To work in consulting in renewable energy in Europe

barrier consulting Energy europe language MBA renewable
New answer on May 03, 2020
7 Answers
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Kenny asked on May 01, 2020

Hi Everyone,

I'm very keen to work in renewable energy sector in consulting and am planning to do a Master in Europe to bolster my profile. However, I have been warned recently that without a professional level of local language, it's very hard to get a chance in consulting firms. I will certainly learn a new language once enrolled into a MBA but the reality is it takes years to attain fluency. With these being said, is MBA helpful in opening up new opportunities in consulting in Europe? I'm not targetting at top tier consulting firms (I know I'm not there yet) but I want to set foot in the industry and work my way up.

With entrepreneurial business management experience and completion of CFA programs under the belt, I am targeting at MBA at WHU, Mannheim, RSM and exploring more.

Regards,
Kenny

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Clara
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replied on May 03, 2020
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Hello there!

Some toughts:

  • Language: in Europe the local language is required, unless you are an expert in a field. However, hace you considered London? English will be enaugh.
  • MBA: for sure an MBA from a target school would position your profile better. However, if the target is Europe, you will have the same language issue -unless you also use the MBA to learn a new language, which seems not very likely-.
  • O&G: if this is the industry that passionates you, why not applying directly instead of consulting?

Hope it helps.

Cheers,

Clara

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Kenny on May 03, 2020
Yes UK is one of the countries I'm considering. I'm looking at LBS MiF but wonder if they accept my non-Finance background, while the prices of other top MBAs look steep. I'm also considering studying German for 6-9 months (not sure if that's enough to get me to B2) before taking on MBA at WHU/Frankfurt/Mannheim. I did try applying for jobs in energy sector but I don't have any working experience in the field and that's a big disadvantage.
Anonymous replied on May 02, 2020

Hi Kenny,

If you are applying or obtaining to Mannheim WHU then you probably look for Germany. For this you have to speak German at least at B-2, C-1 level or higher. But everything is possible.

I've been also in your situation 8 years ago, and I've managed to get into consulting in all the targeted firms, including MBB.

So, if you need further advice, feel free to reach out.


Best,

André

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Kenny on May 03, 2020
Thanks the impression I am getting now is that it is safer to study German first and get up to minimum B2 level before taking on a master program in WHU/Mannheim/Frankfurt School. I'm sure there's exception but the ROI of a master without fluency in German is quite uncertain. I'm not sure if I am ready to take such a gamble.

(edited)

Anonymous on May 09, 2020
Ok. If you need need further advice on this, feel free to reach out.
Ian
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updated an answer on May 02, 2020
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Hi Kenny,

Is an MBA helpful in opening up new opportunities in consulting in Europe?

An MBA is 100% helpful in opening up opportunities period. This is through:

  1. Access to employers directly through the school career department and the recruiting cycle
  2. Bolstering of your resume
  3. Networking with peers
  4. Experiential learning programs/opportunities

Is an MBA worth it?

This entirely depends on your current situation (i.e. is your current experience + network enough? What is your current opportunity cost i.e. salary? etc.). Also, is it better to do an MBA or a more technical masters (i.e. to support your dreams of energy work)? This depends on the full breadth and depth of your prior experience.

If you'd like to talk more about how to best optimise your current resume and experiences to fit your future goals, feel free to reach out to me!

Is local language knowledge nececesary to get into consulting firms in that country?

It depends. Generally in Europe English is a must and the local language is a plus. There's a bit of an opposite correlation between how developed the country is and how important knowing the local language is. However, this is country-specific and you'd need to check with the HR department.

Hope this helps!

-Ian

(edited)

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Francesco
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replied on May 02, 2020
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Hi Kenny,

in general you need to speak the local language in consulting in Europe – exceptions are the Netherlands and the Nordics or if you are hired as an expert. Since you mentioned you speak Japanese and Mandarin, why not target the Asian market? Otherwise your options would be limited to the previous areas plus the UK.

An MBA is definitely useful to land into consulting (the best in Europe are probably Insead and LBS), however it won’t fix your language issue. Also, you have to consider the trade-off between working 1-2 years in the sector (maybe you can network your way in) versus entering the sector completely new after the MBA.

Best,

Francesco

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Kenny on May 03, 2020
In my opinion UK/Germany/Netherlands/Nordics are the leaders in development of renewable energy and thus I want to work to these countries for a few years before returning to Asia with the experience. I'm not sure with my background if I can network my way in and I'm considering investing in a master for better chances.
Alessandro updated an answer on May 02, 2020

Hello Kenny,

Given your strong passion for Renewable Energy, my suggestion is to clarify first:

  • Why do you want to enter consulting, specifically?
  • How do you expect a job in consulting will match your interest in the above-mentioned field?

Let's assume you enroll to a 1-year MBA Program in Europe and you land a consulting job straight-after: it is unrealistic that you will be assigned to Renewable Energy projects in a short timeframe.

In case your primary goal is to work in the Renewable Energy domain, why don't you take into consideration a MS in Energy Management (specialization in finance, investment and consulting is available) instead of a MBA? Depending on the program, this would give you also access to internships or corporate opportunities, entering faster (and with proper means) in your desired field.

This does not prevent you, anyway, to apply for a MBA/EMBA program in future.

Best,

Alessandro

(edited)

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Kenny on May 03, 2020
Good questions. I'm not limited myself to consulting in renewable energy and I am happy to work in other fields related to renewable energy. But as Master is a big investment I want it to be opening up as many new opportunities as possible. My plan is, if I'm enrolling in MBA/MiF/MSc program, to find internship in energy-related investment firms/consulting firms/utilities companies while networking with their alumni/executives to enhance the chance of getting job offers before/after graduation. The reason why I pay close attention to consulting field is because of my business management and entrepreneurial background which might seem relevant to consulting. I've checked quite a few Energy MBA/MSc, but unfortunately either they require engineering background which I don't have, or the coverage in energy topics is superficial as some graduates claimed. I do not want to study Master in Energy just for the sake of it but I want to make sure it paves a good career path for me in renewable energy.
Thomas
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replied on May 01, 2020
150+ interviews | 5+ years experience | Kearney & Accenture | Sold consulting startup| London Business School

Hi,

Great to hear about your passion. Regarding, the local language, this differs a lot in Western Europe and I would recommend contacting the HR departments.

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Axel
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replied on May 01, 2020
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Hi Kenny,

Maybe you can provide some more details about your background and what markets you are targeting.

For many markets in Europe today local languages is not likely to be a key requirement to get hired in a consulting firm. The most prominent examples would be the Netherlands and the Nordic countries.

Best,

A

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Kenny on May 01, 2020
As a late bloomer I'm afraid my background is not so much relevant to consulting and energy. I graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and my major was Translation. I had interned in India (market research) and Japan (FinTech), and had worked in Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong as Junior Sommelier. I spent most of my years starting a boutique wine business as General Manager and Founding Team, until I developed an interest in renewable energy. I had completed all levels of CFA exams by self-study and can speak Mandarin, English and Japanese. Yes my background is a bit disoriented and that's why I am thinking to take on a MBA to connect the dots. I'm targeting at European markets as its the leader in renewable energy development, especially for countries like Denmark, Germany, UK, Netherlands.

(edited)

Clara gave the best answer

Clara

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