Project Leader, Zurich
At BCG, Advocates are thoughtful and engaged. They listen closely because they believe that the best solutions can be discovered in the most unexpected places. Julia is unafraid to try new things.
For me, BCG is all about the people: the teams we are a part of, the experts we can reach out to, and the diversity of clients we meet in every project.
I am a very people-focused person, and I value personal relationships highly. No wonder I was pulled into BCG by one of my best friends from university who started at BCG right after earning his bachelor’s degree. Before I joined BCG, it was hard for me to understand the enthusiasm with which he talked about his job and the people at the firm, since even with an economics background consulting was not very tangible for me. But spending a day at an open house at BCG Zurich, I too became excited about all the interesting and fun people I met and how they were talking about their daily work. After interviewing at a couple of other companies and BCG, the choice was very easy.
Julia holds a master’s degree in finance and a bachelor’s in economics from the University of St. Gallen.
Q: How has BCG helped you grow and succeed?
A: The good and at the same time demanding characteristic of our work at BCG is the variety of roles we have. Every couple of months, we find ourselves at a new client, working on a new topic with different people. This keeps work very interesting but also means that you are always faced with a new situation that may be somewhere outside your comfort zone. Adapting to working with new teams and clients, coping with the uncertainty of how to find the best solution for the client, and then reflecting on this process after finishing the project has helped me grow into the person I am now.
Q: Why is BCG a good place for a woman to work?
A: Our company and project leadership know about the value of diversity in teams and place great value on promoting women. Many of the difficulties women face in other industries do not exist at BCG. We all get paid the same salaries and are evaluated and promoted according to standardized criteria. Nevertheless—as at most consulting companies—BCG is still a male-dominated environment. To manage this and support the cohesion among women, we have the Women’s Initiative, which brings us together to network, discuss our particular challenges, and support each other.
Q: How do you maintain a sustainable career balance at BCG?
A: I have taken a lot of advantage of our flex leave models. Two years ago, I took three months of unpaid vacation and went travelling, and last year I started working 90% only, which in my case translates into five additional weeks of holiday. So far, this model has worked perfectly for me. Having additional time off compensates for the high workload we sometimes face during our projects. For example, last year I was traveling a lot on cases, so I decided to spend some of my additional free days at home enjoying the summer in Zurich.