Some may regard management consultants as insecure overachievers tormented by a perpetual gnawing anxiety of never being good enough. However, I beg to differ.
I have always regarded management consultants as poised, hard-working and driven individuals, derived from the most talented students who have attended top universities around the world. This conviction was further confirmed when I was recently invited to participate in the Boston Consulting Group's annual Engineering Award Workshop in May this year.
Not only for management students
Although management consulting has had a history of employing MBA students, the mix of employees in consulting encompasses experts from every possible field of business, science and notably engineering – in fact the founder of BCG was an engineer by training.
This affability towards non-business students is what I found especially intriguing. It is not a product of emerging science related issues but rather an acknowledgement that, especially engineers and scientists, often have a very strong analytical ability to solve extremely complex problems. Thus, while I may not get to utilize my specialized engineering competences working as a management consultant, I can be sure that BCG will leverage my logical and analytical skills.
Engineering Award Workshop The Engineering Award Workshop took place on May 2, at BCG's offices in Copenhagen. There had been an abundance of applications from many bright engineering students, and sixteen applicants were picked to participate in the workshop, which in itself was a true compliment for me.
The initial opening to the workshop was an introduction to BCG by consultants with engineering backgrounds, and involved answering questions posed by our group of curious engineering students. The introduction worked as a preamble to the ensuing "case solving" competition where the participants were divided into groups and asked to convey findings on how to solve the given case to experienced BCG consultants. The winning group was awarded with a round of applause and bottles of champagne.
Prizes and networking Subsequently, we were taken to restaurant Geist for dinner, which allowed for more networking with the consultants as well as with the other participants. This was also the pinnacle of the event where the grand prize was awarded to the most outstanding talents at the event. The winner took home the grand prize of 20,000DKK and the two runner-ups were each rewarded 5,000DKK.
It really gave me a first hand insight into the life of a consultant and in that way helped me evaluate whether this would be a future path of mine.
For me, merely participating in the workshop was extremely rewarding. I knew that each and every person in the room was extremely talented, a fact that made the case competition one of the best parts of the event. It was not as much about the content of the case itself, but the team in which I took part to solve it. This made me realize what one can achieve with a handful of talented and intelligent people; you are able to push the limits and come up with a unique solution unparalleled by what you will meet elsewhere.
I can only recommend other engineers to keep an eye out for BCG at career fairs and to log on to BCG's website to read more about the company as well as management consulting.