christopher luIn the Leadership Academy, our goal is to prepare engineering students to be successful for whatever life brings them after graduation. It’s always fun to catch up with former Leadership Academy students who are out doing interesting things in the world, and recently, we were able to catch up with Christopher Lu, manufacturing engineering ’18, who now works as a junior consultant intern with Porsche Consulting in their new Silicon Valley office. Read more about Christopher’s experiences post-graduation, what lessons he took with him from the Leadership Academy, and his advice for current engineering students!

How he got involved in the Leadership Academy

“I got to pick up a minor in leadership and that’s where I got to understand how important relationships are and to see that the soft skills are necessary in business. With regard to that, I joined several different programs, including Leadership Academy, which has been tremendously helpful and has nurtured me greatly….it really pushed the passion I have for leadership and what it takes to be a good individual, essentially.”

His favorite aspects of the Leadership Academy

“Learning about anything related to relationships and networking. That was something that I didn’t really think was important. I thought it was like cheating in a sense, because you are technically building the emotional side of things and then you leverage that in a way that would be to your advantage. You come to realize why people do that.”

“I would also say with anything that had to deal with personal development, that helped me a lot, because it made me reflect a lot. I think that was one thing I didn’t spend enough time growing up. When I got into [the Leadership Academy], that’s when I realized that every action you do and every decision you make is based on you. If you want to improve on those things, it’s best to reflect on those things, and just because you did something previously, it doesn’t define you.”

What his role is like at Porsche Consulting

“My main job there is to support the development of the office and the team. That can include anything from finding new artwork and special events, and I also support the team with whatever special projects they are on. On the technical side of things, I do a lot more market research. I’ve noticed that a lot of my work tends to be more on the business side of things, and so there’s a lot of market research I do. Sometimes my team members will ask me for my input on how we can organize strategies, and I will work with them on different ways of presenting that information. I’m also currently working with a Porsche consultant creating a view on the autonomous vehicle value chain stack.”

How he is working on developing himself professionally at Porsche Consulting

“One thing I have tried to work on a little bit more is to include my input into things. I do understand that I am an intern. I am there to soak up different skills in a sense, but I also have to remember that I got hired because they saw something in me, and therefore whatever input I have is also valuable. I know that I have the work ethic, I work hard, and I have the knowledge to deliver great products. When it comes to the conversation aspect of it, I need to be more involved, and that’s something I’m working on for sure.

“Because I got to be immersed in a lot of the business decisions and strategies, I came to realize that there’s a big knowledge gap I have with business in general. As an engineer, you get to learn about the manufacturing sector or design sector, but there’s a lot more to it.”

Lessons he learned in the Leadership Academy that have helped him personally and professionally

"Journaling! I love to journal. I think journaling is a big thing because you need to spend time reflecting on what’s been going on. That was something that I believe was emphasized in a John Maxwell Live2Lead session. We talked about the importance of reflecting on your actions.”

What advice he would give to students who are in the Leadership Academy, or new to it

"Join Leadership Academy, and get a mentor. I think [mentoring] is a really big factor because they have more life experience and there will be things that they see, and to have multiple mentors because you’re not going to find a person that’s going to be exactly like you who is 20 years older than you. You’re going to find different aspects of your life that you appreciate in other people.”

How the Leadership Academy impacted him

"One thing that I really appreciate me is that it taught me the importance of giving back. The program nurtured me, so I wanted to give back, and that’s when I became a student ambassador in engineering. From there I got to be more involved with the program, and I got to learn that life isn’t just you. Instead, you work toward being useful. In life it’s important to be happy, but also to be useful and be part of something bigger than yourself."


Christopher Lu is a junior consultant intern with Porsche Consulting in Belmont, CA. Click here to learn more about Porsche Consulting