Renee Mitchell, our Women’s Scholarship Winner in 2016, answers some questions on why she applied for the Women’s Scholarship and what she got out of this rewarding experience.
Why did you apply for the A.T. Kearney Women’s Scholarship?
My main motivation in applying for the A.T. Kearney Women’s Scholarship was my interest in consulting. When I started at University, I had no idea what consulting was, but soon learnt that it was a great way to engage with a diverse range of industries and types of organisations. The opportunity to be involved with a high-performance firm where I can learn from some of the best minds in the industry made applying a no-brainer!
How did you find the recruitment process? Especially, having to apply with a video?
The recruitment process was supportive and surprisingly enjoyable! Having applied with a video submission also allowed me to show a bit about myself before my interviews and it felt like everyone I met during the process knew a bit about me beyond my CV.
What is most memorable from your experiences as an A.T. Kearney Women’s Scholar?
As a New Zealander, interning with the Sydney office was my first time living away from my home city, closest friends and family. This, coupled with the excitement and energy of my internship, allowed me to experience several exciting new challenges and taught me a lot about myself. It was amazing to experience the independence that entails and is a time of my life I will always remember.
What did the scholarship enable you to achieve?
Being awarded the scholarship unveiled several incredible opportunities and ultimately led me in the unexpected direction of working and living in a new continent!
Beyond the personal development I experienced during my internship, the scholarship gave me the financial freedom to embark on a study exchange to Europe. I studied in the beautiful city of Utrecht, just 20 minutes from Amsterdam, and I quickly fell in love with the country and its people.
It was an extremely tough decision to leave the team in Sydney, but they were very receptive to my wishes and gave me all the support I could have imagined in finding my place with the Amsterdam office.
What did you enjoy about your internship?
From day one, I was staffed on a project in a large team, working alongside consultants at all levels. The team quickly entrusted me with difficult analysis and client-facing interviews. I was lucky enough to learn what consulting is all about in a fast-paced yet supportive environment.
Aside from allowing me to ‘give consulting a go’ before committing to a graduate position, I realised that A.T. Kearney was a great fit for me in terms of people and culture. I built up my skills and confidence in exciting ways and when my performance earned me a graduate offer, I didn’t feel a need to apply elsewhere.
What has your project experience with A.T. Kearney been like?
My work at A.T. Kearney has been rich and varied, from working with telecoms, international car leasers, through to one of the largest aerospace engineering companies globally. I have honed my skills with complex data analysis and then switched completely to my left-side brain with survey and website design (all within one project!)
How does A.T. Kearney display inclusion and diversity?
The Women’s Scholarship is just the beginning of A.T. Kearney’s support of diversity. Having passions and commitments outside of work is actively encouraged and supported. Through the firm, I’ve been lucky enough to meet people from all backgrounds and cultures.
Firm-wide, A.T. Kearney has consistently showed me its dedication to furthering the place of women in the consulting world. Applying for A.T. Kearney was the first opportunity I had to interview with other women, both within and outside of the consulting industry, which showed me diversity was not just a ‘buzz word’, but practically important at A.T. Kearney. For our women consultants, we have regular catch ups, an international women’s network and importantly, a hiring policy with gender parity.
What piece/s of advice would you offer to those looking to apply for the Women’s Scholarship in 2018?
If you’re applying for the scholarship, my advice would be to prepare so you can put your best foot forward, but don’t feel the need to overprepare. Being awarded the scholarship is of course an incredible opportunity, which is bound to make you nervous, but applying and interviewing is ultimately an opportunity to be yourself, show who you are, and see whether the fit with consulting and A.T. Kearney works for you too.
Good luck with your application!