Why Strategy&?

At PwC's Strategy& you’ll be energised and challenged. Every day you’ll make an impact on a variety of interesting projects, learn new things, and teach others. You’ll feel the excitement as you work with the best and brightest people for the most prestigious clients. And you’ll be rewarded with world-class compensation and benefits programmes.

How is Strategy& different from other top-tier consulting firms?

Together, PwC and Strategy& are helping clients develop practical strategies to address their biggest challenges and turn ideas into action.

PwC and Strategy& have come together to form a new kind of consulting business. As part of the PwC network, Strategy& will be a leading strategy firm in its own right and help PwC as a whole become the pre-eminent strategy-through-execution firm.

What PwC and Strategy& create together will be unique. We’ll offer clients something they can’t get elsewhere: a combination of strategy consulting expertise, and a proven track record of delivery, with unrivalled global scale and experience.

Clients will be able to get practical strategy advice from people who understand the opportunities and risks involved in implementation – and strategic execution skills from people who understand the context.

A company's right to win in any market depends not just on external market positioning and not just on internal capabilities, but on a coherent strategy that aligns these factors at every level.

Our major differentiator is our focus on capabilities driven strategies

  • Helping clients face change brought about by discontinuities in their markets (e.g., deregulation, new competition, convergence of technology, mergers and acquisitions).
  • Working with clients that want to drive to a new future through major, cross-functional change.
  • Covering the entire CEO agenda, including corporate portfolio, business unit strategy, and functional strategies (e.g., marketing, technology, operations)…with precision, speed, and certainty.

Three interlocking elements make up a capabilities-driven strategy

  1. Way to play: How you choose to face the market and create value for your customers.
  2. Capabilities system: What causes you to choose your way to play and what allows you to deliver on it. This system is made up of three to six distinctive capabilities, the key strengths that set your company apart from its rivals. Each capability is ensured through the right combination of processes, tools, knowledge, skills, and organization, all focused on meeting the desired result.
  3. Product and service fit: Based on your chosen way to play and capabilities system, which elements in your portfolio will grow ... and which should go?

Only a coherent company — one that pursues a clear strategic direction (way to play), builds a system of differentiating capabilities consistent with that direction, and sells products and services that thrive within that system — can reliably and sustainably outpace competitors.

How would you explain the work that Strategy& does?

At Strategy& we work with a variety of clients on different projects. With many of our clients we have long-term relationships – some of them standing already for 60 years. Our clients approach us for a variety of strategic challenges.

Our goal is to keep you on one project for no more than six months. Thereafter, you may stay with the same client, but you will be working on something different — something that will help you to develop and take you to the next level in your consulting career. Team size can vary, depending on the project, but most times you will be working on a fairly small sub-team, focusing on a particular aspect of the client’s issue. A typical sub-team could be made up of three to a dozen people — and almost always; you’ll be working side by side with members of the client organization.

What is the culture like at Strategy&?

At Strategy& we are proud of our unique culture. The best and brightest people — highly experienced individuals from a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise — come together to help clients succeed by solving problems on the CEO agenda. Our culture is one of the key reasons people decide to join us.

One way is by providing a culture in which people at all levels are encouraged to think out of the box and raise issues. We applaud innovative ideas, encourage feedback about the firm, and recognise exceptional efforts through a multi-tiered awards programme and a 360-degree appraisal process that helps ensure your efforts don’t go unnoticed.

Some companies produce things, but at Strategy& our only commodity is the innovation and know-how of our people. That’s why we hire the best and the brightest and why we do everything we can to keep them. At the Amsterdam office we would describe our culture as open-minded, we value diversity. Besides the hard work, we also like to see other at social activities such as our Friday Drinks, Summer Outing and Christmas Party.

Every company is talking about diversity. What does diversity mean at Strategy&?

Our people are our greatest asset. Strategy& recognizes that it takes exceptional individuals with different talents and perspectives to develop the innovative solutions our clients expect. And we believe the most effective teams reflect diverse backgrounds and thinking.

