Partner & Managing Director BCG Middle East,
At BCG, Seekers go deep into the challenging issues our clients face. Their curiosity empowers our teams to facilitate change and add value to society. Christopher challenges the status quo.
Change is like a bus. You are either on it, or you will be left behind.
I am originally from a small town in southern Germany, and I always wanted to live and work internationally. During my studies, I realized that consulting could fit that bill. I applied for internships and got the opportunity to intern with all three tier one consulting companies. While the experience was great with each of them, I felt most at home with BCG. The collaborative approach, the diversity of people and opinions, and the deep respect for the individual really made a difference to me. After three years in Germany, I transferred to our Dubai office, where I have been working on public-sector projects for the last seven years. Today, more than ten years after my internship, I still feel at home!
Christopher holds a PhD in finance, an MBA and an MSc in business, and an MSc in economics. He completed part of his studies in Aix en Provence.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: What I like most about my job is the fact that no two days will ever be the same. I don’t even think that I ever wake up at the same time two days in a row. I do not like routine, and working as a consultant with BCG definitely fits the bill. I am meeting new people every day, we engage in discussions about problems I did not even know existed, I witness the creativity and insights of my case teams—sometimes I feel like Alice in Wonderland. I don’t think there is another job in the world that can offer the same.
Q: What did you learn in your first year on the job?
A: Of course I learned the basic skills of a consultant: developing Excel models, writing PowerPoint presentations, managing meetings, and so on. But I think the most important lesson is that a good consultant is not a good talker, but a good listener. It takes a lot of practice to listen deeply, to understand the real problem, and not to mistake symptoms for root causes. I genuinely believe if everybody spent more time listening and less time talking, there would be less conflict in the world.
Q: What’s the biggest impact you have had with your work?
A: I am specialized in public-sector projects for a very simple reason: the impact you have with public-sector work is much, much bigger than you can ever dream to achieve when you work for a private company. Your work touches the lives of millions of people. Two of the projects that had the biggest impact were the development of one country’s first unemployment assistance system, which supported more than 2 million people after just nine months, and the development of a new model for a government to implement to deliver its services to citizens.