Irene Coffman from the Office of Career Services (OCS) in coordination with the Consulting and Finance Club at SIPA hosted Solution Providers, a boutique Management Consulting firm headquartered in Switzerland. The consultancy was founded in 1996 and has since grown to 160 professionals globally with offices in Switzerland, Germany, Singapore as well as the USA. It officially opened an office in New York this year. Earlier in the semester Solution Providers hosted a well-attended information session about the firm, the professional opportunities and how policy students from SIPA may add great value by advising renowned international financial services companies that seek support in the whole process from working out strategies and realizing these operationally through technical implementation.
Solution Providers is looking for well rounded, curious, and intelligent Senior Consultants, who understand and are ready to advance their knowledge within Financial Services firms and how financial regulations and policy may impact the sector in order to serve the client best. As Daniel Zelkas (Senior Consultant) said, the “start-up” culture is a great opportunity for students with various backgrounds to get involved, contribute towards the firm’s success generally and in New York particularly.
Solution Providers has organized similar “Case Study” events at other prestigious academic institutions locally and internationally to seek talent and last Monday at SIPA. After some refreshments and a short presentation about the team, the culture and the firm’s mission (Passion, Process, Progress), there were 4 teams with 5 students each gaining insights in the life of a management consultant by practicing their casing skills. Each team approached the case differently to manage the case that was number heavy and represented a typical challenging situation of gaining new business, by not neglecting the existing clients and by having a cost-efficient operation to support the firm’s growth.
Some groups divided the tasks immediately to quickly focus on specific areas and others discussed the issues as a whole team to get a good handle on the challenge the case study offered and potential solutions that may be recommended. Felix Gniza (Senior Consultant) mentioned that this case was from a real client; however slightly modified to make it manageable to be solved within 45 minutes and to follow compliance standards to assure confidentiality of the actual client’s identity. After an intense team work session and a 15 minutes break that was used to finalize the team’s presentations, each group made their case by identifying the issues that were discovered during the analysis of the case and the various recommendations that the students recommended to senior management, represented by the 4 Solution Providers professionals present. Ilya Usorov (Consultant) shared that this “case study” represented the actual process he and his fellow colleagues face to provide the best solution possible under a tight time schedule and with the information available.
The students experienced this challenge firsthand through the follow up questions posed by the consultants and other students to the presenting team; however the students appreciated the valuable learning experience and the feedback on what to emphasize on during the next time a case or actual client study is worked on. The official part of the 3 hour workshop was concluded by a general feedback from Ahrum Pak (Associate Consultant) and the aforementioned Solution Providers representatives. A casual commingling between the students and the Consultants followed, where business cards were swapped and future career plans were enhanced.
Posted by Andreas Maerki, MPA ’14, IFEP