The wide array of backgrounds among our people serves as a competitive differentiator, a source of individual and corporate pride, and one of the selective secrets underlying the power of our teamwork. The solution we derive for our clients using a diverse team who bring a variety of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives to the job will always be better than one that is derived from a team without that diversity.

Strategy&’s commitment to diversity in the workforce is immediately evident inside the firm. Our fundamental equal employment policy is to identify, attract, retain, and advance the most qualified persons, regardless of elements like race, religion, gender, marital status, disability, or national origin.

I am trying to decide between a corporate career and a consulting career. What are the major differences, and how will I know which is right for me?

Consulting offers a broad, cross-functional experience. At Strategy&, you’ll work directly with senior and midlevel executives at our clients’ organizations to craft, support, and implement strategies that help them meet the challenges of their working environment. Success comes from two activities — developing your own innovative ideas and working with clients to turn winning ideas into reality.x

A consulting career will usually expose you to a wider range of situations and opportunities than a corporate career. As a consultant, you’ll be able to learn about a variety of industries and functions, work on different teams with many interesting people, and experience growth that will be anything but linear.

Consulting is, by necessity, an open-ended, flexible, and interactive process. You will work with sharp, talented people; approach problems from a broad perspective; and be encouraged to grow in many different areas.

What you need to know, however, is that in consulting you will be asked to work and travel more than in a regular corporate job. You will also need to be comfortable with the fact that your schedule will often be driven by the requirements of your client rather than by your line manager.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you enjoy diving into an ever-changing portfolio of new projects?
  • Does the thought of transforming organizations excite you?
  • Do you thrive on seeing your ideas through to implementation? • Do you enjoy meeting people at various levels of organizations and synthesizing their perspectives?
  • Do you demand an environment in which you are constantly expanding your horizons, seeing new perspectives, and facing new challenges?
  • Do you enjoy working with new and interesting teams of people in a fluid environment?
  • Do you want to make a difference?
  • Are you ready to put in the extra hours and be highly flexible in return for the above?

If you answered “yes” to all or a majority of these questions, becoming a consultant at Strategy& might be a good fit for you.

I am trying to decide between consulting and investment banking. What are the major differences and how will I know what is right for me?

Consulting and investment banking share some similarities:

  • You work on matters of major significance to CEOs
  • You work with outstanding professionals
  • Creativity and analytic ability are prized

However, the nature of the work and the way it is executed are fundamentally different between consulting and investment banking

Consulting offers a broad, cross-functional experience. At Strategy&, you’ll work directly with senior and midlevel executives at our clients’ organizations to craft, support, and implement strategies that help them meet the challenges of their working environment. Success comes from two activities — developing your own innovative ideas and working with clients to turn winning ideas into reality.

Investment banking deals primarily with balance sheets and financial issues. It is transactional in nature, offering the ‘thrill of the deal’ where winning or losing is clear and immediate.

Consulting is, by necessity, an open-ended, flexible, and interactive process. You will work with sharp, talented people; approach problems from a broad perspective; and be encouraged to grow in many different areas. Both fields pay very well. In good years, investment banking may offer higher financial rewards, but its hours tend to be longer and the work can be less controllable than consulting.

You need to choose a field based on what is most important and enjoyable to you. We invite you to talk to us about any aspect of consulting, and we strongly suggest you do the same with investment banking colleagues and firms.

How do I know which consulting firm is best for me?

We believe that the best measure for determining a firm’s fit for you rest in how you feel about its people: Will they help you learn skills, lead others, grow personally, and have fun? Talk to as many people as possible — including people who are currently working there as well as former employees. Ask the same questions repeatedly to see if you receive similar or different answers. Press for specifics on the criteria that are most important to you.

When considering potential employers, think about your specific career goals and aspirations. Articulate what is important to you and evaluate each company you consider against these criteria to determine which one will give you the best opportunity to discover and develop your full potential.

