s a client’s first time working with a consultant we want to make sure we understand their challenge and make it easy to implement our recommendations.
Another aspect which Endeavour does well is building consulting teams with diverse professional backgrounds and levels of experience. I have led teams with professionals in engineering, research, marketing etc. You learn a lot when people are challenging your ideas based on their own expertise and experience. The mix of different perspectives is what leads to creative solutions.
Eunice’s insight to non-profits working with consultants for the first time
If you’ve found yourself thinking about hiring consultants to explore new approaches I can confirm that it can be eye opening. Your organizational knowledge and deep issue expertise coupled with an external cross-sectional perspective can lead to innovative and customized solutions. If your organization is interested in working with consultants on a specific issue or project consider applying for Endeavour’s pro bono services.
And lastly, Eunice’s advice to current or potential volunteer consultants
First of all, being a pro bono consultant to a non-profit is a great way to get involved in the community – especially if there is a cause that you are passionate about. But it’s also an opportunity to grow your network and practice and develop valuable skills in a safe environment. Personally, I’ve learnt so much from leading teams of young brilliant working professionals. You learn how to effectively work with others who have different perspectives from you – this is an important leadership skill. You get to see how collaborating can lead to unique and effective outcomes.
Eunice Yau is currently Co-Director of Volunteer Recruitment at Endeavour Consulting for Non-Profits. Explore our website to learn more about becoming a pro-bono consultant or a non-profit client.