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Strategy Bites Podcast

Anika Stokes’ Strategy Bites Podcast is the perfect destination for those looking to up their strategic game. Join Anika, a seasoned strategist recruiter, and thought leader, as she dives into the world of business strategy with various industry experts. Get ready to gain invaluable insight on the latest trends in the business world and learn how to take your strategy skills to the next level with each episode offering bite-sized nuggets of wisdom. The advice given by her guests ensures you’ll have the key career tips necessary for success in the field.  
Strategy Bites Podcast is the ultimate resource for ambitious management consultants and strategy professionals wanting to catapult their career. With exclusive interviews featuring top management strategists from the likes of McKinsey, Bain, and BCG, entrepreneurs, and visionaries who have successfully navigated the ever-changing business landscape – this podcast delivers practical tips and innovative techniques that can be applied to your own professional journey.  
Each episode also includes valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t when going through their careers in and out of management consulting.  
Whether you’re a seasoned executive or just starting out on your professional path, Strategy Bites will provide you with all the insights necessary your professional path, Strategy Bites will provide you with all the insights necessary to succeed to step into success. 
Listen today and see what you can unlock! 

S5 EP2 Leah Balter - CTO / CIO of Bunnings

Leah Balter has most recently been the Chief Transformation Officer and CIO at Bunnings. Having worked her way up through McKinsey to Associate Principal level, Leah left McKinsey to pursue a career in Industry when she became pregnant.

Leah talks about her journey, being a mum of 4 whilst holding down a C-Suite role, and she gives her best advice to the community from whence she came on how to think about their careers in Strategy and beyond.

S5 EP1 Olya Rudenko - CEO of Cars24

Olya Rudenko is currently the CEO of Cars24. Born and raised in Russia, she vowed to make a better life for herself in Australia.

Olya is a McKinsey Alumni with Private Equity background prior to joining Management Consulting and has now led teams in multiple tech firms across Australia. She talks about how to navigate your career should you want to go through the tech and startup space. 

S4 EP10 Mailys Pauletto - Contract Consultant, Former Roland Berger Consultant

Mailys Pauletto, ex Roland Berger consultant, has purposefully designed her current lifestyle and currently, she has a dual career.

Mailys is a contract or interim Strategy consultant which allows her to also follow her passion as a holistic breathwork coach and yogi, running retreats and classes to teach others about her practice.

Mailys talks to me about the pros and cons of being a contract management consultant vs having a corporate career or career in management consulting, as she has now experienced all three pathways.

S4 EP9 Wendy Mackay - Managing Director of Pollination

Wendy is a Managing Director of Pollination and she was previously a Managing Director and Partner in BCG’s Sydney office.  At BCG, Wendy worked in Financial Services & Insurance and also led BCG’s Social Impact, Climate and Sustainability work in Australia and New Zealand.

Wendy talks to me about working in ESG and what types of projects she was doing at BCG and now at Pollination. She has always been passionate about working on Social Impact, Climate and Sustainability projects and gives some great advice to other consultants wanting to focus their careers in this space.

S4 EP8 Aliza Knox - Senior Advisor BCG, Best Selling Author "Don't quit your day job"

Aliza Knox was the first Female partner at BCG in Asia and has been dubbed a “kick-ass woman slaying the world of tech”.

Aliza was also listed as a Top 100 Women in Tech (Singapore, 2021), has been named the IT Woman of the Year (Asia, 2020), honored as the AWA Singapore International Business Woman of the Year (2015), elected to Chief Executive Women (Australia, 2016) and featured in the book Women on Board—Making a Real Difference.

Aliza speaks to me about her amazing career journey from BCG to Tech and now to her roles on multiple boards. We talk about mentorship, women in leadership, having a career whilst having a family, and Aliza gives some amazing advice to other up and coming, driven consultants.

Aliza is also a best selling Author and her book “ Don’t quit your day job” was written as a way to mentor the masses.


S4 EP7 Anna Podolsky - CEO and Founder of Lyka

Anika speaks to Anna about her decision to leave Bain in order to found Start-up sensation Lyka, which has gone from strength to strength and is now a leading supplier of human grade pet food in Australia. They discuss the challenges of growing a business at speed and the highs and lows of being a start-up founder. This is a must listen to for any consultant who has an idea for a business but are yet to act on it.


