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Case Study: Owen Ensor

Personal details
Degree:International Relations Profile picture
School(s): School of International Relations
Year of Graduation:Jun-2011
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: Bain & Co
Job title: Associate Consultant
Occupational Sector: Management Consulting
What has been your route to getting your current position?
I applied while in my 4th year at St Andrews through their undergraduate recruitment process which includes two rounds of interviews.
What does your job involve ?
Bain & Co are a management consultancy firm, so as a firm we help some of the biggest businesses create value. This can be on a range of issues and problems so my role is very varied. Primarily, it is about data gathering and analysis. This involves working very closely with the client and trying to understand their industry and business quickly and then doing analysis on this information. So far I have worked in banking, insurance, chemicals and next potentially oil.
What are the best bits of your job ?

There are four things about my job which I really enjoy. Firstly, there is a huge variation of projects that you can take on so it never gets that boring before you change to something new. Even within a project there are a huge number of different things that you will do. Secondly, this variation means that you will learn a huge amount very quickly, not only in terms of knowledge about different businesses and sectors, but also skills. Thirdly, it is great to be able to finish a project and see the impact of your work. Finally, working in a team is fantastic. We normally work in teams of 4 or 5 for 2 or 3 months which is a great period of time to get to know people and achieve quite a lot. I really respect the people I work with which is a huge plus to the job.

Why were you successful?
Like most graduate jobs, internships and involvement in university will stand you in good stead. In addition to this for management consultancy, interview preparation will help as they use case studies, which, if you haven't done before, it's worth practicing. Finally, make sure you do your research and find out what kind of place you want to be at. Try and find out what differentiates whatever firm you are applying to and make sure it matches what you want, as this will come across in the interviews.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?

The ability to digest large amounts of sources into a coherent and compelling story / argument has been really useful. The skills I learned running student organisations has also been really useful when working in teams and driving towards a goal.

What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
There are highs and lows and it can be tough at times. In terms of lifestyle, management consultancy doesn't have a great reputation and that is true to an extent. Average working hours are probably around 55-65 hours a week. You do get used to it though and it's quite manageable to have a social life outside of work. I still manage to play football and hockey during the week and never work at the weekend.