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Product & Innovation Capabilities Lead

"Working in a big business gives everyone the opportunity to share their story, ideas and generate discussion."

Working in our Frontier Innovation Team as our Product & Innovation Capabilities Lead, Emily works with our clients and client facing teams on everything from developing a technology innovation strategy to surfacing new ideas and taking them forward to product development. It’s her fourth career move within PwC since joining as a Graduate in 2011 in our Audit practice. 

“It’s great to know that I have the support from my leaders and the firm in general to use my own experiences and knowledge to help me set my own career path. My ambition and focus on continual learning has seen me take on roles building pensions technology, working on PwC’s own technology transformation and creating a new innovation offering for our clients.”

Emily moved from Hong Kong to Belfast for her school education and, as a high achiever throughout her academic years, graduated with a first class honours in Management Science alongside a study year abroad in Boston.  

Outside of work, Emily helps to run the PwC Choir and has a love for Opera. As a classical singer Emily sings in both the PwC Choir and Chamber Choir and was a soloist in the last two carol services at Southwark Cathedral and St Peters, Eaton Square. She has also been part of the PwC Dragonboat racing team and competed at various events across the country with her colleagues.

“Being involved in different networks and activities outside of my day job has allowed me to meet and get to know people outside the immediate teams that I work in, which is not only great when you need to pick up the phone to a specialist in a different area, but has also allowed me to meet people who will be friends for life.”

Within her current role in the Frontier Innovation Team, Emily advises her clients on tech innovation.

Her team works with clients to help them develop and activate an innovation strategy - which includes aligning a companies’ goals and ambitions, exploring trends and disruptors, building a balanced portfolio, and assessing the capability gaps.

The strategy informs how they go about surfacing problems and ideas, and validating them before taking them through to product development; using a problem centric approach that’s driven through design thinking and agile methodology.  

One of the PwC values which resonates most with Emily is ‘Work Together’. Working in Product and Innovation can be very demanding and at times Emily admits it’s tough - but by having a positive group dynamic and support from everyone means that when times are busy, everyone is there to help work together to reach that end goal.

It’s this value which also saw Emily help form the China Talent Network in 2018.

“Working with Suwei Jiang, lead Partner of the China Business Group at PwC, we set up the China Talent Network, bringing together 20 organisations to work together to support Chinese professionals. Our goal is to improve the leadership pipeline, develop culturally dexterous leaders, raise awareness of the unique challenges faced by employees of Chinese heritage (which stems from differences in cultural values and behavioural traits), and magnify the voice of Britain’s diverse Chinese community”.

One of the challenges Emily felt she faced in her early career was navigating between conflicting cultural norms that were instilled from growing up in Hong Kong, and more western traditions and beliefs.  Establishing the China Talent Network has also helped others to recognise and value their differences, and make the most of the cultural dexterity they bring into their day-to-day role at PwC.

We asked Emily what it means to ‘be yourself at PwC’;

“It’s being able to freely express your opinions and ideas, and not feel like you have to hide a part of yourself in order to fit into a certain mould. Working in a big business gives everyone the opportunity to share their story, ideas and generate discussion. We’ve got some great leaders encouraging this”.

Emily would describe her PwC career as multifaceted, heuristic and invigorating.

As you can see, Emily likes to be kept busy with her role in the Frontier Innovation Team and the China Talent Network. Even when she’s on holiday she likes a fast pace:

“I’m an avid traveller, but it has to be fast paced. Five countries, eight to ten cities, in two weeks is fairly standard for me”.

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