Archimedes said, ‘Give me a place to stand and I will move the Earth.’ BCG is my place to stand.
I joined BCG after more than a decade in the social sector. I wanted to complement that experience with time working more directly with business and government leaders. I also wanted to work in the vibrant economies of Asia: all the opportunities and challenges humanity will face in the next 50 years can be found here in glorious Technicolor. BCG gives me a tremendous platform from which to do that.
What I’ve most valued about working here is the astonishing pace and density of learning. I can point to at least one new thing I’ve learned every week since I joined—not just tidbits of trivia but key professional skills, insights into how companies and economies work, and experience in solving intellectual and practical problems—all of which will resonate throughout my career. It’s quite phenomenal.
Mike holds an MA in mathematical sciences from the University of Oxford and an MBA (with distinction) from INSEAD.
Q: Why did you choose to work at BCG?
A: I have always been excited to work at the intersection of business and society. After ten years in the social sector, I was looking for an opportunity to balance that with direct business experience in a way that would leverage my analytical skills and give me a platform to have real influence on major decisions. BCG’s breadth and depth of practice offers me a great opportunity to do that.
Q: What international experiences at BCG have been the most interesting for you?
A: Being based in the Singapore office provides me with a chance to work in one of the most economically diverse regions in the world—from one of the least developed, Myanmar, to one of the most, Singapore, and with every shade of economy in between. Seeing these places side by side offers enormous insight: why are supermarkets more popular in Thailand than Indonesia? Why does it make more sense to build a shampoo factory in Singapore than in Sarawak? BCG offers me a chance to understand such questions, firsthand.
Q: How do you maintain a sustainable career balance at BCG?
A: The most important factor, in my experience, is confidence. Confidence in the quality of my thinking and analysis. Confidence in my ability to prepare for meetings in a shorter time, but with more sleep. Confidence to say “no” to side requests if my plate is full. Confidence in the willingness of my colleagues to help share the load. And confidence in the system that I won’t be judged harshly for asking for help. Of course, this skill isn’t just relevant for BCG; it is vital for any important job and will stand me in good stead throughout my career.