S4 EP6 Milosh Milisavljevic - Chief Customer officer of Medibank

Milosh Milisavljevic, Chief Customer Officer at Medibank and McKinsey alumni has been a go to mentor to many an ex consultant, helping them work through the trade-offs and options of moving from consulting into corporates, and then growing and developing in a corporate role once they make the move. We discuss what the high achievers in corporates who came from consulting did differently. Milosh gives some solid advice for those hoping to thrive in a corporate environment and shares some of the best advice he has been given over the years.


S4 EP5 Sophie Hayek - CEO of PropHero & Roland Berger Alumni

Sophie Hayek, CEO of PropHero and Roland Berger Alumni talks to me about her experience moving from France to Australia to join Woolies Group Strategy, why she moved to NBN, and what she feels were the skills that helped her climb the ladder in a Corporate.

We discuss her motivations to move into a Tech- Start-Up and the skills necessary to be a CEO of a Scale-Up. She gives some great advice to management consultants thinking about their careers in both corporates and start-ups.

S4 EP4 Asha Walsh - Associate Partner of Oaktree Talent | Market Update and Advice for mid-level Strategy candidates

In this episode I am joined by my esteemed colleague Asha Walsh who specialises in recruiting roles at Manager to Head of level roles in Strategy. We discuss the market and what we are encountering currently in our sector. Asha also gives some excellent advice to any junior to mid-level strategy candidates considering a job search.

S4 EP3 Steve Duke - Host of Two Roads Podcast

In this episode, I chat with Steve Duke, who left McKinsey at the Consultant level to help grow two Unicorns at a young age. He shares his story of transitioning from consulting to tech startup life. After being let go from the last start-up Steve went on a journey of personal discovery and talks about his quest for career enlightenment. This led him to become a fellow podcaster, he is currently the Host of the podcast Two Roads aimed at helping people find meaning in their work and life. In this episode, we exchange learnings from our interviews with our guests on this topic.

S4 EP2 Katrina Barry - CEO, Me&U

In this episode, Katrina shares her personal journey and life experiences, going from a country girl in New Zealand to McKinsey and on to exciting roles in a variety of sectors from Finance to Fitness, Travel to Tech. She candidly discusses the challenges she has faced on her journey as well as her victories.

Katrina shares how she has thought about the career decisions she has made, and shares the best advice she has been given along the way, as well as lots of hints and tips for aspiring consultants regarding how to make decisions on the opportunities that come their way.

S4 EP1 Victor Cheng - CEO, CaseInterview.com

Victors’ 2nd appearance on the podcast! In this episode, we deep dive into : The importance of case interview prep, How to be a good case interviewer to attract the best candidates, The importance of humility, How to harness unshakable self-esteem and more….

S3 EP8 Joshua Taylor - VP Strategy & Insights, PepsiCo North America

Ex BCG Principal Josh Taylor has worked and lived all over the world. He is an Aussie who has settled in Dallas (for now)! He shares his experience of traveling with BCG to different continents and gives his best advice to those considering an international career now that travel is back on the cards.

S3 EP7 Stuart Fitzroy - MD, APAC Rokt

Tech Unicorn Rokt was Sydney-founded and is now  New York-headquartered. Rokt closed the largest single venture raise in Australian history, securing a $2.75 billion valuation from a US$325 million (AUD$458 million) Series E funding round led by Tiger Global. Stuart joined Rokt in the early stages and has grown with the business.

Both Stuart and Founder Bruce Buchanan are ex-BCG consultants.

Stuart chats to me about his journey and gives some great advice about how to think about if a Start-Up is the right option for your career.

S3 EP6 Lucy Wark - Founder of Normal

In this episode I talk about: The world of SexTech, How Lucy decided to leave McKinsey with less than 2 years under her belt to found a start-up, The highs and lows of being a young founder in an early stage start up, Lucy’s focus on ensuring she founded a socially conscious start-up, The education programs Normal is driving, Some of the best advice Lucy can give to any consultant wondering if this path is for them.

S3 EP5 Adam Jacobs - Co-Founder of Iconic and Hatch

In this episode, Adam shares his journey with me and how he went from a Senior Associate at BCG to an overnight Aussie Start-Up legend.

