Christina Mühlenbein has done it: one of the first graduates of WHU, she has been appointed Managing Director and Partner and thus promoted to the management team of Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In our interview the successful consultant offers us insight into her career with BCG and reveals what is important as a manager in consulting and how much her studies at WHU have helped her on her career path.
Dear Christina, you started at BCG immediately after completing your studies and have now been with us almost ten years. What do you find most interesting about working in business consulting?
“At BCG I have the opportunity to get familiar with a number of different companies and to influence decisions at relevant points. We are often working directly with the specific strategy departments or with the business unit leads of our customers. This makes this career incredibly exciting and varied. It is important to me to continuously keep developing. A career in consulting offers a constant learning curve; this also presents me with new challenges in my role as Managing Director and Partner. I am eager to take up my new duties, which will allow me to shape the strategic direction on both the customer side and internally at BCG. What makes BCG unique is the strong corporate culture, which made a lasting impression on me from the start. The support of individual diversity and the work in the team makes it fun.”
How much did your studies at WHU help you on your career path?
“The semester abroad and the internships that are integrated into the degree program made it possible for me to gain my initial experiences in working and living abroad. I first came into contact with BCG thanks to this in the course of an internship during my bachelor’s program. And the practical focus of WHU, with its multitude of business presentations and case studies, also opened up perspectives for me that were important for a career in consulting. Beyond the curriculum, my time as a student at WHU supported my personal development in a special way – not least through the many student initiatives. Through my involvement in the WHU Euromasters, the largest European school sport festival, and the student business consulting organization confluentes, I was able to develop my communication skills beyond my academic studies and I learned to act independently and reach my own decisions. This certainly had a big impact on me.”
What is your personal recipe for success? What advice would you give the new crop of students about to start?
“I think my curiosity and the aim to continuously develop myself have helped me in the development of my career. It is beneficial here to seek out topics that fascinate you and that you are passionate about. This is also why I constantly took on additional tasks within BCG that were close to my heart, as the recruiting director for the internship program, for instance, or through my involvement with the Women@BCG Initiative – through which we support women at BCG in planning their careers. It is also essential to develop a certain perseverance as well as to be able to just grit your teeth sometimes and get on with it. Lastly, it is also important to keep things in balance – for me, this especially involves friendships and afternoons on the tennis court.”