Interview with Michiel from De Kleine Consultant
Michiel studies International Economics and Business Economics in Rotterdam. He has worked at the Kleine Consultant since January 2015. He also has spent significant time abroad in amongst other Singapore and Taipei and he interned at Borealis in Vienna.
We thank Michiel for this interview!
Tell us about your activities?
I’m currently finishing my bachelor in International Economics and Business Economics at the Erasmus University. Throughout 2014 I was part of a committee in the organisation ESN. This aimed at bringing international and exchange students together and organizing all types of events for them. Furthermore, I did an internship in Vienna for half a year at the headquarters of Borealis AG in its finance department. Here I was in charge of the company debt level, proposed new project financings, and reported directly to the CFO on a weekly basis concerning firm projections.
How long have you worked at De Kleine Consultant and what roles have you had?
I have been part of De Kleine Consultant since January 2015. I have only participated in one project as consultant. Throughout this project I have gone to the firm and witnessed their daily operations to gain a deeper understanding. This was followed by an in depth analysis of their finances to track down weakness and areas of improvement. Together with my group I visited the ATKearney headquarters for a coaching session. Here one of their analysts gave insightful critique on our findings. Six weeks into the project I was able to present our initial findings. This session with the director of the firm ensured that our ideas as well as there’s were aligned. A long discussion ensued about the next step and their expectations. This proved as the foundation of the final presentation.
How does De Kleine Consultant work?
De Kleine Consultant is a non-profit organisation seeking to consult small, starting, or non-profit firms that don’t have the capital for traditional consultancy firms. To ensure high quality consulting, we are constantly backed by a coach from ATKearney and visit their office for discussions on a regular basis. The projects range greatly from small second hand stores aiming for profit to healthcare platforms seeking to go international. The motivation behind each consultant is self-improvement and helping firms, therefore we don’t get paid throughout the projects. Each new member starts as a consultant, but can grow to become a project manager, city-specific director, or even grow to become part of the National Board. Consultants spend an average of 10 hours per week working on their projects.
What are the skills you have learned and to what degree do you think these prepare you for strategy consultancy?
De Kleine Consultant has greatly improved my analytical skills. Every possible theory is tested, every piece of input is analyzed, and each solution is thoroughly questioned. Furthermore, on a weekly basis a member gives a training which can vary from presentation skills to the art of convincing those around you. Together with broader trainings and business courses offered by De Kleine Consultant and its partners, I am constantly growing. The strong motivation of each member forces me to grow and become a true strategic consultant.
How does you experience as a consultant at De Kleine Consultant help you to prepare for your application at strategy consultancy firms?
De Kleine Consultant offers real-life cases with real-life consequences for a firm. All the research and solutions I design will be implemented by a firm. This means that I have a stronger background in tackling cases and being creative in the solutions I put forth. I can also count on successful alumni for trainings and extra insight.
How can people join De Kleine Consultant?
If you are a motivated student the easiest way to familiarize yourself and join De Kleine Consultant is to go to www.dekleineconsultant.nl. Here you can find all the information you need and apply!
To what degree are you interested in strategy consultancy?
I am very interested in the field of strategy consultancy as it gives a direct view into firms from a broad range of industries. The teamwork, analytic skills, and creativity that are needed to fully satisfy each new client push you to the edge of what you know. This is a field in which you are constantly pushed to evolve and grow.
How does The Inside Coach help you prepare for your application and interview and do you have any recommendations on how we could improve?
The Inside Coach is the perfect way to get real advice about interviews and the specifics that big consultancy firms are looking for. The added value of having people that used to work in the industry is immense. The Inside Coach gives you information and case trainings that a traditional platform aimed to help you look for jobs could never offer. It is easy to use and very direct.
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