Challenging yourself and helping to train others…

Ilja Hermans, former Associate Consultant (Eden McCallum Alum)


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

MSc, Economics

Bryn Mawr College

BA, Anthropology (with minors in Economics and Development Studies)

I clearly remember my first three weeks at Eden McCallum: we stayed at an apartment near St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, took the tube to the office on the edge of Soho, and were ushered into the consulting life by way of a three-week induction programme. From pyramid principle to MBTI type indicator test, the training laid the foundations for a solid first year. It was a great opportunity to get to know my own cohort of analysts, other analysts, and the wider Eden McCallum team. It also gave me the basics (even though I didn’t quite realise it until being in that first client meeting) to work independently, and start growing the skills that I was introduced to during those first weeks.

Since then, training has continued alongside our project work. Often training sessions are combined with a social activity. During those sessions there is time to re-connect, reflect, and build your toolkit – to push your skills to the next level. I especially enjoyed the off-site soft-skills training, where we improved the effectiveness of our communication skills, our assertiveness, and awareness in our interaction with others. Consulting is a real people business, and this is a core capability for an analyst.

As you progress through the years at Eden McCallum, you get the opportunity to also challenge yourself in new ways – for example by taking on the role as trainer, helping to develop the skillsets of the incoming analysts. I now follow a personalised training and coaching programme where I leverage my experiences and insights to take on more senior roles on projects, and also set up training sessions for first-year analysts.

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