Strategy& offers an extraordinary range of development opportunities. From the beginning, you’ll be making contributions to businesses in a global marketplace. You’ll be developing an international perspective, building strong team leadership skills, deepening functional and industry capabilities, and gaining cross-functional understanding.

At Strategy&, we encourage you to get to know us. Participate in the various activities we host in-house and on campus. Get your information first-hand to gain valuable insight into our corporate culture and environment.

What does Strategy& look for in a candidate?

Strategy& looks for candidates with the following general attributes:

  • A high level of general intelligence and academic achievement
  • Real thought leadership, combined with strong analytical and problem-solving skills (which includes both a quantitative and a qualitative orientation)
  • Personal leadership qualities, including an ability to manage people, drive change, and accomplish challenging goals through and with others
  • The ability to work independently, while simultaneously being able to forge productive team relationships
  • Business judgment and maturity, including the ability to develop a "big picture" view
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Strong personal presence, combined with compelling and professional presentation and communication skills Initiative, personal organization, motivation, and ownership of one’s work

One of our Senior Partners said it best:

“What kind of person makes it at Strategy&? Someone who has done something very hard and very well, like compete in a marathon or sing in an opera — something at which they strive to excel for the sheer self-satisfaction of the quest. People here are driven to excel for the feeling, the personal satisfaction of being the best.”

What does it take to be a successful consultant

In many ways, it is consultants’ differences — in training, background, and areas of expertise — that make them invaluable to clients with specific needs. But the most successful consultants share several important attributes. They:

  • Feel passionate about the work they do
  • Enjoy working in teams of colleagues and clients
  • Focus on results
  • Listen to their clients’ needs
  • Exhibit a drive to effect positive change where it is needed Possess the tenacity to work through the details as well as the vision to keep clients’ goals and the “big picture” in mind

People who succeed at Strategy& have demonstrated strong team and thought-leadership skills in their previous jobs or in their academic experience. They are analytical in approach, they are thorough in charting a course, and, most importantly, they have a curiosity and passion for solving problems. As long as people excel at what they do, almost any academic or industry background can be a good fit at Strategy&—our business spans most industries and functional disciplines.

What is life as an Experienced Consultant at Strategy& like?

When you join Strategy& you get the opportunity to work in a dynamic environment with daily business challenges. We will help you from day one to shape your core consulting skills — essential to your long-term success in the firm: a training roadmap exclusively designed for your personal and professional needs; a staffing approach that focuses on building on your strengths and background as well as a dedicated mentorship program. To sum up: you will be surrounded by colleagues and superiors, receiving valuable formal and informal support throughout your whole career.

What does being an experienced professional mean at Strategy&?

Do you want to realize your potential and fulfill your ambitions while making a difference? If so, you are in good company: the number of experienced hires at Strategy& has significantly grown in the past years. As a consequence, our global network of professionals now consists of many different personalities with backgrounds in a multitude of industries - and that is just the beginning. Strategy& recognizes that it takes exceptional individuals, with different experience and perspectives, to develop the essential advantage that our clients expect.

How can I benefit from my professional experience and expertise?

Whether you build on your functional expertise, such as in digital business & technology or operations, or deepen your skills by serving clients on topics close to your industrial area, you will, no matter what, contribute to solving our clients' toughest problems whilst enhancing their capabilities. Embedded in a larger team with diverse backgrounds and diverse mindsets, you will be able to play a coherent part in important projects to shape our future client agenda.

You can make an impact — every single day!

What about opportunities for training and career development?

To perform at the highest levels of strategy consulting, consultants need more than on-the-job experience and training. Success at Strategy& requires a proactive approach to achieving personal and professional growth. We consider training and career development a top priority. In fact, we consider it the basis for successful management consulting. Our training curriculum embraces a comprehensive, competency-based approach to developing our people for success. Additionally, practice groups hold global and regional meetings for further practice-based training and development.

