Anton Heindl, Business Strategy & Consulting 2021, Summer School student at Imperial College Business School
Programme:
Business Strategy & Consulting Summer School
Nationality:
German
Education:

MSc International Business, Maastricht University

Tell us what your greatest academic, professional or personal awards/achievements have been.

Thanks to my performance during my first major internship at Nike, I got the chance to cover parts of a managerial role in the business development department during various stretch assignments. This included projects like developing a strategic plan for one of the sports categories in EMEA.  Furthermore, the freedom granted to me by my superiors, allowed me to directly work with the business leaders of Nike accounts across EMEA.

Although it takes some time to prove yourself as a young student with little real experience compared to long time employees, I managed to gain the trust needed for taking on more and more challenging projects outside of my usual assignments. This was an amazing learning opportunity and achievement that I will always be grateful for.

Why did you decide to study your Summer School course and why specifically did you choose to study with Imperial College Business School?

I like viewing things from the bigger picture, to identify patterns and connections between seemingly unrelated topics. Asking broad and complex questions and trying to come up with well thought through answers has always fascinated me. That’s why I have quickly been drawn to fields such as economics, business strategy, and even philosophy during my undergraduate studies. These topics require a great deal of lateral thinking and logical analysis, but also a good dose of creativity, which I personally find very enjoyable. This has not only been the case for university, but also during my practical internships. Therefore, I believe that career choices like strategy consulting, or working in strategy related positions in corporates or start-ups seem to be a good fit for me.

This Summer School course combines all those aspects nicely, providing great training in both the academic and practical applications of business strategy and consulting. The course also nicely connects to the topics I am now pursuing in my postgraduate degree in strategy and innovation and was hence a great foundation.

Imperial has a really good reputation all around the world and is known for its hands-on teaching model, involving lots of practical cases and interactivity between students and teaching staff. This ticked all the right boxes I was looking for in a School School, making it an easy choice.

Programme

What made your Summer School experience unique?

While the pandemic certainly played a role in making this Summer School a unique experience, one example from a programme perspective comes to mind: In week two we were asked to jump into the shoes of strategy consultant and to work through a practical case, illustrating the work consultants do from starting to finishing a project. This included a breadth of useful learnings from stating, structuring, and solving problems, to presenting the solutions to a client. This has been a unique, fun, and valuable learning experience, especially since we were lectured by someone with 25+ years of consulting experience.

What aspects of the course did you most enjoy?

Although it’s hard to give a single answer here, I must point out all the creative ways in which the teaching team was able to bridge theory and practice, which I really enjoyed. This included great guest lectures, lots of cases and various interactive exercises across all weeks.

What was the most challenging part of the course?

Coordinating the preparation and presentation of the final group assignment was a bit challenging at times, due to the different time zones and geographic distance between team members because of pandemic restrictions. Making sure everything gets completed on time and runs smoothly during the presentation certainly posed a little bit of a challenge during the last few days. However, everything worked out very well in the end, which I was very happy about - greetings to my fellow team members across the world!

People

Imperial places a large emphasis on group work, what inspires you the most about working in this type of environment?

No one lives in a bubble or succeeds alone - So whether you like group work or not, incorporating lots of it is a great tool for modelling the actual working environment. Working in groups builds crucial interpersonal skills and can be a very enriching experience. While it may be hard at times, it’s also a great opportunity to learn more about the different working styles and personalities of people around you, about yourself, and finally how to allow everyone to bring their best versions to the table.

I really enjoyed the various group discussions we had throughout the Summer School. They provided us with the opportunity to chat and connect with other students in a smaller circle and to strengthen what we have learned in class. Fellow students were all very nice and open-minded, making the group tasks one of the coolest parts of the Summer School.

How would you describe your Summer School class?

Very diverse, open-minded and engaged. It was great to see so many nationalities and cultures present in the course. Everyone was very active and contributed to the various discussions and exercises nicely! It was amazing to chat and work with so many interesting people from across the globe and I hope to be able to meet some of them again at some point in the future!

Opportunities

What has been the greatest opportunity during your summer at Imperial that you don’t think you would get anywhere else?

Imperial really provided me with a unique learning environment, and lots of room to grow and connect with other great people, that I have not experienced like this before. The way the faculty allowed students to join a very professional, yet candid and friendly discussion has been incredible!

What are your future career goals and how do you think your time at Imperial will help/has helped?

As mentioned briefly above, I would like to pursue a career in strategy consulting, or a strategy related position in a corporate or startup. I believe the course at Imperial has been a great foundation for my future career. It has provided me with key learnings about the strategy field, including topics like business strategy, entrepreneurial strategy, and corporate strategy. The course also went into an in-depth practical training for an entire week, preparing students on how to solve real-life cases, facilitated by an industry veteran and Imperial professor. Finally, students were able to listen and engage with a host of fantastic guest lecturers from some of the world’s leading consulting firms. They provided some very candid and honest advice, which will certainly benefit me throughout my future career.

I really liked this holistic and versatile curriculum and would love to thank the faculty and guest lecturers again for such a fantastic three weeks!

Tips

What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying for the Summer School?

If you’re thinking about adding some new skill sets to your belt, learning a new subject, deepening knowledge in a certain field, studying at a great foreign university, making new connections, or simply polishing your CV - I would say: Just go for it! I derived tremendous value from the course, and it has been a great experience in general. So for whatever reason, you are planning to join the course, I trust it will be worth it for you as well.

Share with us a handy hint or trick that made settling into Summer School that much easier! 

Whilst every student probably comes to class with a certain expectation in mind, try to open yourself up to the unique experience, whatever it may be for yourself. I think Summer School is really what you make out of it. So really engage yourself fully during the three weeks and use this great opportunity to connect with others from all around the world and to learn lots of useful content!

Programme:
Business Strategy & Consulting Summer School
Nationality:
German
Education:

MSc International Business, Maastricht University

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