He shares tips and advice for budding entrepreneurs and management consultants who are looking for a career beyond consulting.

S3 EP4 Stephanie Knight - Chief Learning Officer Management Consultee

Stephanie Knight is an ex McKinsey consultant who now works at Management Consulted, a business founded to specifically help budding strategists prepare and ace the case interview. We speak about the different types of case interview, what interviewers are looking for and how one would prepare for a case interview at all stages of their career. This is a must listen to for any candidate interviewing for a consulting firm or any strategy role

S3 EP3 Ilan Israelstam - Co-founder and COO of Betashares

Ilan Israelstam, Co-Founder and COO of Betashares, a leading manager of ETF’s in Australia joins me in this next episode. Ilan is a natural-born entrepreneur and after spending 5.5 years with BCG in Sydney and New York, he set up business both here in Australia and in China. He talks about the mindset and skills needed to be a successful start-up business owner and entrepreneur and how consultants might want to think about their options beyond consulting if being an entrepreneur excites them.

S3 EP2 Paul Mullins - Board Member at Investigo

Paul joins me from the UK to discuss all the trends they are witnessing in the strategy & consulting market in the UK, Europe and the US. We touch on salaries, what roles are in demand, how Australian market experience is viewed off-shore, and Paul’s advice to anyone wanting to do a stint abroad.

S3 EP1 Tennealle O'Shannessy - CEO at Adore Beauty

Tennealle, who was recently named #1 in this year’s Inside Retail Australia Top 50 People in E-commerce, kindly agreed to talk to me about her journey. Going from Law and Logistics, through consulting at Kearney, various line roles in Seek, to becoming an award-winning CEO. We discuss her recommendations to anyone wanting to obtain the top job in an ASX listed business, how to view and cope with the challenges that present themselves along the way, and she shares some great advice for the up and coming management consultant.

S2 EP10 Leah Weckert - CFO at Coles

In this episode Leah Weckert, CFO at Coles and McKinsey Alumni, speaks openly to me about her journey. We discuss her time at McKinsey, the different roles she has held at Coles on her way to the top, and how she juggles being on the ELT of an ASX100 business, being a mum to 2, and maintaining her identity, ensuring she makes time for herself. Leah is authentic and inspiring and gives some great advice, do not miss it!

S2 EP9 Liana Downey - Founder, Common Ground on Climate Change

In this episode, Liana shares her journey from her 10 years at McKinsey reaching AP level, to embarking on a very successful career in the not-for-profit sector both here and in New York.

Most recently Liana has started a is leading a national project called Common Ground on Climate, tackling the all-important topic of climate change. Liana gives advice to anyone looking to move into this sector and currently has opportunities for those looking to move into the non-profit sector on a volunteer or pro bono basis.

S2 EP8 Lili Sussman - Chief Strategy Officer, Wisr

In this episode, I talk to Lili, an academic and ex top tier management consultant, about her fascinating journey and how a freak accident changed her whole perspective on her career, and how she lived her life. This life-changing incident drove her to follow her heart and values to obtain a strategic purpose driven role in FinTech. We explore the differences in working for a nimble FinTech and a big corporate and how she went about finding a purpose driven role.

S2 EP7 Tim Moore & Jake Maisey - Director, Dorado Capital

Tim Moore and Jake Maisey from Dorado Capital who are entrenched in the world of search funds, a new concept here in Australia, will certainly appeal to the strategy and consulting community. Essentially it could be the fastest way an MBA grad can make CEO of an established business. All you need is Smarts & a bit of Hustle.

S2 EP6 Amanda Price - Partner in Charge for Ventures, KPMG

In this episode, Amanda Price who is the Partner in Charge of High Growth Ventures, has worked in and with start-ups for over 20 years in both Australia and the US. She believes very strongly in the correlation between the mental and physical health of the Founder and the performance of the start-up.

S2 EP5 Victor Cheng - Notorious MBB Case Interview Coach & Author

In this episode, Victor, the legendary case interview prep coach, joins me to discuss how he got to become the go-to for anything and everything to do with Case prep.

Victor discusses with me his journey, case interview trends, hints and tips, and much more. Not to be missed.

