Mott MacDonald consultant, Loretta Luo, on the external recognition offered by the Associate Chartered Consultant Award.

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Mott MacDonald’s Loretta Luo is not the sort of person who likes to wait around. That is one of the reasons why she chose to seek the Associate Chartered Award on her way to a full Chartership.

For her, ChMC is an important part of building her own reputation and her own personal brand. She said:

One of areas that attracted me to Mott MacDonald and our sector, was that they had a really good programme to support you to get the full chartership which was very appealing to me because it was a really structured way to develop your plans for the next steps in your career. We have a few colleagues who have achieved chartership and I see them as role models.

You can see how well they have developed themselves within the business. The strong reputations and personal brands they have built, the experience they have had I find quite inspiring. It was something I wanted to do too.

But for Loretta becoming Chartered is not just about internal recognition within her own firm. Its true value is in what it offers to clients and what it tells the rest of the world about those who have achieved it. She said:

The chartership is about external recognition that you are doing a good job.

The nature of our profession is that you typically need to go into a sector, work for a client, at times without really knowing much about them and then help them improve their business. That can be quite challenging from the client perspective but to be able to show we know what we are talking about is very important. It is a really good way to establish yourself.

Having something like chartered that is recognised sector wide and verified independently is very important.

But Loretta does not want to wait to prove herself to clients she wants to do it now. She said:

Associate is a three-year programme. That appealed to me. Fiveyears to the full chartership seemed so far away. But associate is something you can work towards and focus on from year two of your career. It is a midpoint to look forward to. A more tangible goal.

Perhaps more importantly pursuing the associate award has given her a fresh perspective on her career and where she is going. Loretta said:

When I started writing the submission a lot of things came back to me and gave me the refreshing chance to reflect on what I had done over the last three years. Reminding me why the competencies are so important. This process almost forces you to have a really deep reflection on yourself.

The feedback I got from my assessor was really, really helpful in shaping my thinking in what I am going to do in the next two years as I aim for the full chartership.

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