Karin K.
Senior Consultant

About Karin

Key Experiences

Fast moving - from consumer goods to logistics to strategy consulting
During my bachelor's and my master's degree, my biggest passion was the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry. After interning at a few of the big companies, however, I realized that while I still loved catering to people's everyday needs, I wanted to have a broader perspective for my first job. During one of my many internships along the way, I also spent some time in a logistics department of a multinational company. This is where I discovered my passion for logistics and the supply chain industry. I started out at DHL Consulting, the inhouse consultancy of Deutsche Post DHL Group located in Bonn, Germany. In my time there, I enjoyed a steep learning curve and built my initial "consulting toolkit" of hard and soft skills.
As with all good things, there eventually came the time to make a change. So after three years in inhouse consulting, I left to take on a new challenge: external consulting at Roland Berger. Though this was a big transition and sometimes tricky to adapt to at first, I truly believe that this was the right move for me. Every day, I am presented with new challenges and opportunities to grow – all of this in combination with a great set of people in a young and inspiring environment. I am quite passionate about what I do and am happy to have found a good home for this passion at Roland Berger.

Current Position

Senior Consultant
Being a Senior Consultant at Roland Berger essentially means that you are responsible for your own workstream. A workstream would include the various work packages required to deliver the agreed output, the appropriate planning as well as client management and interactions. In some cases, you might be responsible for the whole project (including various workstreams), often in close alignment with the project partner. Depending on the project size and requirements, there might also be a (Junior) Consultant whom you would steer and guide as part of the project delivery. Getting into the coaching and guidance of your less-senior colleagues is an important step in your development and a first step toward becoming a Project Manager as your next career stage.
In terms of project content, this varies greatly between projects – there is simply no repetition or "standard solution" at Roland Berger. While we do, of course, apply and continuously shape our company's methodologies, we always cater to the clients' specific needs and wants, adapting to the situation on the ground to develop the best solution possible. So far, I've had the opportunity to work in multiple, unrelated industries on various functional topics, ranging from performance improvement to new market entry scenarios. Being a Senior Consultant definitely includes a higher degree of responsibility toward the client and your work product. You own what you deliver, and for me, this means top-notch quality of documents presented in a client-friendly way.

Main Motivations

Developing the best solutions with the client
What I love the most (and sometimes not so much) about my job is the certain degree of unpredictability about what is to come the next day. Of course, you have your project plan and agreed project deliverables, but in the end, it is up to the client to shape your work day. Preferences and focus areas might change, approaches may need adaptation, new challenges could arise – and your every response to this needs to be in line with what is best for the client. I truly enjoy finding the best approach and the most appropriate solution for a problem together with the client. Sometimes this also means tough discussions and some convincing on my part to steer the client toward the joint goal. Quite simply, no two days are alike in consulting. Being able to deal with this ever-changing nature of clients' needs is the key to enjoying being a consultant.
Besides the great diversity of the projects as such, it is the people I work with that truly inspire me. We often work in multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary teams that offer broad exposure to new and different ways of thinking. Having the opportunity to learn from such a diverse group of people is the second-best thing in consulting. In the end, it is the combination of your project experience as such and the people you have the opportunity to work with that will truly foster development and inspiration.

Top Advice

Be the best you you can be
Looking back at about four years on the job, the key advice I would give is to be the best you that you can be.
By this I mean always stay true to yourself but be open to guidance, feedback and opportunities to develop yourself both personally and professionally. Your personality and your soft skills, alongside your professional skills, will be a key aspect of your job. This is especially true in the consulting business. We are service providers, we aim to cater to the client's needs and we are remembered both for what we do and what we say. Hence, to me it is just as important to work on your "hard" skills as on your "soft" skills. While it is naturally important to deliver an excellent Excel model or slide deck, it is also crucial to then transfer that knowledge to the client. To me, being the best you you can be means remaining open to self-development and not forgetting to train and shape yourself as much personally as you would for your professional or hard skills.

Greatest Achievement

Many small achievements add up to the greatest things
For me, there never was that single "achievement I am most proud of". I believe that all the small achievements and the little "wins" you have will accumulate and impact the final result that you might remember the most. So, when working on a project, it is quite important to me to also celebrate the small wins – the minor successes and achievements we have. It is the moment that counts, the inspiration and the motivation that taking a short break to celebrate what we've achieved can bring that, in my view, truly drives success.
So if I must cite a few examples, I would go with the days spent cooped up in a room with a client to develop the framework that months later would become the leading risk management tool in the company. Or the breakthrough in the Excel model for the business case that would build the basis for the client's go-to-market strategy. Or the completed parts of an analysis that would later help identify new potential for our client's business.

Roland Berger

Roland Berger is an independent company, solely owned by our Partners, who are responsible for overall corporate performance and business success. Founded in 1967, Roland Berger remains the only leading global consultancy firm with non-Anglo-Saxon roots. We are German by origin, European by nature and global by ambition, including a strong footprint in Asia and other geographies where we feel that we can truly make an impact.

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