Alex Yau – Paving my own way

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Alex Yau is a graduate consultant by day and a film star (of CALUMO educational content) also by day. He’s a hardworking, broadly skilled, jack-of-all-trades member of our team, drawing on his wide range of work experiences in his consulting and dev work.

Can you start by describing the interesting path your career has taken to wind up at CALUMO? 

I originally trained as a Maths teacher. When I started casual teaching at my old high school, I was doing some private tutoring on the side for the son of Paul Cavanagh-Downs, CALUMO’s Professional Services Director. I knew I didn’t want to teach for very long, and Paul encouraged me to come in and learn about CALUMO.  

I started as a graduate consultant. My role has evolved over time; I’ve dipped my toes into some machine learning, documentation, and dev work. I’m starting to transition into a research and development role within the dev team, as well as helping to internally streamline our pilot process. 

Because of my educational background, I’ve also been involved in making some instructional videos on various functionalities and features within CALUMO. 

In some ways, Alex, these videos have made you the “Face of CALUMO”. How do you stay so down to earth despite being so famous? 

[humble chuckling] 

I’m actually quite proud of the videos we’ve made. We do all our training in person or digitally, but these videos offer something that’s more accessible to every client. We’re continuing to work on building that out and widening the skill-base of our users. 

I spend a lot of time developing the video scripts, trying to put myself in the position of someone who’s not familiar with certain aspects of CALUMO. When I was teaching, I got a lot of experience putting myself in someone else’s shoes, and I think I have the communication skills to really address the issue from their perspective.  

How important are these skills for your consulting work? 

The general ability to empathise with my client is a big part of consulting. There’s a lot of training involved, and a lot of communication required to help troubleshoot and teach new features or services within CALUMO.  

When I started, since I’d only been interested in teaching, I didn’t know a lot about the workforce, or how companies operate, or what people actually do in their day-to-day lives in office jobs. Now, in my consulting work, I get to go inside so many different businesses. I see such a broad range of processes, I see the good and bad, and I learn the best way to go about things.  

How does CALUMO’s culture and organisational structure allow you explore the things you’re interested in? 

It’s a very flexible work environment here. I came in as a graduate consultant and was able to dip my toe in a few different areas. I discovered that I’m more interested in the R&D side of things, and everyone encouraged me to take on this new opportunity.  

CALUMO is happy for me to pave my own way within the business. I’m not following a typical pathway for a consultant, but I’m able to do work that will benefit the company and work that I’m genuinely interested in. That’s all part of the culture. 

We hire great people at CALUMO. Smart people, people who are good at managing. It’s not necessarily all about the specific skillset that you have in accounting or coding or whatever, we hire good people and create an environment that lets them get better. 

I think the quality of CALUMO as a product and service comes from the quality of our team. The people and the culture are what keeps the ball rolling. 

If you’d like to work with consultants like Alex, get in touch with us on: +61 2 8985 7777 (AUS), 214-387-6030 (USA) or