You work as a consultant in the field of “Learning and Development”. Can you tell us briefly what your role entails and your company does?
I am a Partner of Zenlinx, a boutique Learning & Development consultancy which offers three main products. First, we distribute an assessment tool called PRISM Brain Mapping, based on principles of neuroscience, within Asia, and are also training PRISM practitioners. We provide coaching and recruitment solutions to corporate clients. Lastly, we work with universities and youth organizations, primarily on personal and career development. We are currently the LEAD partner of several AIESEC LCs/MCs in the Asia-Pacific region.
Serving as the “left brain” of the company. I manage business development, design training content, offer support to practitioners in the region and am primarily responsible for our partnership with AIESEC. I am also the main facilitator in delivering sessions to our AIESEC clients.
We hear the word “consultant” a lot these days across all kinds of industries and work. What does the role mean to you? Do you think the term may be overkill?
In my opinion, a consultant is a person who use their expertise to provide professional advice to clients. Lots of exchange of information and ideas happen throughout the process, but I believe the focus is mainly on giving advice, rather than implementation.
I do not believe the term and the concept to be overkill, but sometimes it does face misrepresentation especially among young people who would like to step foot onto this career path. A number of young consultants told me that they were frustrated that they often failed to achieve client buy-in (of their proposals), despite putting in months of hard work.
What do you think are the necessary skills and attitude, or rather – what do you think is key – to succeed as a consultant?
I strongly believe that education is an industry which will employ the majority of our working population in the 21st century. Technology has unleashed a lot of information which is creating impact on the way things are done. We need to keep learning, and keep our attitudes in tune with the spirit of learning, in order to be successful in the business world. I believe that the ability to adapt to change, anticipation for the future and being quick and flexible to changes ahead will help one get ahead in their career.
As an alumnus, your current role involves a lot of work with current AIESECers. How have you seen our membership change? What do you think are some of the key challenges young people face today? Are they any different than say a decade ago?
I work primarily with AIESECers from the Asia Pacific region. Based on my experience, I feel that @ers have become more collaborative, while maintaining an active engagement with their local community. There’s a stronger focus on team work and trans-national collaboration. They are more open to share their ideas and emotions. Trying to create meaning in everything they do is a theme which comes up frequently when I converse with this generation of AIESECers.
Interestingly, I find that while these changes bring in interesting behavioral change, some of the members I encounter prefer working together in teams than taking the lead, especially when the role requires being very assertive and having to make tough decisions. This is a bit different than the AIESECers I worked with a decade ago.
You travel extensively for your work and are often faced with time crunches. What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning? What motivates you?
Food. It fuels me….physically and mentally.
In AIESEC, we talk about personal and professional development a lot. Do you have any advice for fellow young professionals, who are interested in a general change or scene?
I believe that both personal and professional development is the process where we search for a purpose, which is very different from a “goal”. Goals could change, but our purposes in life generally stay the same. We fulfill our purposes when goals are met or achieved. AIESEC taught me the importance of doing an annual goal setting, but sometimes achieving the goals do not necessarily satisfy my desire to feel fulfilled. I think it’s necessary to sit back and spend time on thinking about what our purpose and calling in life would be, prior to doing any type of goal-setting, especially ones which can involve a lot of money and time. Remember, never go so far with the process to a point where it stops you from moving ahead!
In closing, could you share with us the greatest piece of advice you have received?
We only live once. Stay open-minded, adventurous while remaining steadfast to your purposes. Tread with caution, but take a leap of faith when the time is right!