Hola, my name is Marc, and I was contributing to 180DC as a consultant, as well as a board member during the last two cycles. Since I’ll be starting my master studies abroad, I have to accept the fact that I’ll be leaving the Hamburg branch. Nevertheless, I’d like to share my personal experience with the organization in this blog post.
Ever since I heard about the ideas of the Triple Bottom Line and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) I wanted somehow to invest my leisure time in creating social impact. Motivated by effective altruism, concept I stumbled upon while going through my podcast episodes list, I tried to find something where I could put on the table my strengths, and thus, help create positive impact. That is how I decided to apply to the Hamburg branch of 180 Degrees Consulting Hamburg – a perfect match as it will be observed below.
So I handed in my letter of motivation and CV, getting my interview invitation for October 31, Halloween. As you can see in the picture below, I underestimated the term student and overestimated consultancy, which is why I was totally overdressed. One of the perks of having interviews via Skype is that you only have to dress appropriately on the top. Since the interview was scheduled for 6 PM and I had plans to go for a theme party afterwards, I was already dressed for both on an equal share. Things moved on and after passing the assessment center I was fortunate to get allocated to my team – consulting the organization “Flow”.
In my opinion, one of the biggest advantage of working with 180DC is the intercultural experience you accumulate during your time there. My team consisted of two people with Indian routes and one Bangladeshi. Although our main aim was to accelerate the impact of our project, we had lots of fun events together, and we got to know each other well. I was able to learn more about the Indian culture, especially the current developments of the “box systems” and the Sikh religion. When we were preparing food together, samosas were always on the agenda. In addition, everything was being eaten with your fingers.
The project itself was a success. Our committed client was very motivated about the mission, but sometimes lacked a sense of an economic structure. We wrote a business plan to convince local stakeholders with a clear recurring theme, developing a three stages strategy for the upcoming years.
To sum up my consultant experience, I was glad to be able to meet enthusiastic clients like ours and help them analyze the available sustainable approaches. I ended up growing on both professional and personal level.
Having accomplished that cycle, I was wondering how to continue. It was Martin, the co-president of the branch, who convinced me to become a board member. Having the “people’s business” as one of the reasons in mind why I would like to pursue a career as a business consultant, the idea of becoming the HR Director was quite tempting for me.
After being introduced to all the global stuff of the organization I chose to be responsible for the evaluation of applications, interviews and the management of the assessment center. While trying to keep a professional external representation, it was the first time for me to sit on the other side of the table and be the one who asks the tricky questions. The board prepared me for that and gave me some instructions, but also the freedom to implement my own ideas regarding the recruitment process. This was why we had, next to the Skype ones, in-person interviews for the first time of the branch’s existence.
All in all, I can not emphasize enough the positive experiences I made with 180DC. I was able to increase my personal impact with the strengths I gained trough my studies and internships, I made hands-on experiences as a consultant, and (even more important) I met similar minded people with whom I am now close friends. It’s a valuable network I can count on in the future. If you are in the same position as I was at that time, I cannot recommend the organization highly enough. I’m very grateful for the experiences I made, and I am looking forward to meeting my friends in the near future!