Success Story: Interview with Andrea Castillo

@IE University

Andrea studied the Bachelor’s of Business Administration. She is a business analyst at A.T. Kearney, since January 9th, 2017.

Why did you choose IE University?

I always knew that I wanted to study abroad, because it’s something that makes you grow a lot as a person. I was born in Madrid but my family decided to move back to Colombia (my mom is Colombian and my dad Peruvian) when I was only a few months old, so I always wanted to learn more about Spain. Months before I graduated from high school, my dad recommended IE University; he was familiar with the university thanks to one of his friends. As soon as I knew that the university was very international, that the classes were taught in English and that the students had the opportunity to live in Segovia and Madrid, I knew it was the right place for me!

Is there anything you would like to highlight regarding your experience at IE University? Do you have any anecdotes that you would like to share?

After I finished the third year of my Bachelor’s in Business Administration, I had the opportunity to work as an intern with the university’s marketing team for about three months. This was a great experience because it allowed me to discover a new side of IE University. I met wonderful people and realized that IE University is a big family. Best of all, I was given flexibility throughout, so I was able to leave my mark on some social media and marketing campaigns.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned during your studies at IE UniversityHow do you apply it in your daily life?

I learned that effective communication and public speaking skills are very important, and I apply that lesson to my work at A.T. Kearney, a consulting firm. I always try to build rapport with others. Also, I participate in recruiting and marketing events whenever possible to share my experiences. For example, during A.T. Kearney’s women’s brunch last year, I was able to share my experiences with young university students. I also visited IE University for the Consulting Talent Forum, where I had the chance to participate in A.T. Kearney’s company presentation.

Could you please share your job title and the date you started working at your company?

I’m a business analyst (or junior consultant) at A.T. Kearney. I started on January 9th, 2017.

Can you please tell us briefly about your current job (functions/company/industry)?

Currently, I work as a business analyst for the strategy consulting firm A.T. Kearney. In my office we do not focus on a specific industry until we are more senior, so I’ve had the chance to work in the pharmaceutical and industrial (manufacturing) industries. I helped with a supply chain transformation program for Europe for a year, and am currently working on a commercial due diligence. Moreover, since I am interested in activities that have social impact, I decided to participate in two pro bono projects (one with a Spanish NGO and another one with international A.T. Kearney colleagues helping an Argentinian NGO).

 Were you interested in this job position/sector/ company before starting your studies?  How does your current job fit into your career strategy?

Yes, my parents were both financial consultants back in the day, so I knew that consulting was something I wanted to try out. I also really like marketing, which is why I worked in IE University’s marketing department and at McCann.

How did you find out about this job opportunity?

I was already familiar with the company, but I was able to attend the women´s brunch in the fall of 2016 (thank you, IE, for sharing the event invitation with me!) and that helped me get in touch with some of the company’s consultants.

How did Talent & Careers and your IE University experience help you during the recruiting process? Did you use specific career resources or did you come across useful information via an Advisor or Alumni?

I always checked the career portal and before I started interviewing for internships or job positions, I talked to a career advisor to get a better understanding of how to better prepare and what I should expect.

How was the recruiting process: stages, tests, interviews, etc.?

I applied via a website, then took an online test (GMAT style). Then, I completed four business case interviews with managers or associates.

Do you feel that IE University well prepared you for the position?

IE University helped me understand the importance of networking and of clear communication, which helped me throughout the application process.

Would you want to share any tips or advice with students interested in applying to your company/sector?

Practice, practice, practice! It’s important to take the whole process very seriously, as very few people make it to the final stage. Back in the day, only one of my friends was applying to strategy consulting firms, so I had almost no colleagues to practice the business cases with, or to get general advice from. That’s why I tried to find other students who were going through the same process.

What are the most important things you have learned in your work?

Always strive to do your best. Attention to detail is key. Challenges allow you to grow both professional and personally.

If you work in an international environment, what are the challenges you face?

In my office most people are Spanish, but we do have some international consultants. I am always curious to learn more about their cultures and how they would tackle a problem if they were back at home. Also, I had the opportunity to work on an international project in which only my A.T. Kearney team was Spanish, so I learned about others’ communication styles, business rules and what they valued most in a professional context.

How your entrepreneurial capacity has helped you achieve your professional success?

I was never afraid to knock on doors. For example, when applying to strategy consulting, I knew that my profile was not the typical one because I had focused on marketing during my undergraduate studies and no IE University students had ever worked at my company. But, I was ready for the new challenge and today I feel very proud of my achievement!

What are your long-range career objectives?

For the moment, I want to be a sponge and keep absorbing as much information and knowledge as I can from my surroundings. I know that I want to keep taking on new challenges and learn as much as possible from all the opportunities that arise!