It’s all about preparation, says Kristian from Valcon

09/02/2021 Graduateships Min.

I wanted to work in consulting because I have always enjoyed the process of helping people and organizations to become better at what they are doing. I’m an ambitious person, so I wanted a steep learning curve. For my bachelor‘s, I studied Business Administration and Economics in Frankfurt. A lot of my study buddies had moved to Copenhagen, so I had some good feedback about the city and CBS, and decided to do my MSc in International Business at CBS. Having worked in Denmark for a while now I can confirm that I really like the work culture here.

 

➔  Hiring!  Valcon are looking for graduate consultants. Click here to see more details about their programme.

 

What attracted you to Valcon and their graduate programme?

 

One of my friends had already worked at Valcon and I got an inside perspective. On top, I also went to career fairs and talked to other people from the firm. I managed to land different offers – but in the end, I decided to go with Valcon. 

 

What I liked about the graduate programme was the structured approach – I got to see a lot of things in different departments. Valcon has three graduate modules that provide a lot of training. Besides that, I have received a lot of different training but this is common in consulting. 

 

There is also a nice work-life balance that functions on flexibility and trust. You need to deliver, but then you have your freedom. You get to have a life, but sometimes there are of course busy periods.

What does a typical day look like?

 

When I’m on a project, there are a lot of team calls in these COVID times, both with my internal team and the client. There is a lot of teamwork. Individually, I then work on the data, creating slides, conducting interviews… Besides that I am also involved in many internal activities such as driving the marketing activities in the team I’m in and much more. When I’m not on a project, I focus on working on proposals or am more involved in internal tasks.

 

During Covid, I have still had a lot of interaction with clients and I actually think that it has worked out quite well virtually.  Of course, there are situations where you would want to be in the same room, but we have managed to leverage digital tools to the extent that there is no real difference.

 

What has been the most exciting project you have worked on so far?

 

It was a customer segmentation project with an industrial client, doing market analysis and customer interviews. I had the job for a year and enjoyed the amount of face time I had with the client. I also got the opportunity to travel a lot to China, Greece, and South Korea. I ended up spending my birthday in Seoul with the project manager and partner – that was an unforgettable experience. 

I was very surprised by how flat the work culture is in Denmark. You can make jokes with your manager which you wouldn’t be able to do in Germany where I’m from
Kristian, Valcon Consultant

What has been the biggest challenge as a graduate?

 

I started in the programme and after a few weeks, I was thrown on a project with a client. I had received a bit of training but was still new in the consulting world. It was very hands-on learning – very high responsibility very early on. It was very challenging and frustrating; in some periods I had no clue what I was doing, but in the end, we figured it out. But I learned a lot.

 

What has been a thing that has surprised you about the programme?

 

I thought that consulting was just a group of people who think they are very smart and a bit arrogant. But throughout the programme, I really started to love them – they are very social and very humble people. 

 

I was very surprised by how flat the work culture is in Denmark. You can make jokes with your manager which you wouldn’t be able to do in Germany where I’m from. When I talk to my friends back in Germany, they are all surprised about how different the working cultures are.

Why do you think you made it all the way through?

 

You need to know why you want to work for Valcon, and why you want to do consulting. Be firm and be who you are. 

 

Now, I do recruiting as well. If I compare myself with the people that don’t make it, then it’s often about preparation. I reached out to different people and asked how to prepare best – and then prepared like hell.

 

The first round is a personal fit interview about motivation and relevant experience including a classical cognitive test and a short consulting case. In the second round, you have six hours with a laptop and lots of material in a room and will be asked to prepare a real case presentation followed by a Q&A.

 

Best advice for applicants

 

Just do your homework. Be aware of why you would like to work in consulting and why for Valcon. Go over five or ten cases and prepare one or two six-hour case studies. 

 

➔  Hiring!  Valcon are looking for graduate consultants. Click here to see more details about their programme.