During the Bright Berlin Business Course I got the chance to get an introduction to consulting, and more specifically to the BCG way of working. Throughout the business course I experienced ample development opportunities with coaching provided throughout. The case consisted of a diverse range of topics, from renewable energy, finance, and operations to digitalization and innovation. In addition, the business course offered me to put to the test a variety of skills such as my teamwork capabilities, analytical skills, thinking out-of-the-box and swift decision making. All in all, the BB Business Course was an amazing experience in which I got to meet incredibly interesting people and it ultimately led to my applying and starting as an associate at BCG.
So what happened after I applied to become an Associate? I had my second round interviews in June and started working just two weeks after I made my well thought-out decision to join BCG. During the welcome week I got to know a lot of people at the office and I got immersed into the BCG style of working with training modules ranging from presentation and research skills to HR policies, social impact, staffing and social activities. In addition to the training provided, the focus on my development so far has been amazing. I have been assigned a buddy, a mentor and a career development advisor. BCG’s effort in finding a good match definitely succeeded. In addition, in the essay I completed during the recruitment process, I added I would love to be staffed abroad as soon as possible, preferably the Middle East. Turns out BCG really listened as during this training week I also received the exciting news that my first case would be for an oil company in one of the Gulf monarchies!
After two weeks of preparing in the Netherlands it was time to head to the Middle East, where I worked in a truly international team with Dutch, Lithuanian, Greek and German colleagues. I worked on a case in which we had to set up a project management office. BCG did well to matching me with a client where I could have a big impact, as my previous experience in investment banking really was a tremendous help on this project!
This resulted in me receiving a lot of responsibility. I was responsible for the codification of investment processes and I created an investment banking engagement protocol from scratch. I not only got to attend meetings, but I also represented BCG at a client meeting myself! This was an incredibly exciting moment for me, as all of my meetings thus far had been with the project leader present. The client asked me some challenging questions, which I managed to answer in a professional manner – this was a big milestone for me! All in all, being on this case in the Middle East was an incredible experience in which I have learned a tremendous amount about consulting.
So what’s next? I am now in my last week on the project and will fly to Barcelona the upcoming week. There, I will be joining the September European Basic Skill Training that BCG provides for all associate starters. I am especially looking forward to meeting Associates from other European, Middle Eastern, African and South American offices and hearing about their experiences thus far. After this training I will join the private equity ring fence. I got very lucky with my start date, as there will be an outing the weekend after I start where the Amsterdam and London PE ring fence members will attend, for which I will fly to Spain, again! Finally, in October the entire Amsterdam office will go on Fall Outing, a yearly event in which the entire office goes to an unknown destination to escape the daily grind and to celebrate another successful year of the Amsterdam office. In conclusion, there are definitely plenty of international outings for me in the near future!
Reflecting on the last couple of weeks and what is yet to come I can truly say I am happy with my choice to switch from investment banking to consulting and more specifically with my choice of employer. BCG goes out of its way to make sure that my preferences (i.e. working internationally and on cases where my previous experience comes to fruition) are taken into consideration.
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