Sebastiaan
Consultant
EY-Parthenon B.V.
Office: Rotterdam
Year Joined: 2015
Education: University of Amsterdam

What does the role of a consultant entail?

The work of a consultant is very diverse. You are exposed to a wide range of industries and every single time the question posed by the client is different. Concretely, this means that no two projects are the same and therefore your role differs. For example, during one of your projects you could be assisting the client with determining their five-year plan, and you might therefore model how the market in which they are active is expected to develop in the coming years. The next project could involve optimizing a company’s production footprint and then you would be looking at how many production facilities you need and where these should be located. 

What aspects of EY-Parthenon appeal to you?

The Rotterdam office is a very tight-knit group. There is room for everyone and you feel at home from day one. Regardless of the circumstances – be it during a busy project, Friday evening drinks or another social event – people are always keen for good conversation or a joke or two. People at EY-Parthenon are down-to-earth but at the same time very ambitious. The combination of these qualities create an inspiring and challenging environment in which we help each other develop ourselves.
Did you expect that before you started working here?

I already had a good impression before I started working here, based on prior conversations with EY-Parthenon employees and throughout the application process. You never know how it turns out in practice, however. I followed my gut feeling when choosing for this office and fortunately I turned out to be right!

What characteristics should an EY-Parthenon team member have to support clients in their strategic thinking?

In short, a consultant should have strongly developed analytical and people skills. Analytical skills are necessary to ‘crack’ the complex, real-life cases that form the basis of our daily work. However, ‘cracking the case’ is only one side of the coin. It is just as important to be able to convincingly present your findings, taking the client along in the thought process and challenging the client where necessary.

What is one of your favorite cases that you’ve work on?

For a global service provider in the oil and gas industry, I worked alongside regional management teams to define a long-term strategy. For this project, I worked on location in Singapore, the US and the Netherlands. This project was particularly memorable because as an external consultant you were asked to think about the most fundamental questions facing the client, such as: on which markets should we focus? How should we position ourselves towards the customer? What kind of organizational structure would be necessary to realize this?