Alumni Profile - Charlotte Park

Charlotte Park

Name: Charlotte Park

Current Position, Organisation: Mercer Singapore

Best book you have read in the last 12 months: Uncommon Sense, Common Nonsense by Jules Goddard & Tony Eccles

Daily website 'favourites': Mercer Select, McKinsey Quarterly, BBC, Sydney Morning Herald

Motto to live/work by: "Be the change you want to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi

Twitter Profile: Charlotte Park

Career overview

I started out as an aerobics instructor and soon wanted to manage the gym, so figured I needed to get myself some qualifications. While at university I got my first corporate experience in a shipping company and a bank. Soon after graduation I joined Hay Group where I spent most of my career to date in progressive business development and leadership roles around the globe. 20 months ago I joined Mercer in Sydney, and on graduating from my GEMBA, I have just been appointed to lead Mercer Singapore.

Why did you decide to do the GEMBA?

I was feeling the desire to immerse myself in something completely new and perhaps study art history or sociology, but while searching online the University of Sydney GEMBA promotion came up and it gripped me ! There was no turning back.

What was the most fulfilling part of the GEMBA program?

The relationships I formed with some great minds which I have no doubt will be life-long.

How did the GEMBA change you - both professionally and personally?

I feel a renewed sense that this is just the beginning of the journey in my career and social impact. It has given me a strong sense of potential to continue to become wiser, stronger and more insightful.

It was also quite profound for me in my drive to have an impact in society on equality and poverty relief. Whereas previously I had seen this as separate from my career, I came to realise that the way I drive change in the workplace can make change for inclusive workplaces which has a flow on effect to society.

Tell us about your GEMBA experience

For me it was almost too good to be true, learning from leading academics at Stanford, London School of Economics and India Institute of Management, working on strategies for companies in different markets that were outside of my usual industry, and working with diverse leaders from many different industries in my cohort.

How did you achieve work/study/life balance whilst undertaking the GEMBA?

It's not hard when you love what you're doing! (And delegating everything else!)

I am a single mum with a feisty seven year old daughter, so the support of family/ friends/ nannies definitely made it more achievable.

Since completing the GEMBA what are you most looking forward to in your career?

With the promotion I have just had to lead Mercer Singapore, I am greatly looking forward to this opportunity to apply my strengthened leadership skills across lines of business I have never worked in before. My career has been primarily in the management consulting industry, while this new role will have me leading investments, retirement and health as well as talent businesses (Mercer's full range of businesses).

Greatest challenge of your career to date?

Taking on my first ever big region (Asia) in a managing director role just before the Global Financial Crisis might have been it! Certainly had to step up quickly.