From Consulting to Counselling

by Kamila Solihin

Why I Applied to Human Inc

In 2019, with just shy of 3 year’s worth of work experience since graduation, I was still at a loss of what I wanted to do in life. No one truly knows what they’re meant for, but for me, especially, I had too many interests and didn’t know how to narrow them down or what to make into a career. 

Coincidentally at the time, I had just joined an NGO where all the volunteers happened to be consultants. I wasn’t familiar with the responsibilities of a consultant back then, but seeing the skills that they brought into our NGO work certainly impressed and inspired me. 

I realised I had not yet developed those skills that can be useful in any part of life: critical thinking, creative problem solving, and impactful writing. So I looked up all Associate Consultant roles on Linkedin and came across a posting by Human Inc. 

Amongst the few other companies I applied to, Human Inc appealed to me the most because of what I saw on their website: a predominant trace of “humanness”, clearly telling me that humans are at the centre of this company. 

Something about seeing how “on-the-ground” they were with their clients and a common thread of each Human wanting to drive meaningful change in the world pulled me in.

True enough to their branding, their main offerings centred around human-centred design and innovation for organisations looking to create impact for their users. It wasn’t “traditional consulting” in a sense, but it was clear to me that the same set of skills (and maybe more) were needed.

I later learned that another key part of the solutions designed for their clients was delivering these solutions in a creative and impactful manner, which lies in their facilitation and hosting experience.

How It Prepared Me to Be a Counsellor

Fast forward a year and a half later, I gained all the skills that I initially walked in for and left with much, much more. 

I’m not sure if it’s coincidental, but the fact that Human Inc remained true to user-centricity, from its internal operations to client management and delivering solutions, confirmed within me that something was aligned – between what the company was and who I was. 

As I was involved in supporting my seniors to develop and execute solutions, I realised that I had a particular interest in the mind-shift component that we tried to embed into each one of our solutions – be it for Agile, Design Thinking, or Culture projects. 

I witnessed how powerful it can be when you drive individuals towards truly understanding the need to shift their mindset and behaviours if they want to experience more fulfilling changes. While our focus with Human Inc is confined to the territories of an organisation (ie. change in work culture, product design process, day-to-day work mindset), I learned that the same approach can be applied to life outside of work. 

Coupled with my personal interest in mental health and wellbeing, I figured it was only natural that I put myself in a position of being the bridge between an ideal change (a more fulfilling life for individuals) and the driver of that change (the individuals themselves) – a psychologist.

It was a eureka moment for me when I realised this, and so, I began taking the steps towards becoming a licensed counsellor in Malaysia. 

I am now halfway through the first semester of a Master of Professional Counselling programme and I can confidently say that almost all the skills I gathered while being in Human Inc have helped me to feel at ease while performing the duties of a counsellor.

These include:

  • Researching and combining different theories to devise a strategy that best addresses a client’s needs
  • Delivering that information in a digestible manner
  • Creating a welcoming space for clients to explore their present mindsets and behaviors, and collaborating to identify a gap between their ideal self
  • Facilitating key exercises to drive clients towards a mindset shift

Providing them with a set of tools/exercises/activities to help them be less and less dependent on therapists and more and more self-reliant to cope with their issues

As a therapist, the issues that I work with are different. They surround mental illnesses, self-esteem, relationship strains, trauma, grief, and many more. Ultimately, the skills needed to make all this happen are the same: being human-centred.  


It’s the most unexpected journey for me, but it is also the most aligned.


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