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. Johan connects the dots to see the bigger picture.
At BCG, I find an approach close to that of researchers, with incredibly varied and rich issues at hand.
After my training as an engineer and getting a PhD in genetics, I first entered the business world by working on strategy issues within the technology transfer subsidiary of Inserm (French National Institute for Health and Biomedical Research). I enjoyed the experience a lot and wanted to go further by working at BCG.
My double profile as an engineer and researcher quickly found its place in BCG's collaborative and open environment. Consulting at BCG has indeed a lot of similarities with innovation and research: developing hypotheses that should be tested in order to find solutions to complex issues. One thing is highly different though: the extreme diversity of issues that I have to address at BCG, in my field of expertise—namely health care—as well as outside of it, notably in the banking, automotive, and digital industries. This type of learning through immersion is completed by many traditional and online training courses, as well as exchanges with the tremendous network of BCG experts and the community of BCGers.
Johan holds an engineering degree from École Polytechnique, a master's degree in genetics from Université Paris VII, and a PhD in molecular genetics of development from Université Paris VI. Before joining BCG, Johan worked at Inserm Transfert, the private subsidiary in charge of technology transfer for Inserm, as a chargé de mission responsible for strategic developments for the executive management, and then as head of institutional partnerships.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The richness, diversity, and pace of client assignments. Addressing a new project every three months, in various industries, and on complex issues is highly stimulating. It is challenging, too, of course, as we are constantly outside our comfort zone and trying to apprehend new issues about which we are expected to develop advanced analyses and recommendations to professionals who are, for their part, experts in their jobs. But it is extremely rewarding and enriching when you get to do it, thanks to the methodologies and experience you acquired at BCG.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to work at BCG?
A: Trust yourself. BCG is always trying to recruit new talent and is all the richer for the diversity of backgrounds. That being said, do not neglect preparation. Recruiting interviews at BCG are exercises, the style of which you need to work on and the content of which you need to learn. You will find many books and reviews for practicing; one or two is enough, provided you take the preparation seriously. Dedicating part of your weekends to it for a few months will prove to be a wise investment.
Q: What was one of your favorite case experiences?
A: I worked on a project for the World Economic Forum that was dedicated to developing health care systems in emerging countries through innovation. It was about determining how to use new technological, operational, or behavioral solutions to make quantum leaps in the development of these countries' health care systems. This experience also took me into the field in Kenya. All the issues you address at BCG are interesting, but in this case, the social impact gave a very specific meaning to the project.