Why did you choose to do an internship at EY-Parthenon?
For me it was a unique combination of three factors: the people, the work and the location. I got a good impression of the company when attending events on campus and this impression was further reinforced during my interview process with EY-Parthenon. The people were very switched on and clearly driven, but also interested in me as a person and not too formal. These were good signs and I’m glad they proved true when I really got to know everyone during my internship!
Their expertise area within consulting intrigued me too. I have always had an affinity for retail having also completed an internship in FMCG during my studies. I felt like EY-Parthenon would be a great place to learn a lot about these related industries in a short space of time. Also, EY-Parthenon are know for their work in due diligence, this was something new to me that I was curious to learn more about.
Lastly, going into a gap year between my bachelors and masters, I wanted to stay in Rotterdam to still be close to some of my friends in Rotterdam. EY-Parthenon, unlike the other recognised strategy consultancies, is based in Rotterdam, which meant it was just a short cycle along the lovely Maas to get to work every morning!
How did you experience the corporate culture?
The people are interested in the projects everyone is working on, but also in one another’s personal hobbies. This definitely makes your working day more interesting and you feel like you get to know one another properly. Besides this, the people are obviously very switched on; you can learn a lot from them and they are always willing to help you out. Furthermore, EY-Parthenon, really also paid attention to the little details and looks after you well. The lovely ladies at reception always welcome you with a smile and ensure we have a nice breakfast waiting to get the day started, the Friday “vrijmibo”, project team dinner, company events, to name just a few, are also times were you find this attention to detail again.
What did you like the most about the internship?
That’s a difficult one so I’ll give it from two perspectives:
For me the projects were the most fun aspect to the working day. I had the chance to be part of a team of five looking at a firm in the food sector and evaluating its prospects from a commercial perspective for a private equity party. Working closely as a team you pick up a lot of skills and insights, not only from your specific work stream, but also from the pieces your other team members are working on. Besides this, I really liked the responsibility and relevance of work you get assigned, especially considering you are an intern. For example, I was also part of a project for a large Dutch retailer. Here, I got to see my slides presented to the CEO. This was a very rewarding feeling and definitely a highlight.
I also got the chance to take part in the company’s yearly ski trip – this year to the lovely Austrian Alps. It was a great chance to get to know my colleagues and was my first time on the ski slopes, but they made sure I wasn’t left behind. The dinner, drinks and evening activities were also a great chance to get to speak to those that I hadn’t had a chance to chat to during the day.
What is the most important thing you have learned?
A pragmatic and hypothesis driven approach to problem solving would be the best way to sum it up I think. You really have to think critically and also about your assumptions – if you don’t, your supervisor will call you out for it! Next to this the teamwork aspect is also key. Projects can be quite time constrained and sometimes you have to lean on one another for a helping hand, recognising this and being proactive in communication is definitely a skill I noticed in my colleagues and want to develop further myself.
What would you like to say to students who orient themselves on an internship in strategy consulting?
Do it! As said above, it is a great learning opportunity in a high paced environment. Don’t look any further!
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