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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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