Arnaud Maes graduated from the IE Master in Management (MIM) on July 2016, after which he joined the Amsterdam office of Deloitte (Strategy & Operations) as a Business Analyst. Before joining Deloitte, he was working for Tobania in Belgium as a Financial Analyst. By joining Deloitte, Arnaud made a professional leap from financial consulting to the exciting avenue of strategy consulting. As a Business Analyst, he is responsible for conveying relevant, accurate and up-to-date information to the stakeholders of the company. Since Arnaud made good use of the guidance offered to him by IE Talent & Careers, he is now able to best utilize his research & dissemination prowess to contribute to an industry leading business.
Below is an excerpt from a conversation between Nishok Tressler, a Career Ambassador and IE Master in Management 2017 Candidate, and Arnaud Maes:
N: How did you find out about this job opportunity?
A: Well, I had to look high and low for this opportunity. I was focused on getting into Strategy consulting since the start of the MIM Program and I believe that this determination got me the job. The top consulting jobs aren’t those you get by accident.
N: How exactly did you prepare yourself?
A: To begin with, I practiced many cases with my friends at the Consulting Club in IE until the cases became almost like second nature to me. Alongside this, I kept myself up to date with the latest industry insights in consulting by reading any relevant information that I could get my hands on. This gave me the confidence to approach people in the industry.
N: Interesting, so your confidence was backed by knowledge. How exactly did you approach people once you were prepared?
A: As suggested by the IE Talent and Careers department, I approached people online and offline. Being a relatively reserved person, I made good use of the online tools. However, I found that networking events were filled with opportunities to make great first impressions to people in the industry.
I reached out to many alumni who were very helpful once they gauged my seriousness for consulting. The homework really starts to pay off here because when you can engage other people in a conversation, you are bound to get more information out of them.
N: So did you get any referrals from the alumni?
A: I got five referrals from the alumni, however, the real-time insights that the alumni could provide were of greater help to me. At the time Deloitte’s impressive growth in the Netherlands was the talk of the town. I learned this fact through the grapevine and that is one of the reasons that led me to apply.
N: What was the application and recruiting process like?
A: The recruiting process consisted of three parts:
- The Red-flag interview: This is the initial screening of candidates over on a phone call. Here the recruiters are looking for telling signs of an unprepared, uninterested or immature candidate. Most people get past this stage, but you must keep in mind that it is more about not-doing something wrong than doing everything right!
- The Personality, Verbal and Quantitative Test: Unlike many other companies, Deloitte gives back the test results to help you benchmark yourself against other applicants and Deloitte employees. This helped me understand the high caliber of people that work at Deloitte.
- The Recruitment day: Deloitte invites the successful candidates to this final leg of interviews. First, the candidates are made to write two case interviews. On qualifying, they are flown to the Amsterdam office, at the company’s expense, to do 2 more case interviews and a cultural-fit interview.
Should you pass this well-rounded screening process, you get your dream job!
N: Congratulations on being successful on that count! In closing, what would you say are Arnaud’s Pro-Tips for students interested in consulting?
A: Three words. Groundwork, Homework and Network.
You have to do the Groundwork to understand the industry, you have to do your Homework by practicing cases and you have to Network to know the people who are the life-blood of this sector.
Some photos of Arnaud's first day at Deloitte
About Deloitte Strategy & Operations
Executable strategy. Extraordinary insights.
Deloitte Consulting’s S&O practice works with senior executives to help them solve their toughest and most complex problems by bringing an approach to executable strategy that combines deep industry knowledge, rigorous analysis, and insight to enable confident action.