How a Business Course in Berlin helped Michelle Amory land a job at BCG

10 September 2018 6 min. read

There are many routes into consultancy, from building a career in industry before crossing over, to arriving at the firm as a fresh-faced intern before earning a full-time contract. In Boston Consulting Group newcomer Michelle Amory’s case, however, it was a business course which led her to the consultancy firm, and just months into her new career she sat with to outline her hopes for the future at the firm.

Michelle Amory became an Associate at BCG when she joined the firm’s Amsterdam wing in July 2018. BCG is one of the globe's top consultancies, and would ordinarily present a daunting task for many graduates looking to jump-start their career. Having just completed a successful spell as an Exchange Student in Business Administration and Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania though, and already holding a Masters in Advanced Finance & Investments from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Amory has quickly found her feet at the company. 

Speaking on her time with the strategy and management consulting giant, she enthused, “Reflecting on the last couple of weeks and what is yet to come I can truly say I am happy with my choice to switch from investment banking to consulting and more specifically with my choice of employer. BCG goes out of its way to make sure that my preferences – such as working internationally and on cases where my previous experience comes to fruition – are taken into consideration.”

However, Amory might have ended up elsewhere, had she persisted with her interest in a number of other internships during her studies. These included spells with Oaklins, a mid-market corporate finance consultancy and investment firm, and global investment banking giant Goldman Sachs. Thankfully for her, Amory’s career trajectory altered dramatically upon attending a course specially designed to immerse participants in the life and work of strategy consultancy.

How a Business Course in Berlin helped Michelle Amory land a job at BCG

Amory explained; “During the Bright Berlin Business Course I got the chance to get an introduction to consulting, and more specifically to the BCG way of working. Throughout the business course I experienced ample development opportunities with coaching provided throughout. The business course gave me the chance to put to the test a variety of skills such as my teamwork capabilities, analytical skills, thinking out-of-the-box and swift decision making. All in all, the Business Course was an amazing experience in which I got to meet incredibly interesting people and it ultimately led to my applying and starting as an Associate at BCG.”

Following the completion of the course, Amory duly applied to work at BCG, completing a second round interview in June, and commencing as an Associate just two weeks after making her initial decision to join BCG. The rapid affair is not common for the industry, and Amory is one of the lucky few to even land a job in strategy consulting, with just one in every 250 graduates currently selected for a job in the sought after sector. 

According to the newly appointed Associate, the firm worked hard to make her feel welcome upon arrival. During the welcome week she was immersed in the BCG style of working with training modules ranging from presentation and research skills to HR policies, social impact, staffing and social activities, while the training provided by the company has so far firmly focused on her desired career development. Support provided to her has also been key, with the assignment of a buddy, a mentor and a career development advisor helping ease Amory into the BCG fold.

Quickly, though, it was time for a new challenge, as it was revealed that BCG had made plans to fulfil one of Amory’s earliest wishes at the firm. She explained, “In the essay I completed during the recruitment process, I added I would love to be staffed abroad as soon as possible, preferably the Middle East. Turns out BCG really listened as during this training week I also received the exciting news that my first case would be for an oil company in one of the Gulf monarchies! After two weeks of preparing in the Netherlands it was time to head to the Middle East, where I worked in a truly international team with Dutch, Lithuanian, Greek and German colleagues.”

During the project, Amory worked on a case in which she worked as part of a team to set up a project management office. BCG matched her with a client where her impact would be maximised, thanks to her previous experience in investment banking, and this resulted in the Associate receiving a lot of responsibility for an early project.

"Being on the project in the Middle East was an incredible experience in which I have learned a tremendous amount about management consulting.”

Deep end

Amory elaborated; “I was responsible for the codification of investment processes and I created an investment banking engagement protocol from scratch. I not only got to attend meetings, but I also represented BCG at a client meeting myself! This was an incredibly exciting moment for me, as all of my meetings thus far had been with the project leader present. The client asked me some challenging questions, which I managed to answer in a professional manner – this was a big milestone for me! All in all, being on this case in the Middle East was an incredible experience in which I have learned a tremendous amount about consulting.”

After being thrown in at the deep end, Amory now believes she has settled into the role well, and the future holds some exciting prospects for her. The next jet-setting adventure she will undertake sees her flying to Barcelona, where she will join BCG’s September European Basic Skill Training, something the firm provides for all its Associate starters. She added; “After this training I will join the private equity ring fence. I got very lucky with my start date, as there will be an outing the weekend after I start where the Amsterdam and London private equity ring fence members will attend, for which I will fly to Spain, again! Finally, in October the entire Amsterdam office will go on Fall Outing, a yearly event in which the entire office goes to an unknown destination to escape the daily grind and to celebrate another successful year of the Amsterdam office. In conclusion, there are definitely plenty of international outings for me in the near future!”

As for the Bright Berlin Business Course which initially sent Amory on her path to strategy consulting, it is set to run again between November 18–23, 2018. There are only twenty-five places on the elite course, so BCG is holding interviews for places on October 11, 12, 18 and 19, 2018. These will only be offered to students who submit the strongest applications.