As the title suggests, the agenda of the day was to dive into the work of a consultant and to see what kind of work this title entails. We started the day off with a case concerning solar power by Mr. Petros Paranikas. The students were put in the shoes of a consultant to help a king expand his solar power production. The objective was to identify the key questions, which required analysis and the necessary data to make a well-informed decision. The students got divided into groups to work on identifying the key questions, and after that they had to pick the necessary data from a series of news articles and other sources. Now that they had the data they had to figure out what to do with it. They used models to come to conclusions about the data they had previously acquired. Now the only thing left was to present it. The students presented their conclusions in front of a judges and at the end Mr. Paranikas picked a winner.
One of the students, Parker, reflected on their day as a consultant:
“Today we learned about the the world of consulting and the difficulties the consultants face on a daily basis. Before our presentation we had to extensively prepare graphs and financial reports while also figuring out key problems. During the day we learned how to speak differently to each member of the project: when speaking to the board, be direct, when speaking to the managers who came up with the idea, be hopeful, and when speaking to your coworkers, be realistic. The one main thing in common was to be honest but in varying degrees. Overall today’s lecture was exciting and hands on, it made me feel like I was truly a consultant. Although my group didn’t make the final two teams I had a great time and learned a lot.”
We also interviewed Mr. Paranikas about his life as a consultant. He first got into consulting because of his difficulty getting a job as a lawyer in the United States, which seems comical now as he is a senior partner of the world-renowned Boston Consulting Group (BCG). He describes consulting as developing strategies for clients and then helping them implement them. He thinks the Summer@INSEAD programme gives the students the benefit of interacting with a diverse group of peers.
“They are at an age where meeting a diverse group of peers can change how you think about life – and Summer@INSEAD is a great window to the world.”
In the evening the students finally got control of the firm they had acquired in the YFCD simulation. Once things got kicked off, they quickly realised that this was not going to be the easy. As time passed the students started to get on top of things and started to draft their plan for the first 10 days.