Associate Alex Hewat explains the work PwC’s Strategy team undertake, and how each team member’s potential for societal impact really is limitless – irrespective of their seniority.
Keen traveller Alex Hewat was first inspired to pursue a career in strategy by an international marketing subject she took at uni. Through the course she gained an opportunity to work with a real-life client from initial meetings through to the development of a business plan for international expansion. Although it was only a brief glimpse into the life of a Strategy Consultant, it was all she needed to set her future goals.
Skip to present day and Alex (who is now a graduate of both a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Asia-Pacific Studies) has been living out her passion for consultancy as an Associate within Strategy for the past two years. Reflecting on her time so far, Alex says she’s developed considerably as a professional, but also as an individual.
“It’s amazing to look back two years ago to when I first started and to see how much I have learned. I am definitely a lot more confident now than when I first started and actively look for opportunities to push myself out of my comfort zone. I think that I will always evolve as I continue to learn and advance in my career.”
When it comes to the type of work Alex undertakes, it’s as diverse as it is complex – a main attraction for most budding consultants. Where Strategy holds a unique appeal is in the opportunity to work on a diverse variety of projects within a practice that feels boutique, yet has the support, resources and network of a Big 4 firm.
“One of the great things about our work is the diversity of it, you will never do the same thing twice! With every new project we are essentially starting a new job – it’s a new client, new problem, new team, and new location. This means we are constantly being challenged and continuously evolving as Consultants, but we always have the broader PwC network supporting us in the process.”
This support isn’t just relegated to the client-facing work either! Whether you’re an Intern, Graduate or in a more senior role, a defining feature of Strategy is the immense focus placed on continual learning and development. For Alex, she’s found the support system in place to have genuinely fostered her growth as both a Consultant and team member.
“I found that when I started there was a steep learning curve. Making use of the apprenticeship model really helped me overcome this initial hurdle. I was supported by my mentor, coach, job manager and team to help me learn and equip me with the tools I needed. The learning curve doesn’t go away – but it is definitely not as steep anymore!”
Even so, Alex still encourages all new starters to go easy on themselves while they learn the ropes of Consulting – something which she says can be quite daunting at first.
“If you think it will take you an hour to do – quadruple it! Everything takes a lot longer when you first join – from learning all the PowerPoint hacks and Excel shortcuts, to generating content – make sure you give yourself enough time to complete it without rushing. You will be a guru in no time!”
But, that’s not to say your level of seniority depicts the amount of impact your role can have. Just take it from Alex whose impressive work made it all the way to the Prime Minister’s office before she had even reached the 6 month mark.
“I worked on a health project that would touch the lives of every single Australian citizen. Two of my slides went to the Prime Minister! That was only six months after I started with the firm!”
“I was surprised by how much impact at a junior level you can have within your project. As an Associate, you are often the closest to the data which means that you have the most insight to offer.”
Wondering whether a career in Strategy Consulting is the right move for you? Regardless of your educational background, the answer might just reside in how you tackle a problem.
“We have consultants from so many diverse educational backgrounds, but I think the one thing that we all have in common is our structure and logical thought process. You can identify a future Consultant in the way they frame and break down a problem! We are driven, passionate high-achievers who are always looking for ways to improve.”
Interested in creating a career with PwC’s Strategy? Apply now!