Mette from PA Consulting: “You are the one driving your own career forward”

09/02/2021 Graduateships Min.

I started out studying a BSc. in Business Administration and Sociology from Copenhagen Business School and then decided to pursue two Master’s degrees at the same time. I continued at CBS with MSc. in Strategic Market Creation and received CEMS MSc. in International Management from the University of St. Gallen. Doing two Master’s degrees at the same time is fine as long as you are self-disciplined and prioritise your time right. I have also had different part time student roles throughout my studies – and after graduating I managed to land a role at PA Consulting as a Graduate Analyst.

 

➔  Hiring!  PA Consulting leder efter graduates lige nu. Se her for flere detaljer omkring deres graduate analyst program

 

What attracted you to the company and their graduate programme?

I heard much about PA Consulting before I applied. I attended an event called Women in Consulting where current PA consultants who explained what it was like working in consulting. I got an amazing vibe from them. There is so much prejudice about the industry, but that wasn’t true at all at PA Consulting. It’s very social and everyone is ambitious – but in a collaborative way.

I kept the conversation with PA Consulting going after the event and then they reached out to me when it was time to apply for the graduate role. I remember feeling that it would be a great place to work. I can second this now that I’m working here full time.

What does a typical day look like?

It differs so much depending on the projects you are on and the team you are in. I joined a team focused on “Operating Model Capability”, but consultants are divided into approximately ten capabilities. Once you enter PA you are aligned to one of these teams based on your skills and availability, but as you get more experience inside PA you are able to move around and develop new expertise. You can say what you are passionate about and give that a go. You are not forced to be a generalist as in some other consultancies; you can shape your path from day one.

Some of my core tasks are focused around analysis, research, interviews, and preparing materials. In general, my role is very focused around collecting and producing analysis – which is common when you start in consulting. Of course, then there are also a lot of meetings, workshops, and presentations that you need to design, produce, and execute. 

 

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

Two projects come to my mind. I will go with the one that I did in the summer. It was a project that came into existence because of COVID-19. Due to the new circumstances, the client was looking to develop digital capabilities to conduct workshops and other services virtually.

I was able to deliver a successful project and help my client implement digital acumen in their organization. I enjoyed having a lot of responsibility during the project and having flexibility while delivering it. 

It meant that I was thrown into the deep end a little, but the project allowed me to learn so much. This is a very positive aspect of consulting – you learn a lot in every project. You get to go really deep really fast and get a lot of expertise.

You are the one who is driving your career forward which is cool but also requires you to step up and be your own source of energy.
Mette Pallesen, Graduate Analyst

What has been the biggest challenge as a graduate?

Ultimately you are responsible for your own success. I think that’s important to bear in mind. This can be difficult when you are new to a company and it might be your first full-time role. You need to push yourself forward to get projects and invite people for coffee chats to establish your network in the company. Proactivity is a very important skill and something I would encourage all graduates to apply when they start. 

You are the one who is driving your career forward which is cool but also requires you to step up and be your own source of energy. 

 

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

It’s a very social workplace with a lot of after-work dinners and drinks. It feels a bit like a family, like a close community where everyone is really social and gets together. 

Another common question is regarding the work hours. I think it depends on the consultancy you enter, but in PA Consulting, long working hours are not the standard. You are not appraised for working more hours. It’s about doing your work smart. Partners care about you getting the work done, not how long you work.

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

There are two things. Of course, it’s my competencies – they have to be in place. Without them, you can’t join. The second part which is also very important is that there is a match between your own values and the ones we have at PA Consulting. There need to be some kind of alignment between the values and the vision that PA Consulting has set forth. 

 

Best advice for applicants

Reach out to people who work for PA Consulting. We are all open for coffee chats – so just reach out to find out if this is a place you want to work at. If you are a smart, innovative person, then I believe it would be a match. When applying, make sure to be clear on why you want to work at PA. 

Any potential applicants feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. And overall advice – find an inspiring place to work!

 

➔  Hiring!  PA Consulting leder efter graduates lige nu. Se her for flere detaljer omkring deres graduate analyst program