S2 EP4 Felix Danzinger - MD of HDPartners

In this episode, Felix Danziger, the Managing Director of HD Partners, joins me to discuss his journey, why he chose private equity as a career beyond consulting at BCG, the best parts of his role, and why others may want to consider continuing their careers in this space.

Felix is my very first podcast guest from the world of Private Equity, he specialises in investing in consumer businesses and brands.

S2 EP3 Anthony Millet - Global Partner, Antler

This episode will appeal to anyone who has ever had a great idea for a business but not acted on it or has aspired to become an entrepreneur or business founder. Anthony speaks candidly about what it takes to make it in the competitive world of start-up founders and what skills and attributes are most common in those that make it. For more information on their program visit antler.co

S2 EP2 John Lydon - Former Mckinsey Partner

In this episode, John joins me to discuss his most exciting projects, biggest learnings and most memorable points in his career. A career that has taken him to senior roles in McKinsey ANZ. He also discusses with me his passion for working with CEO’s and corporates to create increased shareholder value whilst improving broader societal value at the same time.

S2 EP1 Fiona Hayes-St.Claire - Chief Strategy Officer, QBE

In this episode Fiona speaks to be about her personal journey to get to Partner, being a consultant and a Mum, and her transition from consulting to a big role in corporate. She highlights the skills consultants should harness to be successful outside of consulting.

S1 EP9 Ryan Kolln - VP Strategy & Corporate Development, Appen

In this episode, Ryan gives an insight into how he went from an Engineer to BCG, to a major corporate only to land in the AI Tech firm Appen. He highlights the differences between working in an ASX-listed business such as Telstra and a more ambiguous tech environment like Appen and what mindset you need to work in the world of tech startups.

S1 EP8 Joao Segorbe - Executive GM Strategy & Corporate Development, AGL

In this episode, Joao talks to me about being a global strategy expert in the Energy sector and the increasing focus on clean and renewable energy. He talks about his journey rising through the ranks at McKinsey and transitioning, at Partner level, to an executive role in a corporate and the differences he has observed in influcing with a McKinsey Partner hat vs an Executive hat.

S1 EP7 Rob Marcolina - Senior Executive, Qantas

In this episode, Rob Marcolina, ex Bain Partner and Senior Executive in charge of Strategy, Technology & People, talks to me about how he, and the leadership team at Qantas have managed through the Covid situation, the hardest part of his role and the light at the end of the tunnel. He discusses his personal journey and gives tips on what makes consultants great in leadership roles. 

S1 EP6 Diane Smith-Gander AO - Ex Partner, McKinsey

In this episode, I am joined by Diane Smith-Gander AO, ex Partner from McKinsey, prominent business executive, company director, and advocate for gender equality. Diane talks to me about her journey from consulting to industry and back again, the ups and downs of her career and gives some great advice to the consulting community.

S1 EP5 Gill McLaren - Founder, Syntegrate Consulting

In this episode, I speak to Gill about going from a Head of Strategy role to a GM role for Coca Cola, and quitting her 30-year corporate career to dedicate her life to designing a strategy for living your best life. 

S1 EP4 Jamie Twiss - Chief Strategy Officer, Westpac

In this episode, I talk to Jamie about his journey from McKinsey into the corporate world, wearing hats in both senior influencer roles and in a line role with large P&N responsibility. We discuss his experiences of New York vs Sydney and what it takes to stand out and make it to the top jobs.

S1 EP3 Jean Hayden - Strategy & Operations Director, Google Cloud

In this episode, I talk to Jean about… What she looks for in candidates when hiring into Google. Her advice to consultants who really want to work in the tech space. Living and working as an Australian abroad, in San Francisco and her journey to date.

S1 EP2 Deanne Stewart - CEO, Aware Super

Deanne Stewart talks about her journey as a conscious leader, the skills to harness post-consulting to reach a senior leadership role, and gives some great advice for women looking to reach to the top. 

S1 EP1 Toby Norton-Smith - Managing Director, X15 Ventures

In this episode I talk to Toby Norton-Smith, MD of X15, CBA’s venture building arm, about his experience of life post McKinsey,  and what skills he has most found valuable in securing a role with P&L responsibility and in the enviable ventures space. 

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