My company and my job
I am part of the Management Consulting Services team at BDO, specifically providing branding advisory for Singaporean businesses that wish to expand locally or internationally.
Contrary to popular belief that good brands are built only by means of spending huge advertising dollars or having a beautiful logo (or brand ambassadors), the work at BDO delves much deeper into how each business can benefit from a solid brand strategy.
This means that my job entails understanding the client’s most pressing business needs and conducting a deep analysis of where they stand in their respective industries and amongst their competitors. Thereafter, I would have to determine the market gap, which is essentially what customers are looking out for that is not currently offered by competitors. All these are then translated into a brand strategy that is in line with the client’s goals and vision for the business.
How I got my job
The interview and selection process focused mainly on my skillsets, past experiences, career goals and an interesting discussion of what I knew about branding. I suppose what set me apart from the other candidates was my prior involvement with SMEs in various industries and the learning opportunities I had while spending a year in Stockholm, Sweden, for the NUS Overseas Colleges programme. This put me in a good place to understand both the advantages and limitations of SMEs, the key clientele here at BDO.
The highs and lows
My favourite, and coincidentally the most challenging part of my job, is the exposure to various industries and projects at any one time. So while I hear my friends or family complaining about doing the same thing over and over again, I like that I get to work with clients selling personal care products, furniture, delicious food or business services, sometimes all at one go. Yet, herein also lies the challenging part about branding (or consulting in general) – understanding unfamiliar industries or deriving a competitive edge for those clients who operate in familiar and hence extremely saturated markets. Either way, I am constantly motivated by my team here who is very open to sharing their insights and knowledge.
My happiest moment at work
While clocking in extra hours at work is definitely not my favourite pastime, my most satisfying moment so far was putting in those extra hours to pull off a project running on a super tight timeline that also happened to have a demanding client. The direct contributor of that sense of accomplishment? Seeing that client take our work seriously and implementing our strategies in the business.
Training and support
Thankfully, BDO offered the type of training that I always believed in as well - on-the-job training. As one who believes in getting involved before the real learning can take place, I was glad to find out that I was not just going to live in the shadow of some “higher authority” during my time here. What stood out for me was the chance to be actively involved in projects from the start while having project leads to help guide me in the process.
As a consultant, one important skill to have is that of time management. While there are days that I have to put in extra hours to meet tight deadlines, I believe in maximising my day and working productively during the designated work hours of 8:45am to 5:45pm. As a Brand Consultant, getting out of the office to explore what is happening in the world or having solid conversations with family or friends is as important (if not more important) as creating compelling pitch decks with solid brand strategies.
Keep doing things that make a difference.