Shanghai Associate Vicky Wang tells us about her career journey and gives us a glimpse of life at L.E.K. in the Shanghai office.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to L.E.K.
I was born and raised in Shanghai but went to a Catholic high school in Minnesota. For undergrad, I went to Babson College in Boston, and I went to the University of Southern California for grad school to study healthcare decision analysis in the School of Pharmacy. While I was studying there, I joined a school program that was centered on consulting and got the chance to lead two real-world client-facing projects. That’s where I found that I enjoyed the macro and micro problem-solving processes of consulting. I applied to L.E.K. after graduation and came back home to Shanghai to kick off my career here.
How does it feel to be back in Shanghai?
I remained open to either staying in the U.S. or moving back to Shanghai. Our Shanghai office works a lot in healthcare — the majority of our projects are healthcare-oriented — which was what I wanted to pursue following graduate school. Besides healthcare, I also got the chance to work in a range of sectors and on a variety of projects, and I’m glad to be back in my hometown.
What is the culture like in the Shanghai office?
Among the working team, we are all tightly bonded with one another. We mostly work on-site in our newly furnished office, which brings everyone even closer. For anything we are confused about in our day-to-day work, we email all the China working team members to seek available resources and advice. After work, we sometimes have social gatherings. We have a group chat called “Who is the eating king?” where we decide on where we should get lunch, and the big group leaves at noon sharp to fetch food around the area. We also develop close relationships within and across case teams while everyone eats dinners together as a big group in the pantry.
What type of relationship does the Shanghai office have with our other offices?
While our office is very highly oriented toward healthcare, we also have engagement in other sectors such as retail, education and industrials, and we have a lot of opportunities to collaborate with other L.E.K. offices around the globe apart from the APAC offices — Singapore, Japan, India — that we collaborate the most with on a daily basis. We also get to interact with global colleagues who are in the swap program, and in return, we have colleagues going to London, Boston, etc. It was unfortunate we couldn’t join other offices for our annual APAC retreat due to COVID-19 restrictions, but we got to have our own off-site in Hainan, which is a beautiful island off China, where we stayed in a beautiful hotel and did activities like scuba diving and surfing. That was a really fun and memorable experience.
Shanghai recently moved to a new office. How do you like it?
I love it. It is a gorgeous office with a bird’s-eye view of the entire Jing’an business district. And not to mention it’s the most fashionable office ever! We have a Dior office and other high-end retail stores directly beneath us, so we get to see a lot of fashionistas in the elevators.