Nov 01 2023 / Round the Table Magazine
Q&A: Byeong Hoon Choi, MBA
By Mike Beirne
Byeong Hoon Choi, MBA, aspired to branch out from being an advisor to individuals and put in hard work to grow as a corporate consultant.
How did you become a corporate consultant?
Since it was an area that was unfamiliar for me, I had study sessions during the first two years with senior corporate consultants, tax agents, labor attorneys and other experts for two to three hours a day early in the morning. So, I prepared to become a corporate consultant while assisting them. But the harder I tried to make up for my weaknesses as a corporate consultant, the less time I had for meetings with individual clients. However, I was still able to put in considerable effort and stick with my routine of closing three deals a week. I gained consulting experience with corporate clients by meeting with five to seven companies two to three days a week for two to three months. I still participate in study sessions, expand my network of experts and maintain good relationships with them to continuously learn about the latest trends as well as their experiences.
What kind of mindset is required to be a corporate consultant?
Courage is essential for corporate consultants. Clients tend to have high expectations, and the competition is tough. The work differs moderately from advising for individuals as there are recurring tasks, so a touch of creativity or benchmarking against other companies’ cases is needed occasionally. Consequently, corporate consulting requires flexibility, continuous networking with experts, and reorganizing and developing those networks based on their feedback.
How is advising for corporate clients different from advising individuals?
One difference is corporate clients always demand perfection, but it is not easy to be perfect in every area. So, approach the job as a team effort and define scopes of work and responsibilities with the corporate client, so that the relationship is firmly built, and a positive outcome is produced. Our job needs to produce an outcome within a given time, so process matters even more, which makes defining the scopes of work important. When it comes to corporate clients, it’s critical that I am devoted to achieving a goal with them by defining that goal together, analyzing my strengths and weaknesses, and assigning an expert for clients in need of a solution.
What is your vision for your future as a corporate consultant?
There are renowned consulting firms many people have heard of with many in the U.S. , Canada and Europe. When I attended the MDRT Annual Meetings in the U.S. and Canada, I discovered how advisors in advanced financial markets evolved and how consultants could grow and change to cater to clients’ particular needs. My ultimate goal is to grow with my clients through corporate consulting. It may take a long time, but I would like to build a personal system or a structure to improve my abilities, grow an organization that helps clients consistently achieve profit and pursue value-focused growth, and to continuously develop with them.