From systems engineering to strategy consulting

Micha van Veldhuizen, Associate Consultant

Education

Delft University of Technology

MSc, Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and Management

BSc, Engineering and Policy Analysis

In systems engineering, my focus was on designing complex socio-technical systems, like the construction of a large power plant. This meant looking at the engineering side and the stakeholder side, and also taking into account  the legal and financial sides. Each of these areas has its own relevant questions and challenges, but by itself does not lead to a successful project if the other sides are ignored.

Near the end of my university studies, my conviction grew that what really matters is not which side you are looking at, but  to figure out what is important: what are the central issues, what are the priorities to focus on, and why. This realisation brought me from systems engineering to strategy consulting, where getting to the core of a problem is central to what you bring to a client.

For example, during my engineering studies I learned about electricity networks and power plants to a certain level – enough to know how they function and key legal, financial and policy aspects. Actually designing a plant would still require the expertise of an electrical engineer. The parallels to a consulting project are easy to see: you cannot know all the specifics of every business, but you get to a level where you understand enough to consider the weight and importance of each aspect of a given problem situation, and then work with the client and other experts to create the most impactful solution for the client.

Fun facts: I play bass guitar and used to be a singer. Before working at Eden McCallum I was a canal boat captain and guide in Amsterdam.

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