MEET SOME OF
OUR PEOPLE

Lily Zhao

The aspect of strategy consulting that I enjoy the most is the variety of work you do for clients and the exposure to different industries. You’re constantly learning about different things and challenging yourself to solve new problems, which keeps the work engaging.

LILY ZHAO

BUSINESS ANALYST

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  • Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the University of New South Wales
  • Aspiring painter. Dancer. Outdoorsy.

How do you think an engineering degree helps with strategy consulting?
The logical thinking and analytical skills that you pick up from an engineering degree are useful in a strategy consulting career. A STEM background has helped with modelling and deriving key insights from data. Having great logic definitely helps, from the initial stages of developing an issue tree through to more rigorous problem-solving as the project unfolds.

What is the culture like at EY PJP?
The culture at EY PJP is a clear stand-out. Not only am I surrounded by highly talented and motivated team members, but we’re also an extremely social bunch! Our social calendar is always buzzing with exciting activities – from dinners to sports and annual retreats.

Any interview or career tips for grads looking to work in consulting?
If you’re a naturally curious person who enjoys learning about a variety of different things and making an impact for major Australian and global companies, you should consider giving consulting a shot!

An interview tip is to know your CV well. You don’t want to be stumped if the interviewer asks for detail about a niche project or role you did a few years back.

Our consulting approach is collaborative and impactful. Identifying solutions for our client’s most complex challenges requires genuine engagement, tailoring our approach and adapting to new information while maintaining a relentless focus on finding the answer.

ABI PARAMAGURU

ASSOCIATE PRINCIPAL

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  • Master of Commerce (Economics & Finance) with Excellence from the University of New South Wales; Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the College of Law; Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Science from Macquarie University
  • Over a decade of experience in the government, private and not-for profit sectors, advising senior leaders on their economic, financial, legal, governance and performance-related priorities.Prior to joining EY PJP, Abi was a senior executive within the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. She has also led complex multi-year projects for a range of bodies including the NSW Law Reform Commission and the University of NSW
  • Music fan. Casual foodie. Film and TV aficionado.

What are the key aspects of your former life in the public sector that have helped you succeed in strategy consulting?
Consulting offers me many of the things I loved most about working in the public sector and some new things as well. I was passionate about problem solving, client service, fast-paced projects and working with talented people. EY PJP gives me the opportunity to do this across a broad range of clients and issues unlocking fresh perspectives and insights.

What are some of the highlights of your career in strategy consulting?
I’ve really enjoyed working on strategy and market design in complex and rapidly evolving regulatory environments. Perhaps what is surprising is the range of sectors I get to work in and the lessons I can apply across sectors. Some fascinating examples include aged care (which involved site visits across Australia), energy, vocational education & training and circular economy policy.

Advice to your 18-year-old self?
Apart from the extensive list of questionable fashion choices to avoid…

When charting your path, focus on the transferable skills you have developed / want to develop (lifelong learning is humbling and empowering), and what motivates you (sense of purpose).

Rainier Fernando

As Strategy Consultants we get to solve our clients’ most critical business issues, where every day is different and the work is never dull. What I love about EY PJP is that you get to do all this while working with, learning from, and having fun with an amazing bunch of intelligent and driven people.

RAINIER FERNANDO

BUSINESS ANALYST

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  • Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Computer Systems) with First Class Honours and a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from Monash University
  • Aspiring cook and vegetable & herb gardener

What are some key things you’ve learned in your consulting career?
That excellent communication isn’t about the number of words you know, but your ability to convey a message in the simplest and clearest form; I am constantly amazed by the importance of being able to provide a logical and clear structure to business problems.

What was your dream job when you were little?
My dream job was to be a chef and have my own restaurant (Fernando’s).

What’s the soundtrack to your life at the moment?
I have an eclectic taste in music. Worship music in the morning, Mozart when I want to concentrate, rap music during the day and trance music for an energy boost.

I really enjoy the work – I enjoy helping our clients and the fact that I am constantly learning. But it is the people and the culture of EY PJP that has kept me here. It is a privilege to work with such an intelligent, collaborative, and supportive group of people.

Anthony Gray

ANTHONY GRAY

PARTNER

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  • Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) from the University of Sydney
  • Proud dad. Frustrated traveler. Baseball tragic.

How do you explain your job to family and friends?
Helping our clients – in my case, usually senior company executives – solve their most important and impactful problems that their organisation faces, which might be identifying how and where to grow, how to react to emerging disruption in their industry, or better meet the changing needs of their customers.

What advice do you have for graduates interviewing for roles in consulting?
We are looking for good problem solvers that can contribute in a team. The best impression you can make is to be interesting and thoughtful and show an ability to get to the bottom of complex issues.

Baseball. Why do you think it’s so great?
Baseball is the ultimate sport for consultants – it’s a very cerebral game, full of tactics and strategy, and more data than you know what to do with (see Moneyball).