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. Mikaël connects the dots to see the bigger picture.
Three months after my first assignment at BCG, I received a phone call: “Mikaël, we did it. Thanks for everything!" My former client was calling me from the operational control room. The test was fully successful, his teams were going to celebrate, and his thoughts had immediately turned to us. It was a very powerful moment, where I realized the impact we could have.
After six years in the industrial goods sector, where I was a workshop manager for Vallourec and led a team of 200 people, I decided to enrich my background with an experience in the consulting business. I thought I would stay at BCG for a year. Once I was there, I wished to become a project leader—and I'm still here, five years later!
Of course, there are days of intense activity, and challenges are huge—notably at the beginning of assignments. But we have the opportunity to address unique issues, which generate growth for our clients. Today, I am a core member of the Operations practice. I lead industrial transformation projects (supply chain, factories, engineering, etc.) with a view to making processes more agile through reducing lead times. We also support the optimization of factories, focusing on high-value-add manufacturing. Last, I manage projects that aim to accelerate the development of highly technical products—in the aeronautics industry for instance.
On each one of these projects, I can depend on our teams' cohesion, their high intellectual standards, and their eagerness to create impact. Being at the same time extremely curious, imaginative, and pragmatic, I have found my place at BCG.
Mikaël is an engineer by training. He holds diplomas from the French École Polytechnique (1999) and École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (2005) and graduated from the Paris-Dauphine University in Strategy (2005). Before joining BCG in 2010, Mikaël was a production manager at Vallourec.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: BCG enables me to test more ideas than I ever had the opportunity to do before. I am curious and very creative; I always have new ideas in mind. Those ideas are as many topics that can be tested in case team meetings, and which will be further investigated when selected. My role as a project leader is to create this consultant-client-partner ecosystem that enables us to push new ideas in order to create value.
Q: What did you learn in your first year on the job?
A: My first year at BCG was very intense and rather tough. After six years of operational experience, I had to learn many new things and shed habits that I had acquired when I was a production manager, which at times could be counterproductive. Consulting was a job I had to master and make truly mine. Fortunately, I was very much helped by the other consultants and my project leaders. During that first year when I had to learn so many things, I relied on more academic training courses in order to reinforce my knowledge and skills and acquire new tools.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
A: No two days are the same at BCG, yet each of them includes observations in the field, interviews, problem structuring, listening to clients, analytical challenges, brainstorming sessions, analyses, and synthesis. Today, for instance, I started with observations on the production site, and then I helped my consultant go further in the issue analysis. At 11:00 am, I had a meeting with the industrial director. Then I got back to the office in order to brainstorm with the BCG team. At 5:00 pm, we sent an agenda for three upcoming meetings that we will have with support functions.