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Here to stay – Pascal Kirchberg first came to INVERTO as an intern, then worked with us on his master’s thesis. Now one of our consultants, he tells us about his career to date.

During my master’s course at the University of Cologne, for which I focused on supply chain management, I decided to do an internship in procurement. I’d taken in-depth courses on the subject at university, and had wanted to gain more practical insights into it ever since. Because I’m very interested in consultancy generally, INVERTO was the perfect place for me to gain my first professional experience, in the form of an internship.

I have to admit that at the time I wasn’t entirely objective when it came to consultancy: I did hold certain prejudices about it. I thought, for example, that the working environment in the sector tended to be quite conservative and stuffy. But my prejudices were far outweighed by the more positive aspects of an internship in consultancy – such as the chance to learn a lot in a short space of time, and to get insights into the project work of a consultant before entering the world of work – so I sent off my application.

As soon as I started my internship at INVERTO, it became clear that the working environment was anything but stuffy. I was welcomed warmly right from the beginning, and all the colleagues I met were down-to-earth, good-humoured and extremely helpful. I travelled to many different places for our client, a global logistics company, visiting the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria. At the end of a busy day at work, we often got together in the evenings. And team sports activities are a regular fixture, with colleagues working on different projects meeting in Cologne to play football every fortnight. Everyone’s welcome, from interns to managing directors, so you may well find yourself kicking a managing director in the shins at a Friday football match – but he’ll probably kick right back!

I found the atmosphere on the project and at INVERTO as a whole to be very friendly. This meant my internship was a great success, not only professionally but also from a personal perspective. I was treated as a true member of the team, and I got to experience what a week in the life of a consultant is like and how varied a project in procurement can be. I organised my various tasks and my to-do list independently, and even accompanied my project manager to strategy meetings with the client, a real sign of trust which gave me a very exciting insight into how things worked at INVERTO.

I was very keen to stay in contact with INVERTO in case a job opportunity arose in the future, so I looked into working with them as part of my master’s thesis. As the end of my degree approached, I asked the human resources department whether I could write my thesis in collaboration with INVERTO. Soon afterwards, I was given an appointment with the head of the ‘Raw Materials’ Competence Centre to discuss the thesis. We quickly agreed on the details, and decided together on the title: ‘Determining optimal purchase times for raw materials’.

I would recommend working with INVERTO to anyone interested in procurement and supply chain management who would like to incorporate practical experience into their thesis, while receiving competent and in-depth support. While I was writing my thesis, I worked on it every day at the Cologne office, researching relevant issues and analysing studies. During this time, I was not involved in any project work, allowing me to focus 100% on my thesis. I presented the key results of my thesis in an internal final presentation, which INVERTO then incorporated into studies and publications. The fact that INVERTO used my results later on as part of its PR made me extremely proud!

Following these positive experiences at INVERTO, both as an intern and as a master’s student, I knew I wanted to stay on as a consultant. I applied internally through the human resources department, and was soon invited to interview. Just a few days later, I was offered a job. I’ve been working on my first project as a consultant for several months now; our client is a leading retail company in Düsseldorf. Thanks to my internship, I was already familiar with the range of a consultant’s responsibilities at INVERTO, and was able to get started right away on my sub-project and begin working independently. In just a few weeks, my colleagues and I were able to achieve great results for our client. Not only did we manage to cut costs; we also significantly improved the client’s service performance. That’s a really good feeling.

There are six team members on the project altogether, and we work side-by-side in our project office at the client’s premises. The working environment is extremely positive and congenial across all the levels of the hierarchy – even our principal is at the client’s premises almost every day. Something I particularly like about INVERTO is the spirit of cooperation, the way experience is shared with younger consultants – I get useful tips from my superiors and colleagues every day. The culture at INVERTO is a perfect combination of professionalism, mutual trust and job satisfaction.

From intern to master’s student to consultant, my time at INVERTO has always been genuinely exciting and instructive. I’m looking forward to the next stage of my professional development, which is sure to bring plenty of the new challenges that make my job as a consultant so rich and varied.

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