Besides its purely academic curriculum IE offers a range of learning experiences in collaboration with companies, some of the most valuable ones for IMBA students are electives like the ICP- International Consulting Project or the GCP-Global Consulting Project (where IE partners with Wharton); where you work together closely with a company and solve a business challenge together with them. These opportunities are perfect for anybody interested to work in one of those companies.
But at the end, every occasion is a chance. Alvaro Martinez, a current IMBA student, received a job offer from a major consulting company after having excelled during the Making Change Happen week between terms 2 and 3. Most of his peers had not even started looking for a job at that point of time. Read below what he did and see whether you might want to follow in his footsteps!
C: Alvaro, congratulations once again! Very well done on your job offer and thanks for sharing your experience here.
A: You are welcome Christian. I am more than happy to do so if it can be useful or at least inspiring for others.
C: So, tell us! How exactly did that happen? You participated in the Making Change Happen week like everybody else and at the end the consulting company that provided the case just contacted you?
A: (laughing) Well, you make it sound a little bit easier than it was… During the Making Change Happen week we really put a lot of effort in developing a good proposal to address the challenge. Fortunately, my team was amazing. We were full of enthusiasm and the quality of our work was constantly high. And because of this we made it to the finals.
It was only during the cocktail for the finalists when the consultants revealed their intentions to hire students from IE. I talked to them and made my move by sending an email shortly afterwards. One week later someone from their human resources team called me and the recruiting process was on.
C: How did you prepare for the interviews and how did it go?
A: I have to admit that I did not have as much time to prepare as I would have liked. When I received the call, they wanted to start the process right away. But since I knew that the interviews needed a lot of preparation, I managed to delay it by two days. I really had not expected everything to happen that fast! So during those two afternoons I tried to do some consulting cases and to learn as much about the company as I could. I especially looked into what they wrote about their culture and values. During the interviews, my biggest surprise was that I actually enjoyed it! People were extremely nice and the cases were challenging, but in a good way.
C: You worked in Investment banking before. To what extent do you think a specific kind of background was required to be invited to the interviews? And was any of your prior experience helpful during the interviews?
A: I do not think that any prior knowledge was of help to get to the interviews – derivatives and DCM (Debt Capital Markets) have very little to do with consulting after all… But I believe that my experience was taken into account in a broader sense, in terms of expectations regarding my way of working for example.
C: Now, the big question for the next intake: Any advice on what to do during the Making Change Happen week?
A: Just make the most of it! I know that for many it is difficult to focus on the challenge since it is the week right after the exams and people feel they need a break. But I hope that my story can be a motivating example. If you try to make the most of it, and with a little bit of luck, great outcomes are possible.
Having studied together with Alvaro, I also know him personally and can congratulate his future employer at least to the same extent as I congratulate him.