As a young graduate interested in an international career as a consultant, you should look for a position with one of the large, established international consultancies. On the surface this seems like good advice, but it’s not right for everyone. There are those of us who have chosen to go for the medium-sized h&z because we recognize that it offers something different. It offers a more people-centric way of working because it’s a business that follows the mantra of head, heart and hand. It also provides ample opportunities for working internationally through its cooperation with partners abroad. This combination of a mindful business with strong international links has proven to be a very attractive option for young graduates who are looking for something different in the careers as consultants.
There are around 80 young consultants in based Munich, Paris and Milan who are connected through a network called the Young Transformation Alliance. The concept for this network was developed in 2017 and was based on the goals of those who would most benefit from it—the same people that will be the lifeblood of the alliance in the future. These goals are strengthening cohesion, making successful working methods mutually accessible, and establishing a clear voice for the youngsters in the Alliance.
Establishing international contacts and advancing joint projects
The three consultancies involved—h&z in Munich, Kéa in Paris and MBS in Milan—have provided the financial support for the initiative. Founded in 2008, the Transformation Alliance, of which h&z has been a member since 2010, is an association of independent European strategy and management experts with a mutual interest in creating sustainable impacts for their clients. Within the alliance, the international consultants jointly develop tools, innovative methods and evaluate new trends. Another central issue, however, is the demand to work on an equal footing with customers who are operating globally. Our consulting firms in European capitals and business centers want to live and breathe the European ideal of working without borders and in an open environment where consulting work functions perfectly despite cultural differences.
There’s also a lot to learn in terms of content. That’s why the members of the Young Transformation Alliance meet regularly for workshops and training sessions – sometimes in Munich, sometimes in Paris or in Milan. The business focus of each of the three consultancies is already different. Paris focuses primarily on retail, Milan on finance and insurance, and Munich on purchasing and manufacturing processes under the heading Industry 4.0. However, there is great mutual respect and the openness with which they share experiences and methods continues to grow with the personal contact and trust that this creates. Comprehensive external training for young Europeans or joint participation in congresses and training events are also underway. These projects are intended to meet the wishes of these young professionals for internationality.
Exchange program in planning
Even if it’s sometimes only a matter of a few kilometers that separates them, consultants experience again and again how differently people already think and work on the other side of the Rhine or across the Alps, with all the various constraints, hierarchies, deadlines, and unspoken rules in place in each location. That’s why we’re currently organizing an exchange program for young employees in the position of Consultant or Senior Consultant.
The founding idea of behind the Transformation Alliance was based on a similar idea. At the time, a short trip on the TGV, the French intercity high-speed rail service, was enough to learn that, for example, French and Germans have very different approaches to managing change processes. This is instructive and interesting for those of us who work as consultants. What counts for our customers, however, is that we operate seamlessly with local experts in these different environments.
Shaping the future of the Transformation Alliance
Through our activities and our commitment, those of us who count ourselves among the younger employees have gained a stronger voice and our opinions and ideas carry more weight in decision-making within the actual Transformation Alliance. After all, we’ll have to deal with their legacy as our careers progress. This
The team of young consultants across Germany, Italy and France has a real role to play in shaping the future of the Transformation Alliance. „With their commitment, the young team has given the entire Transformation Alliance a new dynamic. We support this impressive proprietary initiative explicitly,” said Michael Santo, Managing Partner at h&z. “The international development of our employees, especially in the European context, is a high priority for us.“
Click here for more information on the Transformation Alliance.