Day 1

The first day started off with a grey and rainy morning. Unlike the weekend when it was really sunny and perfect for sightseeing, this weather was perfect to spend inside a classroom or a meeting room. And that we did. We had a presentation on entrepreneurship scheduled for the morning session and two company visits after the lunch break.
The classroom presentation was held by Ziv who turned out to be an inspiring speaker with a really interesting life story. He shared his first-hand experience with start-ups and the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial life. The major takeaway from this session for me was his advice to always follow your inner guide aka gut feeling. His optimistic and somewhat naive outlook on the world still resonates in my mind.
Following the lunch break we visited one of the companies I was very much looking forward to get an inside view on. AT Kearney is one of the world’s leading strategic consulting companies. They employ more than 3500 consultants all around the globe working with leading companies in different industries. Since I’m working in the same field I was truly interested to learn the secrets of the trade from one of the best firms. After the brief presentation about the company by Mr. Claude Fidelin, senior manager, we were divided in small groups where we could talk directly to some of the consultants working in the NY office. I joined the group facilitated by Dr. Alexander Gruentzig, associate and specialist in biotechnology. Besides the amazing view from the 36 floor down on Times square, the first new thing I learned was the understanding that American companies are more accustomed to using consulting services than the European ones. Maybe that is one of reasons that gives them the competitive edge and know-how to be among the best in the word. The second important thing I learned was that Asia was the growing market for consulting business. As most of the production is being moved to China this market is becoming more and more interesting for consultancies. The third and most personal thing I came out from 7 Times square building with, was my even more solid commitment to one day be part of such a global consulting firm and offer advice to Fortune 500 companies.
The second company visit was to a company called General Assembly that is sort of an incubator for tech startups. This was a view on the other side of the business spectrum from ATKearney. The startups with their informal but very professional and innovative approach to entrepreneurship were remodeling the ways business is done in many traditional industries. Hopefully few of them will survive the harsh realities of doing business and grow big enough to use advice from consulting firms such as AT Kearney.
All in all, a very successful, although rainy day in NYC. Hope tomorrow brings more sun and more interesting things to learn and people to meet.

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