H&B Management Consultant, Kristian Hartlev, explains how solving complex real-life problems in case competitions has been a great training ground for a career in management consulting. Together with his team “Let It BI”, Kristian managed to win the Monday case in the Aspire Case Camp in 2018 in front of judges from H&B - today these judges are his colleagues!
How was it to participate in the ACC week?
To put it short: Awesome! As a student, I always looked very much forward to the ACC week. The atmosphere during that week is truly special and I like the fact that everyone can participate – from first-time case-solvers to highly skilled and experienced case-solvers. The experiences you get from dealing with complex real-life problems from large companies together with your team and professional consultants are indeed unique. ACC manages to build the bridge between theory and practice in the best possible way.
What was it like winning one of the cases in Aspire Case Camp?
It was fun! I did not have much experience with case solving at that time, but I decided to participate with my study group. The case was about the BESTSELLER brand, ONLY, and I remember we ended up with a (very) creative solution about digitalising the in-store experience with smart interactive fitting rooms using beacon-based analytics. I do not think ONLY has implemented our solution (yet), but it must be on its way 😉
In total, it was a great day where we got to learn, got challenged, and had fun at the same time.
How do you use your learnings from case competitions in your work at H&B?
Case competitions constitute a terrific opportunity for practicing the process of solving complex problems and presenting them in a simple and structured way. The experience I got from case competitions proved to be beneficial when I joined H&B. These experiences were my first encounters with essential consulting skills like problem decomposition, slide creation and presentation techniques. Now, I use these skills every day. While university is much more about solving theoretical problems, working as a management consultant is about solving real problems for real people – and in that sense, a case competition is the perfect training ground.
How was the start at H&B and what surprised you the most?
I joined H&B in August 2019 and had a very thorough and fun start. The first two weeks were fully dedicated to onboarding and I got to meet all my great colleagues. Generally, I did not find the transition from student to a full-time job at H&B much of a deal. The transition went very smooth and I quickly got onboarded to my first client project and to the subject area I was part of. Time went so fast the first couple of months and the learning curve was – and still is – incredibly steep.
What surprised me the most was the warm and truly unique culture at H&B. We highly value our team and help each other develop to become even better advisors. We are a team of ambitious consultants, but in the end, we are all just people – and that is something we emphasise a lot.