At Strategy&, professional development begins on your first day and continues throughout your career. All new hires will participate in a comprehensive orientation, which includes learning about Strategy&’s heritage, culture, and approach to consulting. Once on board, you will continue to find opportunities for growth, including:

  • Mentoring and performance coaching
  • A training curriculum tailored to your development needs
  • Cultivation of higher-order talents, such as leadership, judgment, insight, and business development, that will help you succeed in business and in life
  • The career enhancement that comes from completing an MBA at a top-tier business school

Moreover, you will receive regular assessments of your performance. We know that constructive feedback is one of the most important factors fuelling motivation and personal development. Therefore, at Strategy& we take performance reviews very seriously. Regular appraisals are conducted by an impartial party using a feedback process that involves seniors, juniors, and peers.

At Strategy&, you will create your own destiny and carve out your own individual career path. The firm will support your decisions through our world-class training, career development, and mentoring programmes.

But perhaps the most important way you’ll grow will be in your interactions with colleagues and clients over the course of your time with us. Once you become part of Strategy&, you’ll begin building relationships that will stay with you forever. You’ll refine your consulting skills through day-to-day interaction with senior members of your team, and you’ll work alongside the movers and shakers of industry and government — our clients. Time and time again, our alumni tell us that it’s the people, at Strategy& and among our clients, that they miss the most once they move on, and it’s the number-one reason many alumni choose to return to the firm.

I hear Strategy& has a well-established mentoring program; how does that work?

At Strategy&, we recognize that everyone needs someone to talk with about their careers, someone they can use as a sounding board, someone with more experience with the firm who can give them advice. Therefore, we have a formal mentoring program in place that works very well.

When new employees join the firm, they are assigned a Junior and Senior Mentor. Junior Mentors are people to reach for regarding anything from how to book your travel and where to stay to writing a self-assessment during your appraisal cycle. Your Senior Mentor is someone who can provide insights into your long-term growth at Strategy& and who often works to ensure that your development needs are being met through your staffing assignments. In addition to your formal mentors, you can certainly form less formal mentoring relationships with other colleagues based on your personal or professional interactions. Over time, your network will grow and you will become a mentor to junior staff who will depend on your counsel and support.

How much say do I actually have about the types of projects I work on?

Your individual development preferences and needs play a huge role in the projects on which you’ll be staffed. Additionally, our clients’ needs and the overall availability of staff play a significant role in the staffing process. You’ll work with your mentors and the staffing team to find the right projects to develop your core consulting skills and meet your personal preferences.

How about work-life balance? How much should I expect to work, travel, and be away from home?

The consulting business inherently is a fast-driving business. There is no doubt that we work hard. And if you are looking for a 9 to 5 job, then this is not the right industry for you. Challenging, demanding work sometimes requires long hours; however, fourteen- hour days are not business-as-usual at Strategy&.

We believe that our consultants work hours that are typical of those at our competitors. We encourage you to talk to members of our firm: they will tell you different stories—about some really tough projects and about others when the hours were very reasonable; about those times when they travelled a lot, and about those where they didn’t hit the road for months.

The reality is that every project has peaks and valleys. Teams generally work together at the beginning of an assignment to lay out a project schedule and try to anticipate when those peak times will be so that you can better plan your schedule.

We realize that there’s more to life than work and that we all benefit when employees are happy, healthy, and leading a well-balanced life. That’s why it’s important to Strategy& that you are able to rejuvenate through personal activities that are important to you; that you are involved — not only in the business community, but also in the community where you make your home.

Strategy& has programmes for your personal well-being, opportunities for flexible work arrangements, and impressive benefits packages. If you want to join a professional association, or go back to university for another degree or a certification, we’ll help cover the costs. The firm supports your need for community involvement with a full-time community relations department. To take your mind off work, many offices field sports teams and plan other after-work activities.