BCG Digital Ventures Lead Venture Architect, Sydney
At BCG, Allies bring a sense of collaboration and excitement to their teams. They create an atmosphere of trust and support in which people can do their best work. Olivia challenges the status quo.
The best thing a BCG mentor taught me is that diverse opinions and healthy debate enable a team to be successful. So, don’t be afraid to speak up and let your opinion be heard!
Prior to starting at BCG Digital Ventures, I was studying legal history as an undergraduate. In my head, this meant that I was destined to become a lawyer after a brief stint in consulting. In no world would I have guessed that I would soon be on a path to designing technology startups as a career!
What I love about BCGDV is that it broadened my perspective on what I could achieve and how I could contribute. Though I have very little background in technology, my opinion was seen as just as valuable as any other person’s in the room. It didn’t matter that my technical skills were yet to be developed; with a growth mindset and a group of supportive peers, those skills would come eventually. What mattered most was that I had a set of views that would challenge the status quo and ensure we tackled problems through a fresh lens.
Olivia joined BCGDV in the San Francisco office in 2015 and transferred to the Sydney office in 2017. She holds a bachelor of arts in history with a secondary focus on human-centered design from Stanford University.
Q: What did you learn in your first year on the job?
A: In my first year at BCGDV, I learned that the best way to build a new skill is by doing it. When on a case, you don’t have the time to read the instruction manuscript for every task you’re assigned. You have to dive in, learn from your peers, and not be afraid to fail!
Q: What inspires you about your work?
A: What inspires me most about BCGDV are the amazing people I’m surrounded by on a daily basis. I feel incredibly lucky to work with driven, intelligent, and caring individuals who want to make the most out of every piece of work. In college, I was often told, “You will never again be in the company of so many passionate people, so make the most of it!” My experience at BCGDV has taught me that with the right environment and problems to solve, people can retain their passion and creativity well after college.
Q: How do you maintain a sustainable career balance at BCG?
A: Coming into BCGDV, I was nervous about work-life balance. Due to some personal health challenges, I have to be incredibly careful to balance my workload and not overdo it. I knew I wanted to succeed at BCGDV, but I also knew that this couldn’t be at the expense of my health. During my time at BCGDV, I have learned that output is more important than number of hours worked. So as long as I deliver quality work on time, it doesn’t matter if I work an 8-hour or a 12-hour day. This is a really valuable lesson that I will take with me wherever I end up working in the future.
Q: What are some of your volunteer or charitable work experiences?
A: While at BCGDV, I have had the opportunity to work on a number of social impact projects. The most rewarding project was with an education-based not-for-profit organization, where I was given the task of using customer journey methodology to better understand the beneficiary journey. The project helped me realize that the methodology I have learned at BCGDV can be applied to find solutions to many different types of problems, including some of societies’ most pressing challenges.
Q: Tell us about a moment when you challenged the status quo.
A: My time at BCGDV can be defined as a challenge to the status quo! I’m in the venture architect cohort, and almost everyone else in my cohort has a background in finance, technology, or entrepreneurship. As a history major fresh out of college, the only way that I felt I could succeed at BCGDV was by owning the fact that I brought something different to the cohort. I use intuition rather than a learned approach to solve challenges, and I have come to realize that this approach is uniquely valuable in its own way.