From Germany to Florida: a journey of Creativity and Career growth

Yeonsoo hasn’t always lived in Miami. In fact, she only made the decision to transfer to DHL Consulting’s Florida office in 2021 after working in our Bonn headquarters for a couple of years. By joining our new Explore career program, you can follow in her footsteps.

Explore consultants work in Bonn for a year and then transfer to our Miami office for at least two years. If anyone knows about making the move Stateside, it’s Yeonsoo. So we asked her what to expect, the challenges and opportunities you might face — and what Miami life is really like...

Author: Tony Greenway

Published: Last updated:

Be You, Consulting career paths, Culture & Career, Women at DHLC

Living in Miami has many benefits, admits Project Manager Yeonsoo Park. For example, it’s helped her indulge her passion for cuisine, creativity, art and culture.

“I like to cook new recipes,” says Yeonsoo. “Miami has an extremely diverse demographic, which makes ingredients from all around the world easily available in the neighborhood. So far I’ve visited numerous Asian grocery stores and a Latino farmer’s market. I also like being inspired in art galleries — and some districts in Miami hare bustling with museums and galleries. And I’m enjoying good weather all year long, a short drive to the beaches and affordable golf courses!”

When did you start working at DHL Consulting in Bonn?

Actually, my first role was as an intern at DHL Consulting’s Singapore office for two months in 2018 while I was still doing my MBA. After graduation, I was invited back to DHLC full-time and started at the Bonn headquarters in 2019.

Why did you both want to move to Florida?

My husband and I wanted to go to a location where we could speak the language fluently, plus we have family there.

How long did it take you to settle in to a new life in the Miami office?

It wasn’t instant for me, but I think that’s because of the sort of person I am. My comfort zone is a large office with lots of people. So arriving in Miami was something of a culture shock.

Is the Miami office very different to the Bonn headquarters?

Very different! In Bonn, I was working in an office of 130 people with 30 or so Assignment Managers and everything was very structured. Miami is a much smaller, so the culture is very fluid and entrepreneurial with an even higher degree of ownership from day one.

Such as?

Take business development. As a Project Manager in Bonn, I’d spend around 20% of my time on business development activities. In Miami I’m in charge of the entire life sciences sector — and business development is a major part of what I do. I found juggling all the requirements of the role challenging at first, not least because life sciences was so new to me.

How did you overcome that challenge?

I needed to up my game when it came to trusting my team, delegating and making decisions, because I realised I couldn’t do everything myself. I had to learn to adapt to a more fluid way of working, get better at taking risks and be better prepared to deal with failure. That only comes with experience. However, as consultants we’re trained to be good problem-solvers. That’s the common denominator between Bonn and Miami that doesn’t change.

Are there other cultural differences between DHLC’s Bonn headquarters and DHLC in Florida?

There are two things to say about that. First, because the Plantation office is more entrepreneurial, we can be very agile when implementing ideas.  And, second, DHLC in Florida is very  impact-driven because our clients are from regional organizations with smaller budgets who want the projects we deliver to have immediate, tangible results. In Bonn, clients can be more interested in conceptual ideas that offer a return on investment in the medium or long term.

What sort of mentorship and support did you receive when you arrived in Miami?

There’s a very open communication channel with Alex, the head of the Plantation office. When I first started here he told me: ‘This is going to be challenging, because it’s new to you. But I’ve been through it too — and this is what worked for me.’ It’s been great to benefit from his experience and wisdom. I’ve also reached out to Partners  at DHLC in Bonn and asked them for their advice. They’re always approachable and happy to help.


What about practical logistical advice and support, such as where to go and what to do?

I found my colleagues here in Miami to be super-helpful. Most of them aren’t local — they moved here for work — so they’ve been through the transfer process too and know a lot about the area. For example, they’ve given advice on the best neighborhoods and where to look for an apartment.

Has the move to Miami provided you with any professional opportunities?

From an official job title standpoint, no. I was a Project Manager in Bonn — and I’m still a Project Manager here. But being exposed to a more entrepreneurial environment in Florida has taught me a lot, and I’ve been able to develop a senior presence in the region in a fairly short space of time. Put it this way: I regularly have meetings with senior leaders of life sciences who have 20+ years of experience under their belts — whereas, in Bonn, that level of engagement would come later.

Is that sudden level of responsibility daunting?

Yes, at first! But I’ve found that when you’re put into a situation like that, you naturally step up. Then you start to grow into the role. So now when I speak to a regional board member about a topic that I’m unfamiliar with, I’m not anxious or shy. Before working in the Americas office, I’d have been more hesitant!

What is the work-life balance like in Florida? And does the Plantation office get involved in local community activities?

For me, work life balance here is good! And, as for activities, it’s about the same as Bonn. Once a year we take part in a volunteer day. Last time that we were involved with a local food bank  that delivers donated food from supermarkets to people in need. And we also take part in community activities — such as charity marathons — organized by DHL Express.

What are your ambitions for the future?

We’re staying here for the medium term. After that, who knows? In the short-term, I want to grow into a good leader. Also, as a consultant, you’re a generalist by nature — so I’d like to gain more expertise in a particular subject area. Although I don’t know what area that might be just yet!

While you are living in the States, do you have any ambitions?

My goal is to visit all the national parks in the U.S.. Each state is the size of a country and the diverse nature it provides is fascinating. From Arizona’s deserts and Wyoming’s mountains to Alaskan Fjords — there’s just too much to explore!

What advice would you give to anyone who is considering applying to the Explore program and relocating to Miami?

Be completely open to the idea and the opportunities you’ll be able to leverage from it. Explore is a tailored program, but remember that ultimately it’s up to you to shape your destiny and your career, so be proactive and take ownership of the chances you’re given. Finally, expect it to be tough because relocating somewhere new is always difficult. But it’s also very rewarding!

DHL Consulting Explore: Be part of our Explore Program and embark on the journey of a lifetime.

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