HEC Paris’ 2015 Consulting Forum
29 consultancy firms came on campus to meet with HEC Paris students. Discussions with 2 HEC alumni who work for businesses present at the forum took place
After my M1, I decided to do a gap year to do several internships. I first spent 3 months working on a marketing study for the French embassy in Beijing, China, which coincided with the Olympic Games. For the 3 months that followed, I joined Accuracy where I worked in Financial due diligences. The final 6 months of my gap year were spent in McKinsey’s offices in Brussels and Paris; an internship I acquired through the ‘Carrefours’ forum at HEC. These 6 months of work experience provided a great insight into the consulting profession whilst also giving me the opportunity to work on various issues such as the delivery of clothes using IT and Cloud Computing. At the end of my internship, I received a job offer from McKinsey.
I joined McKinsey’s Paris office as a Junior Consultant in September 2010. For a period of 2 years, I had another exposure to several industries (police, healthcare, energy, automobile, professional services…). I also had the opportunity to work in different offices around the world. After these 2 years, I was promoted to Senior Consultant.
Although I was very happy in my job, I expressed my desire to pursue a different line of work within the company. Therefore, I decided to join the New York office within the consumer goods center of expertise. The New York office has developed a strong proficiency in this field.
After returning to the Paris office, I now hold a post as Senior Consultant where I provide marketing and sales advice to distribution and consumer goods clients. In addition to this role, I facilitate leadership training for McKinsey’s Junior Consultants. This particular function allows me to travel to various McKinsey offices around the world. I found the chance to teach and invest in these gifted people truly fascinating and I see my current job as a wonderful contribution to the career development of consultants.
The many benefits of an HEC education
The practical and analytical background that an HEC education provides is an invaluable asset in pursuit of a career in consulting.
The curriculum also teaches students to develop an intellectual deftness, mainly through the opportunity to work in teams on several topics.
HEC’s desire to promote international experience has also been advantageous in my professional development. In fact, since I arrived at McKinsey I have been part of 3 offices but have worked for 15 different offices in total!
What’s more, HEC taught me what it means to be part of a network. One thing that I think HEC and McKinsey have in common is a real sense of community. Just like in education, people are the most important asset in the field of consulting. My HEC education has taught me the imperativeness of working together, convincing and guiding clients.
Sharing my experience with students
We are very keen to recruit HEC Paris and, as an alumni, it is my responsibility to share my experiences with students. Similarly, I reply to many questions asked by students via email right throughout the year.
I also think that I have a unique career path and I want to show students that by working for a big company, they can also have similar experiences. Their ability to be successful is down to them and not the business they will work for. It is this ability to succeed and be happy in their career that I want to convey to students.
During the first part of my gap year, I worked for PwC’s financial department, and then I completed an internship in strategy at Bombardier. Upon completion of my Masters studies, I joined PwC’s graduate program. This 2 year program involves 3 job rotations, each lasting 8 moths, which gives key insights into PwC’s core departments. This program has been very beneficial as I was able to discover many of the activities in which PwC is implicated. I eventually joined the Finance project team where I completed my third rotation. This department offers financial consulting services in infrastructure and energy projects in both the public and private sectors.
Career launch thanks to an HEC career fair
During my studies at HEC Paris, it was through discussions with many people of varying professional backgrounds that I was able to broaden my horizons. The multiple exchanges and feedback that I could expose myself to actually helped me to secure internships and develop my career goals.
Furthermore, from a more formal perspective, recruitment events organized by HEC also played a decisive role in my career. In fact, it was thanks to a forum, ‘Carrefours HEC’, that I was hired by PwC, which is exactly why I wanted to participate in today’s forum.
From a technical point of view, the high-quality teaching I received in my Finance major has been invaluable in my integration at PwC and in my professional development.
How to make the most of a forum
Before applying for jobs, it is important to be well informed on all aspects of the consulting job you’re interested in. The structure of such forums allows you to explore different activities involved in each of the departments. It is a great step for students to take that helps them to start planning their career.
The value of attending a forum
PwC are very interested in HEC Paris students, particularly for posts in their strategy consulting teams; an area that is experiencing significant growth at PwC. More specialized services also seek out HEC students, including the finance project team where I work.
Businesses present at the event:
ACCENTURE, ADVANCY, ARTHUR D. LITTLE, AT KEARNEY, BAIN & CO, BAYER BUSINESS CONSULTING, BEARINGPOINT, CAPGEMINI CONSULTING, CSC, CVA, DELOITTE (MONITOR), DEUTSCHE POST / DHL INHOUSE CONSULTING, ELEVEN, ESTIN & CO, EUROGROUP, EY, KEA & PARTNERS, KPMG, LEK CONSULTING, MAWENZI PARTNERS, MCKINSEY & CO, OC&C, OLIVER WYMAN, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS, ROLAND BERGER, SOLUCOM, SOPRA STERIA, THE BCG, WEAVE