My job requires me to travel a lot. I board a plane on Monday morning, spend a week at a client site and fly back home on Thursday evening.
Typically I try to start my day at the gym, before I get to the office. Then my day is never the same. As a consultant I constantly work on new projects, for new clients, in different industries. I usually spend my day preparing various analyses, communicating with the client, brainstorming with our team or preparing deliverables and client presentations.
I love consulting and the opportunities it offers me. The learning curve is very steep and I am learning new things every day. My understanding of business, how companies are run and how complex their operations are is constantly improving. I love how challenging the career is.
Two projects are never the same. We always work on different issues for different clients. You have to learn and adjust very quickly. You work in a high degree of ambiguity. You always feel you are starting from zero and that can sometimes be challenging. However, at the end of every project I feel a great deal of achievement. Not only have I helped the client but I learned a lot and developed new skills.
I wanted to study at a university which would allow me to live in an international, multicultural city such as London and offered a business degree that would prepare me broadly for my future career. I did not want to focus on finance or marketing, I wanted to learn a bit of everything, and Middlesex University offered a degree that fulfilled this.
The variety of the courses offered throughout the 3 years. I was able to study everything from finance, through marketing to leadership.
The course that influenced me the most was Managerial Leadership. I very much enjoyed the coursework and how it made me think of myself and the traits and abilities I have and how it can influence my future career. It helped me to better understand myself and know what I want to achieve.
Middlesex University prepared me well for my future career progression. I was able to gain a good foundation of all areas of business and therefore decide what I want to do after graduation. I then proceeded with my education at London Business School with a masters degree.
I have to say the skills that have helped me to progress the most, and made my career so far very successful, are the soft skills. Obviously without the solid technical skills and knowledge I gained at school I would not be able to succeed, but without emotional intelligence the pure technical skills only get you so far. It's the ability to see beyond your tasks and add true value to anything you do. It's the ability to communicate and persuade to excel and progress.
After graduating from Middlesex University I completed a master's degree at London Business School. Then it was all about a strong belief in myself and passion for what I wanted to do.
Attending career events, talking to company representatives, networking, good research about potential employers… that all helped to get my CV and cover letter well prepared and get the attention of employers I approached.
After completing my studies I moved to the Czech Republic where I worked for KPMG Advisory for almost three years. I now work as Consultant for A.T. Kearney in New York. It is already the 5th country I have lived in and once again it has been an amazing experience exploring new culture, meeting new people, working on new projects. I love consulting and see this is the right career for me at the moment.
Know what you want to do and understand where it comes from. This is the one and only career tip I would give to anyone.
The biggest mistake I see from my friends and classmates is that they tried to do something they weren't passionate about. They went into consulting or finance because it was what everyone else wanted and now they hate it. If you know the true reasons of why you want to do something you can prepare a better strategy to get there. It will not be easy and you need to be ready to face many obstacles. Have strong commitment and passion for your career goals. Go after your dreams not someone else's.