It has become custom that the Rotterdam Consulting Club organizes a trip to a foreign city each academic year, combining international company events with the possibility to discover a new place with fellow club members. The foreign trip committee of 2018/19, Dominic, Jeroen, Joni, Maaike, Ping and Sebastian, selected Vienna as this year’s destination.
For most of us, the trip started at the Rotterdam Central station on Wednesday morning March 26th, whereas others joined later at Schiphol airport. After a couple of hours of travelling and getting to know each other better we finally arrived at our accommodation at the Naschmarkt in Vienna. This, however, did not mean that it was time to relax – quite the opposite – the city was waiting to be discovered. For many of us, the first night meant getting to know Vienna through its cuisine, with a traditional schnitzel, or dumplings for the vegetarians. After filling our stomachs, we started the trip with a local pub-crawl that left us to explore sometimes even unexpected places!
The next day started with a good breakfast, after which it was time for our first company event. We were invited by Roland Berger to come to their office in the heart of the city to discuss their new Smart City study and get practical insights into the life of a consultant at Roland Berger. The morning was filled with the presentation of Mr. Hilbert, partner in the Financial Service practice who shared his path into strategy consulting and gave insights into his daily work as a partner at Roland Berger. Moreover, we discussed how established banks are dealing with the challenges of changing market environments and the speed startups disrupt the banking space. Afterwards, Mr. Falb, the head of the office gave a very interesting talk about Roland Berger’s new study on Smart Cities. We found out that Vienna had been selected as the smartest city in the world due to its great efforts in the mobility and education area, as well as the sophisticated planning and coordination efforts for its future strategy. Mr. Falb gave great insights into the different measurements of the study and explained what distinguishes Vienna from the emerging cities in China and SE Asia. The morning ended with great food and a discussion about challenges cities are facing.
The afternoon was left free for everyone to discover Vienna on their own. Some walked around the city, some rented electric scooters and roomed around. Some explored the hidden gems of Vienna, while others went to explore the Natural History Museums or the Kunsthistorisches Museum.
A stay in Vienna would not be complete without the obligatory Wiener Schnitzel, which we had in a traditional and rustic Austrian restaurant. Freshly strengthened, and with the knowledge from the prior night, we dove into Vienna’s nightlife. Not only the nice music, but also the student friendly prices made the night a great success.
Friday morning, we visited zeb consulting, who shared their PowerPoint strategy with our members. From the basics, such as content structure and layout, to small insights and tips & tricks used in the day-to-day consultant life; we were given the complete palette of applying PowerPoint successfully. The content of this event was new and informative and ended with a good feedback session.
In the afternoon, we continued our day with an event with Arthur D. Little working on a typical case study, yet the description typical does not do justice to the case. Members were to develop a strategy that enhances innovation for different established corporations. The challenge: we were given extensive space to come up with a creative but also plausible strategy for the company, be it the corporation with a startup or launching a venture capital incubator. The case was followed by an extensive Q&A session, where everyone had the opportunity to network and demonstrate further knowledge far beyond the actual presentation. After the work was done, drinks and snacks were waiting for us at the rooftop. Here, in a relaxed atmosphere, we got to hear more about what it is like to be a consultant at Arthur D. Little.
As Friday was our last night, we decided to end this trip properly in to the club Volksgarten. Unknowingly this turned out to be a great choice, not only because of good music, good atmosphere and good people, but also because at some point the roof opened, turning the location into an open-air club! Without going into detail: a night to remember.
Not only a night to remember, but a trip to remember! Saturday we were sad to leave this beautiful city, but we left with a lot of great memories, and knowing of the many great opportunities waiting for us. Once again, we would like to thank Roland Berger, zeb consulting, Arthur D. Little and the icons, the student consultancy in Vienna, for hosting us and enabling us to have these interesting and diverse events. Certainly, this trip marked one of the highlights of the year as RCC member.