7 questions for 7 consultants: Jessie Hong Pham
Given the uncertainty generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including potential adjustments to the way the industry is going to operate, we wanted to find out how our team fared through the COVID-19 situation and how they see the world evolving in the coming months. We’ve asked 7 questions to 7 of our consultants from all around the globe. Today, we interview Jessie Hong Pham, who is a Senior Consultant in our New York office.
What has your experience been like during the COVID-19 outbreak?
The COVID-19 outbreak and the shutdown of many states and countries had been eye opening in many aspects. It not only tested my ability to manage work from a non-traditional WFH format but also my perspectives on the world and our customs. Like many people, I spent a lot of time confined to my apartment in NYC. For the first time in a long while, I had a breather for self-reflection and self-improvement. I also had the chance to reconnect with my family and friends in a way I do not think would have happened before the shutdown. This is a silver lining to the pandemic but in no way am I saying the outbreak is a good thing. The outbreak itself has been surreal and concerning, especially when I think of my parents. That said, it is not over yet and I wish the best of health to everyone out there!
How do you think Delta Partners has handled the situation? What would you highlight?
Delta Partners had done a good job of keeping us informed from the beginning, even when the future was very uncertain. I appreciated the weekly updates from the leadership team and the measures taken to keep the team together. I have read RedFin’s CEO Glenn Kelman’s account of how RedFin dealt with the real estate market contraction and the tough decisions that he had to make. I can only imagine how tough it must’ve been for the leadership team to navigate through the fog of COVID-19 back in March. I believe the team’s move to weather the storm and its attempt to keep its talents in place were prudent priorities. On the social aspect, I think it was great that we had virtual office hour, workout sessions and even a movie night! There were technical difficulties but those just made the event even more memorable.
What are you most looking forward to when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted?
Surprisingly, I look forward to traveling again! Albeit, I do not think we will go back to the same norms as pre-COVID. Maybe it is just the consulting blood in me – but I do miss traveling.
Are there any skills you have learnt or habits you have developed during the pandemic that will benefit you in the post-COVID-19 work environment?
I had to get creative during downtime to keep busy, so I had made a list of side projects. I started playing the flute again, brewed beer, made videos, took pictures, read – I have not read so much in such a long time. I finished six books in two months! I also took up meditation, which had been very calming and soothing.
How much of a change do you expect in the way mgmt. consultants operate in the post-COVID-19 world? If you expect there will be change, in what way(s)?
I definitely see a new norm when it comes to the amount of traveling we do – for better or worse. I think technology will advance rapidly to make video conferencing and remote work more efficient. Overall though, I think the foundation and standards of our work will not change.
What kind of priorities do you think will be important for telecom, media and/ or tech players in this post-COVID-19 context?
The new WFH norms with its increased employee mobility will be a big opportunity for the TMT sector. There are the obvious changes – technology that will be developed to improve video conferencing and remote collaboration. Less obvious are the many more logistics and operational aspects of increased employee mobility and work from home that can be facilitated by the TMT sector. For instance, how telco operators will re-engineer their enterprise business if employees are no longer centralized in an office or campus. How will the pricing scheme change to accommodate a diaspora of technologists from Facebook, Shopify and other tech companies who can reside anywhere to do their jobs.
Any advice or recommendation you would give to new Delta Partners joiners, in this new context?
New Delta Partners joiners will have to make a conscious effort to stay connected, since the Delta Partners culture (as with most culture) is felt and lived when we are on road together or in the office together. That said, senior Delta Partners members should also make a conscious effort to transmit our culture via the new video conference standards. We are in this together and will need to be cognizant of keeping a strong line of communications through the physical distance.
Jessie Hong Pham