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by Divya Samtani
The Savvy Sapiens Podcast

The Change Consultant



On this episode we talk to Haley Meng, a girl from the US who moved to Hong Kong 7 years ago to work with one of the world’s largest consulting firms, PwC. Her current role there is in change and business transformation, but since that wasn't enough, she also started her own company on the side called WE Club which offers amazing cultural experiences around Hong Kong. Haley also happens to be an internationally competitive swing dancer and was recently the “Young Achiever of the Year” award by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

Haley has lived her life in Hong Kong to its fullest, but as you’ll hear on the interview, she’s now looking for her next career step which she believes will lead her to the land of tech startups in Berlin. Haley openly shares her thoughts on choosing careers, how to know what kind of organization is right for you, and the importance of self-love throughout.Show Notes:   

0.00 - 2.30:  

  • Her current role at a consulting firm doing "business transformation” and what that means 
  • The difficulty of creating change at such a large organization such as PwC  

2.30 - 5.00:  

  • Studying international affairs at college and what she gained (or did not gain) from that 
  • Feeling like she was “floundering” at university  
  • Managing the pressure from her family and choosing to rebel against the expected "formula to success" 
  • Chasing “brand names” and starting her career at Harvard as a researcher  
  • Identifying what she wants vs. what she believes is acceptable to society  
  • What she felt college prepared her for  

5.00 - 7.30: 

  • The importance of working and studying at the same time so that you have real world exposure 
  • Managing failure and self-doubt, and being ok vulnerability  
  • Learning how to feel good just as she is and not striving to be someone else  
  • Growing up trying to be everyone else, and realizing as you grow up that the world values you based on how different you are  

7.30 - 10.00: 

  • Haley’s experience in high school and fluctuating between figuring out herself and wanting to be accepted 
  • The impact of traveling abroad on Haley’s journey of self-realization  
  • Starting her own company and not being sure whether she’s doing too much  
  • What Haley wants to do next and what she’s looking for in a company based on her experience  

10.00 - 12.30: 

  • Haley explains the pros and cons of bigger (corporate) vs. smaller companies and the meaning of flat vs. vertical organizations  
  • The concept of “culture fit” and its relevance to your career 
  • Why values matter and how that impacts what path you go down  
  • Divya and Haley discuss the process of life as one of iteration (constant trial and error) rather than being linear  

12.30 - 15.00: 

  • Why you’ll have 9 or 10 different types of careers in your lifetime and the importance of shape-shifting and staying agile  
  • The importance of not being fixed on one story or one identity  
  • The paradoxes that Haley experienced throughout her career   

15.00 - 17.30: 

  • What it means to "trust yourself" and why this is a massive challenge at every age 
  • Why it’s important to love and feel proud of yourself regardless of external validation  
  • Education not just about content and skills but also survival which is about accepting yourself in the world   

17.30 - 20.00: 

  • Dealing with negative self talk and stepping back from the stories in our head&n


Episode 3

Season 1

by Divya Samtani