Internship and working student report Bernd Wessels

My name is Bernd Wessels, I am 26 years old and have completed my bachelor’s degree in busi-ness administration at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. For my master’s program, I chose the Philipps-University Marburg because the pursuit of my two main areas of study, namely Market-oriented management and accounting and finance, as well as a very good support rela-tionship was of great importance for me. Within the scope of a gap year between bachelor and master I gained practical experience in various consulting internships. Like this, I was able to get to know HPP for four months as part of an internship and I also had the opportunity to work for HPP as a working student during my master’s program.

My internship at HPP

During my internship at HPP I had the opportunity to support in a consulting project from start to completion. Our project assignment was to develop a segment strategy for a German stainless steel manufacturer. Since the project team was comparatively small but the analysis requirements were very comprehensive, I had my own work packages from the very first day and, for example, independently created a market analysis for the industrial furnace construction segment. Whilst working on this, I intensively used the classic consulting tools consisting of Excel and Power-Point. In addition, I acquired a deeper understanding of the industry through comprehensive in-ternet research and expert interviews with representatives of the industrial furnace industry. The atmosphere in the project team and the internship support were very good as the project leader regularly took time to give feedback and answer our questions.

For questions besides the project, my mentor Robin Hennecke, an experienced management con-sultant who was assigned to a different project, stood by my side with advice and support. This had the central advantage that we were able to exchange ideas about our respective projects and that there was a gap between project business and later internship evaluation. At the end of my internship, I had the opportunity to present a part of my project in the context of a final presenta-tion in front of other consultants. This was a great and important experience because presentation skills are an important part of the consulting practice and therefore comes very close to what may later be expected of me as a consultant by clients.

My time as a working student at HPP

Half a year after completing my internship at HPP, I returned in September 2016 as a working student for one full year. My field of work has changed compared to my time as an intern because I was only in the office for 50 hours a month. In addition to the project work, I was now mainly involved in internal projects. Among other things, I helped to set up a project database and maintain the customer database. Having previously had few points of contact with MS Access, it was a great way to get more involved with it and also to help HPP develop and implement a knowledge management tool. In addition, I supported the consultants in external projects. For example, I worked on the development of a new sales strategy for a German premium car manufacturer and the preparation of a KPI cockpit to measure the success of a pilot for an internationally operating car manufacturer. The opportunity to always keep in touch with external projects in addition to internal projects has given me a lot of pleasure.

Darüber hinaus habe ich die HPP Berater in externen Beratungsprojekten unterstützt. So habe ich an der Entwicklung einer neuen Vertriebsstrategie für einen deutschen Premium-Automobilhersteller sowie bei der Erstellung eines KPI-Cockpits zur Erfolgsmessung einer Pilotierung für einen international tätigen Automobilhersteller mitgearbeitet. Die Möglichkeit, neben internen Projekten auch stets den Bezug zu externen Projekten zu behalten, hat mir sehr viel Freude bereitet.

My conclusion

My personal highlights at HPP include participation in project presentations at the customer’s site, the appreciation received from colleagues and the variety of different work packages in various consulting projects. Due to the lively exchange with colleagues, I have learned a lot both pro-fessionally and personally.