I spoke to Andre Krzyzowski about how his SDA Bocconi MBA internship helped him secure his dream job with the Boston Consulting Group in Zurich.
Andre is 28 years old and originally from Leipzig in Germany. Having living in the US and Ireland he moved to Italy last summer to do his MBA at SDA Bocconi School of Management. He currently holds a Bachelor of Business (Banking and Finance) as well as an MSc in Finance.
• Where were you working before your MBA?
Prior to my MBA I was working in various roles in the finance industry. In my last role I worked as a fixed income portfolio manager for Deutsche Apotheker- und Aerztebank in Ireland.
• Why did you decide to do an MBA?
I felt that after four years in Ireland it was time to move on, geographically as well as professionally. In my opinion and my MBA at SDA Bocconi allowed me to do exactly this.
• Which business schools did you look at? Which schools made you offers?
I considered three MBA programs. I looked at ESSEC in Paris, SDA Bocconi in Milan and ESADE in Barcelona. However, I only applied to ESSEC and SDA Bocconi, which both accepted me. Ultimately I went for SDA Bocconi, as ESSEC is currently going through a strategic re-positioning (which I only realised after my application).
• For you, what were the most important factors to take into consideration when choosing a business school?
I would consider ranking, location, strategic positioning of the school in the MBA market and student body profile as the most important criteria. One recommendation I would make to people who are currently looking at doing an MBA is to not let rankings be their sole decision driver. From my perspective a good ranking is essential for post-MBA job opportunities, but your MBA experience will much more depend on “soft” factors.
• Why did you choose SDA Bocconi?
I chose SDA Bocconi for two reasons: Firstly, the school’s strength in the consulting industry was a good match with my post MBA career aspirations. Secondly, for my personal and cultural growth it was important for me to study in a non-Anglo-Saxon environment.
• What classes have you taken and which one was the most interesting?
In the second part of my MBA, the marketing concentration, which didn’t really fit very well into my pre-MBA experience, but offered the largest incremental benefits. The concentration fully fulfilled my expectations. The courses contents were cutting edge and the tools we applied practical.
• Have you made use of the SDA Bocconi career development service (CDS)? How was it?
Yes, I made use of the CDS. I mostly used two of their facilities. The first one is their career coaching offered in cooperation with LHH, a HR consultancy firm. These coaching sessions gave me a very strategic view on my personal and professional goals and showed me options, which will help me to realise my long-term goals.
Secondly, I leveraged the CDS’s strong link into the consulting industry. This helped me in particular when looking for a summer internship. Ultimately, this materialised in a summer internship as well as a subsequent permanent offer from The Boston Consulting Group.
• You did a summer consultancy at The Boston Consulting Group as an MBA internship project – How was the experience?
My summer internship was an outstanding experience. I was very pleasantly surprised by the friendly, informal and knowledge driven work environment in BCG’s Zurich office. The atmosphere was very open and even as a summer intern you could see how the partners of the firm value your input into the project. For people who are looking for a challenging work environment and have strong intellectual curiosity, I can only recommend an internship at BCG.
• Do you know what your plans are after you graduate?
Yes, I will spend one week kitesurfing in Morocco. In January 2012, I will be starting as a consultant for the BCG office in Zurich.
• To whom would you recommend SDA Bocconi?
Independently from their background, I would recommend SDA Bocconi to anyone who wants to sharpen his or her profile with additional knowledge in strategy, marketing or finance. With regards to post-MBA career opportunities – SDA Bocconi is probably strongest in Consulting and Industry.
• And what would you like to do in five to ten years and where would you like to live?
In ten years, I would like to be sailing a yacht somewhere in the Caribbean!