Why Nancy loves working in a diverse team? Be you. Be a consultant.
Nancy Xiaowen Jiang loves being a ‘team player’ — both in her professional life and in her personal life. The clues are fairly obvious.
For instance, outside of work, she’s part of an a cappella singing group. “I’ve always loved singing,” says Nancy. “I was part of a choir in my elementary school. But that’s the thing: instead of singing solo, I prefer to make a contribution as part of a group, because when all your voices harmonize it’s so beautiful. When I sing with my friends, the sound we make gives me goosebumps.”
Harmonizing in a group is an apt metaphor for Nancy’s role at DHL Consulting. She only joined the company in 2020 and is finding immense fulfillment as a Consultant working in DHLC’s diverse teams on a variety of projects. “When we all sit down together — men and women from different cultural and social backgrounds — we’re able to brainstorm lots of new ideas,” she says. “That dynamic generates a type of creativity which I find so exciting.”
Nancy Xiaowen Jiang
Nancy — who was born in Beijing, China — studied a bachelor’s degree in Human Geography and Urban Planning at Peking University, and then a master’s degree in Business Analytics and International Management at Esade Business School in Barcelona, Spain. During her bachelor’s degree she spent two months on a voluntary project in Cambodia, found through AIESEC, a global platform which helps young people develop their leadership potential through international internships and volunteer schemes. “The whole experience with AIESEC changed my life and encouraged me to be more international,” she says.
It also introduced her to DHL Consulting. “I found out that DHL was a huge supporter of AIESEC, so assumed they must share the same cultural genes,” says Nancy. “I thought: ‘If I can do well with AIESEC, maybe I could do well at DHL.’” After completing an internship with DHL Consulting in the summer of 2018, she finished her master’s degree and became a full-time member of the team in July 2020.
What Do You Like About Being a Management Consultant?
The variety. I’ve worked on three projects since I joined DHLC, and all have been different. My first project was more cyber security and IT-focused whereas the second was very operational. My third, which I’m currently working on is a strategic project for DHL Supply Chain. I’m also enjoying the diversity of the teams here because DHLC colleagues are very international. I’ve worked with Russians, Ukrainians, Germans, etc… and soon, potentially, a colleague from China. I wanted to work in a diverse environment, on a diverse team. So DHLC’s international mindset is one of the reasons I joined the company.
It’s a changing world. Take China. Twenty years ago, no-one thought it would be growing as fast as it is today. If you want to do business there, you need employees who understand different markets to “win the global game”.
Diversity also drives creativity, when you have a team made up of people from different backgrounds, each person might view a topic differently.
This in turn means they can help each other to avoid falling into thinking traps and think more broadly than they might have otherwise.
The result of this, is often increased innovation. So, a diverse team or workforce can help a company network in different countries, particularly emerging markets and enhance creativity in problem solving.
How Does DHL Consulting Empower Its Female Colleagues?
This is a company that values its people — and validates them, too. For example, there’s an idea that Asian women can sometimes be a bit shy, particularly in a setting where English isn’t their mother tongue. I can relate to that. However, I also feel that the company encourages me to join in and do things that are outside my comfort zone, which builds up my confidence. Plus, the female perspective is always represented in project teams. They’re not exclusively male.
How Important Are Female Role Models to You?
There are a lot of female colleagues in DHLC; and the women in the senior leadership team share stories on social media about their experiences of being successful businesswomen who have busy family lives. That might be quite far from where I am at my stage of life, but it’s very inspiring all the same and gives me a better vision of how women might develop their careers at DHLC in the long term.
Outside of Work, You Love To Travel. What Have Been Your Favorite Countries to Visit?
I think Brazil was the best experience for me, because it’s such a different place. I’d heard so many stories about how dangerous it can be for travelers, but I met so many dynamic people there and discovered that their culture is so cool.
You Love Reading, Too. Are There Any Books You’ve Read Recently That You Can Recommend?
I read a lot of books about how countries evolve, and how their geographical locations have changed their destinies. I read them before I travel or while I travel, so that I can feel connected to the places I’m visiting and understand the locals’ daily lives. The book that first inspired me to travel abroad was Blue Heaven by Bi Shumin, who spent half a year on a cruise, sharing different stories in different countries. I can recommend The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton; and Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano, which gave me a better understanding of the continent and helped make my trip so valuable.
How Do You Balance Your Personal Interests With Your Working Life?
DHLC has a flexible attitude to work, which leaves me free to explore my hobbies and interests. I really appreciate that. Also, I found that I share a lot of interests with my colleagues, which DHLC encourages us to bring inside the company. I mentioned that I like a cappella singing, now I think it would be good to organize an a cappella group within DHL. Maybe we can perform at the Christmas party…?