Alumni Story on Development Consultancy

Charlotte, a senior consultant, talks about her role at Dalberg Advisors, and shares some advice for students interested in development consultancy.

Charlotte’s profile

Charlotte is a senior consultant at the London office of Dalberg Advisors, a strategy and advisory firm focused on global development. In her role, she has worked across sectors, including energy access, agriculture, global health, technology and Water Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH). Charlotte has a particular interest in gender, and has delivered projects in areas such as menstrual health and hygiene. She is Dalberg’s Gender Practice Areas deputy for the Europe region and co-leads an internal women’s network, Womxn@Dalberg. Prior to joining Dalberg, Charlotte worked at Google as a digital strategy consultant. Charlotte has a MSc in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge and a BA in International Relations & History from LSE. She speaks French, Danish, and English. 

What’s your favorite thing about Dalberg?

Ultimately, I appreciate working in an environment where I feel like I’m learning something new every day, from what I’m doing and who I work with. 

That the work is meaningful and interesting. It’s very important for me to feel a sense of purpose in what I do, and Dalberg’s commitment to driving impact really resonates with me. I get to work on projects every day that are linked to some of the world’s most pressing issues, whether that be climate change, health access, or gender equality. For example, I recently worked on a project focused on increasing access to menstrual health and hygiene for the 1 in 4 menstruating women and girls who still lack the resources to manage their menstruation. It’s a topic I’m genuinely interested in and passionate about, and I’ve been lucky to work on a few projects and build my knowledge in the space. Another thing I value about Dalberg is the people. I am fortunate to work with people who share similar values, yet come from such diverse backgrounds, in terms of nationalities, careers and experiences. This not only energizes me but has also taught me so much. Ultimately, I appreciate working in an environment where I feel like I’m learning something new every day, from what I’m doing and who I work with.  

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Instead of focusing on my weaknesses, I should recognize and think about how I can build on my strengths.

Back yourself! I’ve had several instances, especially at the start of my career, where I doubted my abilities. While its important to be humble, the feeling of imposter syndrome definitely prevented me from recognizing my full potential. And I’m unfortunately not alone in this. From working with a range of different people, I’ve seen first-hand how imposter syndrome affects those around me, particularly women. While it hasn’t gone away for me, I’ve gotten better at managing it. Partially through trial and error, through realizing I actually am capable, and through building relationships with people who supported me. I remember having a very helpful conversation with someone who told me that instead of focusing on my weaknesses, I should recognize and think about how I can build on my strengths. This is something I actively think about and it has definitely changed my perspective. The final thing I’d say is that while your career is a part of your life, it isn’t all of it. So, go easy on yourself! 

What networks does your company have for underrepresented groups?

Dalberg has several networks and initiatives for underrepresented groups. In the Europe region specifically, we have a women’s network that I co-lead called Womxn@Dalberg, which brings together women and non-binary people to share experiences at the workplace and provides a platform to collaboratively address common concerns. We organize an annual retreat and connection circles, with groups of 6-8 people that meet on a monthly basis to discuss a range of topics and build connections. I’ve truly enjoyed being a part of this network and the friendships that I’ve made through it. Beyond this, Dalberg also has a LBGTQ+ network, GLAD, and an initiative dedicated to promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) across the company, in our hiring practices, our work and people development. This range of initiatives demonstrates Dalberg’s commitment to diversity and is one of the reasons why I like working here. 

Learn more about joining the Dalberg Team on their website

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