Consultant, New York
At BCG, Visionaries navigate complexity with ease. They use their insight and intuition to identify the solutions that will create lasting impact. Pierre-François challenges the status quo.
At BCG, the refusal to leave things just as they are, the will to go one step further to create value, and relentless curiosity always keep you moving. You always try to perform better and make progress.
When I joined BCG as part of my sandwich courses in a business school, I was 21, with very little experience. I was sure I wanted no routine job, and had no idea what was awaiting me. I would not have done anything differently if I had the chance. Very quickly, I understood the very high standards of my new environment and the efficiency, quick work, and quality of the people I was working with. But I also felt that I made rapid progress. How? By learning from others—in a way that was not as formal as I could imagine—assignment after assignment, by adapting to universes as different as luxury, energy, and telecommunications. One assignment even led me to taking action in a factory in Japan.
Working relationships at the office are easy, among consultants but also with managers. Whatever their hierarchical level, they remain accessible. I like this open-mindedness. As a young consultant, I was encouraged to express my views and provide input.
Pierre-François holds an Msc in management from ESSEC Business School, which he acquired through apprenticeship.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: This job always challenges you. Assignments address specific issues in highly different business sectors. Nothing is written in stone; there is no preconceived idea. We work on a step-by-step basis, always questioning ourselves, and we sometimes go back on a proposal to find an offbeat and better opportunity. Finding the solution that will bring true value to our client is a highly satisfactory feeling. This way of working implies strong team spirit. Everyone brings something different. Whether among consultants or with managers, working relationships are rewarding and meaningful.
Q: What did you learn in your first year on the job?
A: Right away at BCG, I understood that simply delivering on expectations was not enough and that you should never content yourself with first results. And most of the time, it works; you can always do better. Yet these extremely high standards do not paralyze you. On the contrary, they prove an effective goad. As a matter of fact, people at BCG put their trust in you, encourage initiatives, and quickly entrust you with responsibilities because they believe that your input will necessarily bring something to reflection and execution. There is always feedback. This virtuous circle favors autonomy. One year after I arrived at BCG, I was entrusted with the relationship with the client—the marketing director of a luxury group—on part of the project.
Q: What characteristics do you believe define a BCGer?
A: Without relentless curiosity, it's hard to find your place at BCG. Learning from others, the surrounding world, and the various issues we are lucky enough to address every day is part of our consultants' DNA. Another strong characteristic defines a BCGer: the search for excellence and the creation of value for our clients, our golden rule. But it is not enough. To be a true BCGer, you need strong interpersonal skills.