From Manila to management
Halla has been around the world before landing safely among great colleagues. She challenges clients in Copenhagen, where she works on a cyber project in the energy sector and creates strong work cultures.
Management Consultant working in Transformation Leadership
As part of a team specialised in project, programme and portfolio management, I provide services to our colleagues and clients to help with the planning, coordination and execution of projects.
After finishing my studies in strategy, organisation and leadership at the Copenhagen Business School, Deloitte was my first job. My educational journey spanned four countries: Iceland, Scotland, Denmark, and the Philippines, which was definitely not my original plan. I started my bachelor’s degree in Iceland, where I grew up, but after my exchange at the University of Glasgow, I could not resist the urge to seek new challenges abroad. So I first moved to Copenhagen for my master’s degree, and a year later, I moved to Manila to take an MBA semester at the Asian Institute of Management. Finally, in 2020, I decided to take a break from exploring the world; the rest is history.
Days of great coffee, chats and colleagues
After a short focus session to finish any priority tasks, I often start my day by looking around to find a colleague who is also thirsty for coffee to join me at the café and a chat on the way. Then the ball starts rolling with a fine balance between meetings and work sessions to prepare client deliverables. Luckily, I am surrounded by colleagues who are always willing to share knowledge, tools, or templates, so whatever task lands on my desk, I never have to start from scratch. When the conditions allow, I prefer to take my afternoon meetings as a walk-and-talk to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings of our Copenhagen office before finishing my remaining work for the day.
Industrial bingo with big wins
Since I am pretty early in my career, I have not chosen any specific industry to focus on. Luckily, Deloitte has various projects in all different industries to choose from. A year ago, I was working in the insurance industry on a large-scale international M&A project, in which I was supporting project managers in IT work streams. Currently, I am working on a super exciting cyber project in the energy sector, setting up and running a programme management office with a highly experienced colleague. The most valuable aspect of our development is learning on the job, supported by a healthy mix of sparring with colleagues and internal and external courses.
It smells like team spirit
We have a powerful team spirit. I know I can always count on my colleagues for help, both inside and outside of my project or department. We also have a very inclusive culture; when you start, you get assigned a talent manager and a buddy to ensure you integrate well from day one and thrive in the role. As an international employee, you can join the international community and get an international buddy, and Deloitte even provides voluntary Danish classes. In my offering, Transformation Leadership, we are around 30 people – a lovely mix of six different nationalities.
Brunch as a hobby
I am not sure if brunch counts as a hobby, but if so, it is pretty high on my list, especially in good company. Since my friends and family are spread over several countries, I really enjoy travelling and spending quality time with my closest people. Also, for someone who has never had a dog, I spend an astonishing amount of time with them, either by taking my neighbours’ dogs for walks or “borrowing” dogs from friends or family.
Diversity and a healthy work culture
I believe there are two major misunderstandings about working for Deloitte. First, “to be a good consultant, you must fit the consultant stereotype” – having some specific educational background or exhibiting certain character traits. This view is very important to change because a diverse talent pool is the best way to ensure we continuously learn and grow from working together, thus being able to offer our clients the best and most innovative solutions. My greatest learnings come from people with whom I have the least in common. Second, “when working for a consulting company, you will always be working.” Prioritising work above health and well-being is not sustainable in the long run, and it is important to know your boundaries and communicate them clearly and unapologetically. This is not something we just talk about; we are encouraged proactively to maintain a healthy balance, so issues do not occur in the first place.