Consultancy Days Tilburg; a review
Last November, the Consultancy Days Tilburg took place. One of the participants, Lauri Tarkiainen, wrote a review about his experiences during the event.
The Consultancy Days were organized on November 16, 17 and 18 by Asset|International Business & Management and Asset|Strategy & Logistics. The three-day event consisted of eight consulting companies and the main partners were Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company and Willis Towers Watson. The activities of the event were divided into company presentations, workshops & cases, business lunches & individual conversations and network drinks. Some of the activities were in English and most in Dutch. Several events, mainly the cases and individual conversations had CV-based selections.
Since I am an international student with a limited knowledge of Dutch, I focused on English-speaking activities. I attended a lecture by Bain & Company on Wednesday and two activities by Oliver Wyman, a case in the morning and an individual conversation in the afternoon. The lecture by Bain was open-for-all, but the activities by Oliver Wyman were CV-based, so I was happy to be selected for those opportunities.
A Look into the MBB World
Bain & Company by revenue is the smallest of the so-called MBB companies (McKinsey, BCG, Bain), but it certainly is a well-known and significant management consulting company. I read that Bain has a focus on private equity companies, the career path consists of a possibility to pursue personal aspects and that the company is smaller than the other two MBB companies yet recently growing strong. I also read that from the MBB companies, with Bain you are least likely to travel much and that the company conducts consulting with a tailored, personal model.
The lecture was in fact a Q&A session and I was curious to hear answers to the questions that dealt with many common questions about management consulting, especially related to an MBB company. What I read about their focus on private equity companies and possibilities of personal development happened to be true, but I was surprised to hear that the presenters had traveled more than I expected. There were six presenters representing different roles within the company, and I think that the model of having a Q&A session was an interesting approach to the presentation. Nonetheless, I am somewhat sure that the presentation slides that they did not use consisted of mainly similar topics that they talked about, but the concept of questions and answers gave the lecture a more personal touch.
An Interesting Underdog, Oliver Wyman
The last day of the event was very interesting for me, since I had the chance to participate both in the case and the individual conversations with Oliver Wyman. I did not know the particular company before the event, so I was very curious to learn about it. I had conducted some simple research about the company and I looked forward to participate in their activities.
The case began with a brief introduction of their representatives and the company, after which we were divided into groups and got started with the case. In the case we had to give investment advice in a particular setting with different kinds of data. In the end, the four teams presented their ideas and received feedback and questions from the representatives. The case was slightly different than I had expected, but certainly an interesting chance to test your problem-solving and team-working skills. After the case we had a ‘brutally honest’ Q&A session, as the presenters described it. Given the fact that the event was on the last day of the program and we had already heard relatively similar stories from different companies, it was a nice and sincere move from Oliver Wyman to encourage us to ask the actual questions we had in mind.
After the lunch, where I had a chance to talk to one of the representatives, a few of us were invited to individual conversations. The conversations consisted of two different talks with several representatives. The conversations were very interesting and somewhat surprising, since I got to answer very personal questions about my career preferences and plans, and obviously I had the possibility to ask them about various topics. Perhaps due to the underdog aspect that the representatives themselves mentioned, I had a feeling of honest and true two-way conversations during the afternoon.
The Main Takeaway
The Consultancy Days, from my perspective, were an interesting opportunity to get a personal touch with different consulting companies. My experience during the event was limited to two companies, but what I had already noticed by checking promotional materials of the consulting companies and other sources, the consulting companies have many similarities, especially in general promotion. Despite the similarities, or perhaps exactly because of them, the possibility to have personal conversations and hands-on experience with cases was a good and honest way to acquire more information. I am happy to have found some answers and especially new questions to consider in order to dig deeper into the curious and interesting world of consulting.
This article is written by Lauri Tarkiainen, also possible to read on the blog ChannelsOnline from Asset|Strategy & Logistics.
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