Katherine Koh

BSc Business Mathematics and Statistics, 2008
Senior Consultant, Deloitte Consulting (CIMA qualified)

How did you choose your career?

I considered many career paths, including investment banking, consulting, accountancy and marketing. I chose consulting because I wanted work that was varied and the opportunity to learn about a large number of companies in a short amount of time.

Why did you choose to join Deloitte?

One of my friends worked for Deloitte and told me about the company. Deloitte offers a unique position in the marketplace, where it straddles the implementation houses such as IBM and Accenture and also the strategy houses such as McKinsey and BCG. This means that we get a unique  perspective where we provide both offerings to our clients, making the work that I do very interesting and varied. Deloitte also invests in people and is committed to training and development.

What did LSE teach you?

LSE taught me to be proactive. If you want something, you need to make it happen. It was a bit of a culture shock for me as I come from an Asian background where students are spoon fed.

Has LSE given you special or different skills?

LSE students are business oriented and able to converse well in commercial settings. There are always many events going on at LSE on current issues that it is impossible to ignore what was going on around you. I built a great network in LSE.

What’s your current role and what are you expected to achieve?

I am a Senior Consultant within the Operations Applications practice in Deloitte Consulting. I work on client projects, supporting the client on a large-scale business transformation programme. I work with the client team on a daily basis, throughout the lifecycle of the project. My work is very varied. I am also expected to drive business development within the firm – producing thought leadership and points of view around key trends and topics in the market today.

What has been your most significant achievement at work?

I am currently on a global project for a consumer goods company. Part of my role involves presenting the future global target operating model of my client to all 120 end markets and understanding how this will change the way these end markets will work via detailed workshops. It has been interesting understanding how each end market works.

Your most challenging task?

I have worked with difficult clients who are unsupportive of the change that the project brings. It has definitely been an interesting challenge trying to persuade and coax someone who is resistant to change.

What are the best and worst aspects of the job?

The variety of my work and the fact that I get to be involved with different clients all the time. I get to learn so much about different industries; it is really interesting looking at how different companies work and the differences in culture. One of the best and also worst aspects of the job is the travel! I have visited Rio de Janeiro, Sydney and Kuala Lumpur for workshops – but have also been sent to work on an industrial estate on the outskirts of Bradford!

How have you contributed to the success of the organisation?

On a client project, I represent Deloitte. I always behave in a professional manner and really make a contribution on the client project. This will ensure that the client has a positive impression of Deloitte and will not hesitate to work with us again.

How do you see your career progressing?

I am now managing small teams within the firm and hope to manage bigger teams in the future. I would like to build my capability and knowledge in specific areas and be able to contribute to strategic business decisions that will add value to the client.

What makes you good at your job?

Being commercially aware of the sensitivities around a client’s needs. For example, a consumer goods company may have specific requirements around their distribution network that is unique to that industry. You cannot suggest solutions or change the way their business operates to align it with a higher ideal of ‘best practices’ if it will fundamentally break the way the business works.

What are the top skills that graduates should develop at LSE?

Be flexible. In consulting we are expected to meet the client’s requirements at short notice. Develop your Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint skills; these will help your career and save you time.

Your best piece of advice for LSE students wanting to embark on a career in your organisation or line of work?

Keep up to date – buy the Economist and read it religiously. New graduates are expected to demonstrate ‘commercial awareness’.

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Katherine Koh