Senior Venture Architect, London
At BCG, Challengers go against expected thinking and inspire their teams to be truly innovative. Chris finds clarity in a complex world.
From the moment I started at BCG, I was able to create and develop—new businesses, our LGBT network, and my own abilities and skills.
I joined BCG in 2014 after completing my engineering degree at Imperial College in London (and promising I'd never work for a bank or consulting firm!). BCG stood out from the other big businesses on campus. The people I met were extremely focused on solving tough problems to a world-class standard, and there also seemed to be a strong sense of camaraderie.
Even before I joined BCG, I was invited to join the regional LGBT conferences. One of the highlights was being one of the most junior people in the room, debating and discussing the best way to enable the next generation of LGBT leaders, with the network's founder and senior BCGer—and being treated as a peer.
I love the challenge Digital Ventures presents. We are creating, developing, and pitching brand-new business concepts to the C-suite of the world’s leading corporations, and then building these businesses from the ground up as part of a close-knit venture team. I have also been afforded the opportunity to build an LGBT network within DV, bringing BCG's culture of diversity and respect for the individual into the digital world.
Chris holds a degree in information systems engineering from Imperial College London and joined BCG in 2014. He is a senior venture architect in BCG Digital Ventures, London and leads the global Digital Ventures LGBT Network.
Q: How has the LGBT Network helped you in your BCG career?
A: I have met so many inspiring and motivating people through the LGBT Network. Primarily this has motivated me to keep pushing for diversity across BCG and beyond. The mentorship relationships I have developed with senior leaders in BCG have also been invaluable.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
A: There's no such thing! At the moment I'm incubating a new venture with one of our corporate partners. Every morning we have a team stand-up at 9:15, which is the only thing that stays constant. Then, it's a combination of building the team and the product, running the business, and ensuring our investors and corporate partners are kept up to date on the day-to-day development of the business.
It can be pretty hectic, but I'm also the master of my own destiny. I get to prioritize and decide how to balance the array of tasks I need to complete on a daily basis and also help my team prioritize and plan their work. At the end of the day, I have a brief call or chat with the general manager on the venture, and we share what's changed, what we've learned, and how we're going to tackle the next day's challenges!
Q: What's the biggest impact you have had through your work?
A: I truly realized the tangible impact of my work the day I opened the BBC News website and saw that an acquisition I had worked on had been completed. I had worked on the case about six months prior to the announcement of the acquisition, and the sale price was the exact number in my financial model! It's moments like this, when you see how the small details deep in your analysis can make headlines, that you really feel like you are part of something impactful.
Q: If you weren't working at BCG, what would you be doing?
A: If I weren't at BCG DV and not running my own business, I would probably be working in technical theatre and events. While I was at university, I simultaneously worked as a lighting and sound technician. You spend your days solving hands-on problems within tight timeline and budget constraints, working towards an exciting and unique performance. The world of events creates an incredible sense of camaraderie. I love the sense of achievement at the end of a show when you hear the reaction of the audience—there's nothing quite like it!
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to work at BCG?
A: Meet lots and lots of BCGers! I was a complete skeptic of “corporate culture” before I worked at BCG. I had been exposed to different corporate cultures at university, and I was jaded by it. Meeting BCGers and hearing their stories (especially of the tougher times) convinced me these were the people I wanted to work, spend time, and build relationships with.
Q: What groups or organizations have you gotten involved with at BCG (social or professional)?
A: I've recently gotten involved with two awesome initiatives in the UK, InterTech and Give Out.
InterTech is an LGBT forum for folks working in tech, primarily based in London. They run social events and discussions around issues of diversity within technology firms and start-ups. Later this year we will be hosting a “hack for good” at BCG Digital Ventures to create technology that could potentially benefit charities.
Give Out is a global giving platform led by one of the BCG partners. Give Out’s mission is to defend "the right to be and to do," no matter your sexual orientation or gender. We're currently incubating the charity and hoping to launch in the first half of this year.