Margaret Chan has been with Altis Consulting for 11 years – and we know anyone who stays that long at one company has a good news story behind them. She is now a Principal Consultant and has been supported and developed through her career there.
Finding adventure in the workplace
Margaret is adventurous and loves to try new things – and she has managed to find adventure in her career. After graduating from Auckland University in New Zealand, she joined Middlemore Hospital as a Decision Support Analyst and then moved over to Altis to work in data warehousing. After a few years, she moved to the UK for an overseas adventure while still building her data warehousing skills. When she returned to Australia, she re-joined Altis, knowing the opportunities that awaited her there and the solid culture.
“I have had the opportunities to work on a number of big projects taking lead roles in architecting and/or implementation.”
Margaret knew she’d made the right decision joining Altis when she was welcomed by the company founders, Gavin and Hyun.
“Hyun was a consultant herself. The way she worked and presented herself gave me the first impression of what a successful consultant looks like. I was also mentored by a female senior consultant at the time. Again, women in IT were not that common back in the day. The fact that there were many in Altis gave me the confidence that I had made the right decision.”
Succeeding as a woman in consulting
One of the biggest early challenges Margaret faced in her career was overcoming stereotypes.
“As a woman, short and Asian in IT, I found myself having to prove myself more before I was trusted to be able to do my job in the early days of my career. Also, being assumed as a non-technical person when I walked into a room was also quite common, with people saying, ‘You must be the business analyst or personal assistant’.”
Margaret is inspired by people who challenge themselves every day, and who aren’t afraid to change and be vulnerable to improve themselves.
Margaret shared her proudest career moments with us. One being promoted to Principal Consultant which was a major goal of hers, as well as recently achieving Cloud Architect Certification. Additionally, she’s proud of her longevity with Altis, and having colleagues she’s worked with for over ten years that she can work and share a drink with. Following a very challenging project early in her career, she’s also incredibly proud that she didn’t leave – and all the success that has followed!
Outside work, she enjoys team sports and captains her volleyball team. Her encouraging nature and the enjoyment she gets from seeing others succeed shines through at work as well.
In her role as Principal Consultant, Margaret architects modern data platforms to deliver insights using business intelligence, machine learning, and data science. She works across different industries, bridging the gap between technical experts (such as data scientists and data engineers) and operational and functional experts (senior leaders, frontline managers, finance, HR, sales, marketing).
Continually growing in your career
Margaret enjoys the challenge of problem solving and trying new things, and she brings that tenacity to work.
She takes advantage of personal coaching at work, where she can share her experiences and challenges, and get support in working through setbacks – which are an inevitable part of any career. She is learning to practice mindfulness, which will help further build her resilience.
She’s doing what she always wanted to do in her career, and shared a few key career tips:
- Have principles. “Be just, be merciful and be brave in life.”
- Build relationships. “Spend more time with people, communication is key.”
- Ask for help. “As a young consultant, I was afraid to ask for help and I remember spending hours hiding in the office trying to get things to work. There is a balance between trying things out yourself and asking for help.”
- Use your voice. “Don’t be afraid to speak up, your ideas matter.”
Margaret is excited about her future at Altis.
“[I hope to leave a legacy] as someone who always is willing to listen, share experiences, and is supportive of my colleagues in their personal growth to become better consultants.”
We think Altis is lucky to have Margaret – with her commitment to continual learning, support of her colleagues, and dedication to doing a great job, there’s nowhere for her to go but up!