Sitting in the TGV train from Lausanne to Paris watching the Swiss hills blend into French ones, I am struck by how much I have been on the road these past few months. In this instance, I am about to start the fourth week of my international consulting project for a multinational medical devices company. At the same time the job search is on full tilt, which has had me between Paris, Lausanne, Copenhagen, Dubai, London, and Milan over the past few weeks. By the end of this week, Stockholm will also make its way onto the list.
Most of my classmates are in the same boat (or should I say plane/train) in our search for that dream offer. Between interviews, offer negotiations, and ICPs, stakes and tensions are high. The class is certainly handling it well but you can tell what is keeping us up at night. It can be tough not to obsess over that upcoming final round of interviews for your dream job, how you answered an interview question the day before, or how much you may be risking an existing offer by pushing for certain terms. Rejections can be soul-crushing and bouncing back can take time but as the Japanese say, “fall seven times, stand up eight”. Even still, some are soul searching and unsure what career is right for them. And for those with offers, choosing the one that hits the sweet spot on role, location, company, and compensation is not trivial.
It is a different kind of pressure than the time-crunches we were exposed to earlier on in the year and much of it is happening outside of the school safety net/bubble. I’ll let you guess which one is more emotionally exhausting 🙂 That being said, it’s also a very exciting time and I encourage the class to look past the gravity of it all and try to have a little bit of fun playing around with the possibility of living somewhere new and doing something completely different. Take risks: if you win you will be happy, if you lose you will be wise.
Of course, at the same time we need to stay committed and motivated for our ICPs as we work to solve complex business problems for paying clients. For many, this is an enlightening exposure to the world of consulting and the ultimate chance to apply what we have learned. We are all in groups of 4-5 and so we need to think about what we learned about group dynamics from the leadership stream. As always, the group compositions are very diverse with my group hailing from Slovakia, India, France, and Egypt with backgrounds in FMCG, finance, defense, and consulting.
As we reach the halfway point in our projects, it is truly amazing to see how far our business acumen and group work has come. Had we attempted to engage with an ICP just 6 months ago, we would have been woefully underprepared. In my opinion, it is the ultimate validation of the quality of the program. I really look forward to hearing about the outputs from the projects, however disguised they need to be!
Til next time,