Newbie consultant: my first five months at M3

It is time to share my experience with starting at M3 over these last five months. As junior associate, I was immediately send off to my first project helping the current team to finalize the project. Although it was kind of frightening to have this amount of responsibility from the beginning, I knew the team was there to have my back and help me where ever necessary.

The very steep learning curve

During this first project, I learned a lot about the way of working at M3 and some very practical excel skills. Since the project had already started, my manager had some more time for me to help me get on track.

After finishing, it was time for me to get in on a project from start till end. Me and my manager were working on a project for a manufacturer of tubes helping them to improve their delivery performance by changing their overall operational strategy. Within this project, I was tasked to do all analysis, from product categorization to vendor performance. The result was an extended overview of the entire field the manufacturer was operating in and therefore gave a clear idea on how to operate within.

I learned so much each and every single day during the project: learning new things in excel, making slides that have impact, prioritize my work and staying time efficient, interacting with the customer gaining knowledge and sharing your own ideas during presentations and interviews, discussions with my manager about his experiences in previous projects and the overall M3 philosophy and way of working. The learning curve is steep. How steep? You can determine that yourself.

Immersion strategy

At M3, we work four days per week at the client’s office. Teams are made of a partner and/or manager and one or more associates. Together with the client, we examine problems and possible solutions. The associate is primarily tasked with gathering and analysing the data and presenting the results to the client. Even though the final responsibility rests with the partner, the associate is responsible for subparts of the project.

Internal projects

One day per week, we work at the M3 office (located in the city of Utrecht). During this day, we discuss results and issues, and we bring each other up to date about our projects. We also have lunch and social drinks together for informal contact between colleagues.

In addition, we have internal assignments focused on improving M3. Partner or intern, newbie associate or manager, all employees have different side jobs. For example, I am responsible for the marketing strategy and organizing informal events.

I love the combination of working on analytical tasks to support the client and on practical tasks to help M3 move forward. It also gives me the opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship.

Learning ambience

At M3, we find it important to keep expanding our knowledge. Therefore, we organise a monthly event that we call knowledge sharing Friday. During this event, we visit an external company or speaker who will tell us more about their expertise in topics such as artificial intelligence, autonomous supply chain management and circular economy. We discuss the newest technologies in our field and deliberate on how this new information could help our clients.

Benefits of a small company

I have been working at M3 for five months now, and for me, this is the best I could have wished for. I studied Econometrics & Operations Research (read more about my background on my profile), and have worked at a big IT company. M3 really gives me the opportunity to develop myself in a wide perspective. I really enjoy solving problems analytically, investigating the issue from several perspectives and presenting/interacting with the client, and this is precisely what we do at M3.

Working in consultancy does not necessarily mean working for big agencies; working at a small company definitely has benefits. For instance, we have a flat organisational structure, which means a short line of communication with all of the colleagues (from associate to partner). Also, we work in small teams, which means that you are given responsibilities right from the start, and this makes you a team member of great additional value. Moreover, everybody has, next to the project, an extra responsibility to help the company move forward and for this, coming up with new ideas and showing initiative is greatly supported! And even though we are a small company, we still work on big projects for medium to large international clients.

Did you get exited? Did you get excited and want to have more information about starting your new job at M3? Send an email to Tim.