Considering a career in consulting and looking to learn more about life at top firms such as Roland Berger, Accenture, and &samhoud? This series of interviews features entry-level consultants who provide a unique perspective on their experiences in the industry.
In this interview, Rikus de Lange, a Consultant at Roland Berger, shares why he enjoys working on challenging projects at Roland Berger, how the company’s culture fosters collaboration and innovation, and why the fun doesn’t stop even after you enter the workforce.
What is your full name and what is your position at Roland Berger?
My name is Rikus de Lange and I have been a Consultant at Roland Berger for almost a year and a half now.
What did you do before starting at Roland Berger?
Before starting at Roland Berger, I studied Civil Engineering and Coastal & River Engineering at Delft University of Technology. Although I really liked the research topics and knowledge I acquired over the course of these studies, I concluded that I would like to work in an environment with a somewhat broader perspective on the world we live in.
That’s when I got interested in strategy consulting. Although I had not completed an internship in this field, I had done several internships and research projects at engineering companies. I got familiar with strategy consulting, and Roland Berger in particular, by attending a lot of events and business courses.
How do you experience your role as a Consultant?
I love the day-to-day activities of my job. A typical day for me consists of a combination of different activities, including client meetings, expert interviews, quantitative and qualitative analyses and of course, making slides. I think it’s safe to summarise being a consultant as “asking the right questions, combining different pieces of information, processing the information and in the end, communicating it in such a way that it makes sense”. And I have to say: it’s really fun to do!
Furthermore, I enjoy the strategies we use in order to carry out our projects. We usually work in a project team of 3-5 colleagues and start the day with a check-in – in which we define our goals and keep track of our progress. Throughout the day, we engage in productive discussions and brainstorm sessions to tackle the questions we want to answer. Nonetheless, some time is also set aside for individual work to enhance our models or prepare results.
Between meetings and work time, there is enough time to have a laugh and enjoy a good conversation. Overall, for me, a typical day consists of a nice balance between challenging and interesting activities on one side, and a lot of fun and social interactions on the other side.
What is your experience in working for Roland Berger and what stands out to you?
Besides a lot of other positive features – such as the familiar culture, the way in which people care for each other and the good laughs and fun we have together – for me, there are two aspects in our culture that I would like to highlight: the entrepreneurial culture in combination with the, so to say, “you do you” mentality. Both are very much related.
Entrepreneurship, being one of our core values, entails that we have a lot of freedom in the way we work, as well as a lot of responsibility to establish the kind of office we desire. In terms of project work, this relates to a relatively non-hierarchical and “loose” way of working: you are provided with a lot of opportunities, and have the freedom to work in a manner that suits you. This is what is meant with the “you do you” mentality, as one of my colleagues tends to call it.
But on the other hand, we also stimulate and support each other to get excellent results. I like that intention: instead of judging each other on the way you do it, we understand, support, and encourage each other to get the best results possible. It is an environment in which I thrive.
The entrepreneurial spirit is also observed in the way we form our office culture. There are so many nice events and initiatives that we organise ourselves. When you have a good idea or you want to improve something, you pitch your idea, get a budget, and just start. I think that mindset is one of the main reasons we have such a strong and cohesive culture that inspires you every day.
What is something you wish you knew before you started working in your role as Consultant?
Your development as a person, but also your daily dose of fun, doesn’t stop when you start working. As a student, I thought of working life as “40 years of dull and boring moments”, but that perspective couldn’t be more wrong. Your learning curve only increases, you gain a lot of fresh experiences, make a bunch of new friends and you will certainly enjoy your professional career.
Working as a consultant means that your day consists of interesting and challenging activities while you can support your clients by making meaningful improvements. It’s just the next phase in your life and I’m pretty sure you will enjoy it!
Can’t wait to get started as a Consultant or do you want to stay up-to-date on other job openings at Roland Berger? Connect with Roland Berger on Magnet.me via this link.