We had an amazing opportunity to get in touch with three EYP Alumni who are currently working at different consultancy agencies and ask them about their work and their time with EYP. Here’s what Gillian O’Halloran (IE), Maria Heiss (UA) and Marko Fischer (DE) said:
Can you tell us more about your current job? What is it you do and why is it so important to you?
Gillian: Management Consultant with Accenture. I help clients adopt digital technologies to make people’s jobs more interesting.
Maria Heiss (bottom right) at an EYP session
Maria: I am a Senior Technology Consultant at Deloitte in Germany. Over the last three years in consulting, I have been helping our clients – mostly big international corporates, to digitize certain business cases or areas. As an example, I acted as a delivery lead and was responsible for development and launch of various digital products for end customers of our client such as web portals, mobile applications and other user interfaces.
Technology continues to drastically change and even disrupt industries. I am glad to support corporations in facing the challenge, embracing the change and becoming faster, more effective and more flexible organisations.
Marko: I work as Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for more than 3 years now. There, I am part of a global task force for organizational transformations and cost reductions, which means that I support companies that need or want to change their internal structures, processes and ways of working to stay competitive.
What I love about my job are the three “T”s: 1) The team is fantastic. It is an extremely ambitious and collaborative environment. If you have a great idea, you get the support to do it. 2) The topic is interesting. I get to work directly with very senior people, think CFOs or COOs of companies from all sorts of industries with more than 30,000 employees. Also, the topic gets a significant amount of attention from the senior leadership since it will shape their company for the next decade, impact thousands of employees and change the roles and daily work of pretty much everyone working there. 3) The travel is great. In the past three years, I had the opportunity to work in San Francisco, Santiago de Chile, London, Kazakhstan, Melbourne, Singapore and more. Whilst that is intense and takes a toll, the variety of places you see and cultures you work with are amazing.
How does your current job relate to your EYP experience? In your opinion, how much, and in what way did EYP help you get where you are in your career?
Gillian: It relates in many ways: firstly, it helped me relate to and work with people from all over the world, with different opinions and cultures: as a consultant, my colleagues and clients are global, so having an understanding of how different cultures view the same problems is essential.
Gillian O’Halloran during Committee Work
Secondly, it has been an excellent introduction to delivering workshops and moderating meetings and presentations: balancing voices, ensuring key issues are heard, gaining consensus, compromising, and clearly summarizing all decisions and agreements is crucial.
Thirdly, it has taught me how to work as part of a team, and re-learn over and over every session I went to: I work with multiple teams simultaneously and change teams regularly: understanding how to settle in quickly and gain trust and understanding is something I developed over years of session attendance at EYP, so it’s second nature to me now at work.
Finally, it gave me huge responsibility and freedom to try new things: now that I’m in the workforce, I realise what a privilege it is to just give something a try when you feel like it, rather than conducing long cost-benefit analyses or lengthy risk assessments before seeking approval for every decision. EYP lets you explore your opinions and ideas in a supportive and encouraging environment, which gave me personally the confidence to believe I can achieve greater things when I entered the workforce.
Maria: My EYP experience has made a huge impact on my personal and career development. I was able to interact with highly diverse groups or pitch a client presentation to a big audience from day one. As a team manager today, I use team building skills gained at EYP to motivate colleagues, break the ice and eventually build a highly effective team. Apart from that, EYP is a brilliant network, which I numerously used to prepare for a job interview or get a career advice!
Marko: I don’t think I would have gotten the job without my EYP experience. A significant part of my job interviews were focused around the leadership and team work experiences I gained in EYP. Today, the ability to work with different cultural backgrounds, find acceptable solutions under intense time pressure and “public speaking” skills come in very handy every day.
Anything else you would like to share?
Gillian: Even years after finishing, I see the benefits of my EYP experience every day in the office: not only in the skills it developed, but also in the network it has given me.
And a final bonus point: it’s a really impressive talking point during interviews – people are always impressed by what we manage to organize and achieve at such a young age! It’s an organisation I remain fiercely proud to have been a part of.
Maria: I am very excited about the newly introduced EYP Alumni mentorship program – I hope to share my gained experience and lessons learnt with graduates. Besides, I am generally very open for a call, a cup of coffee in Berlin or anywhere else with EYPers.
Marko: I think that EYP as it is today is an inspiring and greatly enabling organisation. But I also think that there is room to grow and improve. If we manage to integrate the experiences that many alumni have made outside EYP into the concept of our sessions today, we might be able to create an even better experience for future EYPers.