Recruiting Spotlight: Boston Consulting Group
By Caroline Osterman
The Fung Institute provides a wide range of specialized programming and opportunities to help students develop strong professional skills, explore various career paths and build a strong network during their time in the MEng program. Our Career Development team offers workshops, resume and interview coaching, and on-campus recruiting events among other resources to prepare students for the job search and connect them with the right people. Our Career Chat series allows companies to visit the Fung Institute so they can have the chance to speak to MEng students about recruiting opportunities and initiate the “what we look for” conversation.
This October we hosted a Career Chat with the Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) Gamma team, their advanced analytics and data science division. BCG is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. BCG Gamma focuses on data science and advanced analytics consulting:
“We conceptualize, build, and deploy advanced analytics solutions that can transform the trajectories of organizations. BCG Gamma is seeking the world’s top data science talent to join our team and deliver high-impact results for our clients using analytics.”
One of our MEng alumni works with BCG as a consultant — and we also met a Lead Recruiter with their Gamma team in October. We were able to chat with them about their experiences with the Boston Consulting Group as well as the appeal of the Berkeley MEng program and their advice for its graduating class.
Who recruits our students…
Brett Chinn is a Lead Recruiter with the BCG Gamma team. Brett looks for applicants who have not only the necessary technical background, but the leadership and application skills to interpret the world of data science. “Besides a depth of technical knowledge — including a deep understanding of modern machine learning techniques and their mathematical underpinnings — it’s also important that applicants are able to translate this knowledge into real-world business implications for our clients. The understanding of the professional application of data science methods is crucial to our business. Also, applicants should be passionate about their work, intellectually curious, good communicators, and humble. That last one might come as a surprise, but we strive to hire truly nice people into our little Gamma family!”
…And where they are now.
Guervan Adnet joined BCG consulting as a Senior Associate in 2016 — and he’s also a member of the MEng program’s first graduating class. Guervan received his degree from our Nuclear Engineering department in 2012 and thinks fondly of his time here at Berkeley. “It was great to be part of something new!” Guervan comments on being among the first to graduate from the Fung Institute. “I thought the MEng program was well-conceived and had a good balance between technical and business classes. And I don’t think there were any glitches during that first year, which is quite impressive!” Guervan is currently located with the Boston Consulting Group in Paris, France.
A conversation from the perspectives of an MEng alum at BCG and a recruiter with their Gamma team.
Tell us a bit about BCG and your respective teams.
Brett: BCG Gamma is a global team of world-class data scientists and business consultants who specialize in the use of advanced analytics to get breakthrough business results. We combine innovative skills in computer science, artificial intelligence, statistics, and machine learning with deep industry expertise. Our teams own the full analytics value-chain end to end: framing new business challenges, building fact-bases, designing innovative algorithms, creating scale through designing tools and apps, and training colleagues and clients in new solutions.
Guervan: I work at BCG as part of a consulting team. We help our clients improve their performance and solve their business issues. A consultant’s job ranges from organizing workshops, interviewing clients and gathering data to processing data, putting together findings and insights and presenting results to senior client management. I find working at BCG to be intellectually stimulating — I appreciate discovering new industries and learning about new business issues. The learning curve never ends.
What particular aspects of the MEng program stand out to you?
Brett: I love the focus on leadership, coupled with the program’s technical depth. The Institute is preparing the leaders of tomorrow with the engineering knowledge and skills plus strong business acumen — which is exactly what we look for in our applicants.
Guervan: I think what helped me most with the MEng program was the leadership and business classes, especially the case studies with Pr. Lee Fleming. They’re very similar to a consultant’s daily job — and also useful to prepare consulting interviews.
Do you have any advice for MEng students looking to advance their professional careers?
Brett: Network! Talk to alumni, recruiters… it’s important to not just make connections, but to also cultivate relationships. Find someone that inspires you and ask them how they got to where they are. Say ‘yes’ more than you say ‘no’ — you never know where an opportunity or conversation might lead, and a positive and willing attitude can go a long way. Finally, make sure to keep communication professional. In this age of instant messages and Slack, it’s easy to move fast, be too casual, and make mistakes. Be friendly (be yourself), but err on the side of formality. Oh, and spell-check everything!
Guervan: If they are interested in management consulting firms like BCG, they need to be well-prepared for interviews, especially for the case study part. That requires a lot of reading and practice!
More info on recruiting MEng students at funginstitute.berkeley.edu.