Colleague Interview

A conversation with Pui Mun Shum, Lead Consultant, Oceania

Pui Mun Shum is a Lead Consultant in the Strategy, Development and Optimisation team. We sat down to talk about her career journey so far.

What is your role at HKA?

I am a Lead Consultant in the Strategy Development and Optimisation team. I focus on advisory and development work such as strategic reviews and implementation plans.

What is your academic and business background?

My background is mainly across the transport sector, but this has shifted to more water sector clients in the last year or so.

I’m a qualified engineer, having studied civil engineering with an environmental engineering minor in Singapore. Why did I become an engineer? Well, by deduction – really. I loved physics, and that’s all engineering so it just made sense.

After uni, I worked at an engineering firm doing civil and structural design on maritime infrastructure, jetties, and hospitals. It was a small but dynamic team, so I got experience in project and client management which sparked my interest in project delivery.

I was keen to experience a different country, so I applied to Australia as I had visited there on holidays in the past. I got a job at the Department of Transport in Perth as a project engineer, planning and delivering recreational boating facilities on behalf of the State.

I spent a few years in Perth, travelling up and down the coast visiting client sites as a Project Delivery Superintendent for civil and infrastructure projects.

Melbourne was always my goal though, and I have family there, so I made a move to join Public Transport Victoria, which is now the Department of Transport. The next iteration of my project management career was planning and developing light rail and trams.

At this point, I received my Charted Engineer qualification. I also decided I wanted a change from day in, day out delivery. So I moved to a consulting firm doing strategic reviews in the asset management practice. I was drawn to the assets practice because there is no blanket approach to making assets work harder; it’s more bespoke, making every project different. In July 2021, I joined HKA to help grow the asset management offering and further expand my consulting repertoire.

What sparked your interest in infrastructure?

My Dad was an engineer, and I’ve always been a very logical, systematic person. Infrastructure is very tangible, and the outcomes are more real because it’s everywhere. Assets are adjacent to that.

What do you love about what you do?

The people are what make work enjoyable. Projects can be challenging or easy, but it’s who you work with. Even after moving on from previous employers, I still keep in touch with former colleagues.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about providing sustainable solutions for clients. Working with clients to develop outcomes that work for the client and one that they’re ready to roll with sustainably gives a sense of satisfaction. A report or framework that just gathers dust on the shelf just doesn’t cut it for me. I want to make a more sustained impact.

I’m also passionate about music. I’m learning the piano and play the guitar. I find it relaxing.

What attracted you to HKA?

The potential to make a mark at HKA stood out to me. There is a relatively flat structure and I can carve a niche for myself doing something I enjoy.

What is something about you that might surprise people?

I’ve been involved with an improv group in Melbourne for a while. Surprising why? My deadpan demeanour rarely gives anything away!

In improv, you have to think on your feet and create scenarios as part of a group on stage in front of an audience. It’s fun but scary. But it also helps build presentation skills and makes you more confident to answer questions without hesitation.

If you want to find out more about joining HKA, contact to arrange a confidential discussion or visit


This publication presents the views, thoughts or opinions of the author and not necessarily those of HKA. Whilst we take every care to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of publication, the content is not intended to deal with all aspects of the subject referred to, should not be relied upon and does not constitute advice of any kind. This publication is protected by copyright © 2022 HKA Global Ltd.


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