How LSE and CEMS supported my placement at Bayer Business Consulting

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We caught up with Kim-Ole Holm, a GMiM and CEMS 2020 graduate, who introduced us to Bayer Business Consulting (where he currently works as a Senior Consultant). Read his useful advice for future graduates considering joining Bayer, as well as insights into how his LSE and CEMS experiences prepared him for his future career.

An introduction to Bayer Business Consulting

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Committed to providing health for all and hunger for none, through medicine and agricultural input.

As a leader in healthcare, Bayer provides innovative solutions designed to prevent, alleviate, and treat diseases. Bayer’s leadership in agriculture provides tailored solutions for farmers to plant, grow, and protect their harvests using less land, water, and energy.

As the preferred consultancy of the Bayer Group, Business Consulting (BC) is “consulting for a better life”. We support the top management in over 100 strategic projects per year worldwide, across all divisions and functions – primarily in the areas of strategy design, organisational development, and performance improvement. We thus help drive the continuous development of one of the largest life science companies and have a tangible impact on Bayer’s contribution to healthcare and nutrition in the world.

To make this possible, Business Consulting (BC) is one of the biggest in-house consultancies with a set-up similar to external consultancies. Our 180 consultants are located around the globe, with offices in Leverkusen, Whippany (NYC), St. Louis, São Paulo, Singapore, and Shanghai.

Functionally, we are organised into departments along the value chain –

  • Research & Development
  • Product Supply
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Business Transformation

The team consists of both excellent university graduates and senior hires, all coming from a diverse range of educational, cultural, and gender backgrounds.

 

How do graduates join Bayer Business Consulting? 

1) Be Interested in the Life Science Industry: This would include the areas of pharmaceutical, consumer health, agriculture, and biotechnology.

Here’s how you can demonstrate your passion:

  • Develop industry knowledge – Start by immersing yourself in the life science industry. Follow industry news, read research papers, and keep up with the latest advancements. Understanding the trends, challenges, and opportunities in the sector will set you apart from other candidates.
  • Pursue relevant coursework – If your university offers courses in life sciences, healthcare management, or pharmaceuticals, consider enrolling in them. This not only enhances your knowledge but also shows potential employers that you’ve made a deliberate effort to learn about the industry.
  • Attend conferences and networking events – Participate in industry-specific conferences, webinars, and networking events. These gatherings provide valuable opportunities to meet professionals in the field, gain insights, and make connections that could lead to job opportunities.

 

2) Be Eager to Work in Consulting: Bayer looks for attributes such as innovation, problem-solving, and collaboration and we work on diverse projects, ranging from market research and strategy development to regulatory compliance and product launch planning. To succeed in this dynamic environment, you must be eager to work in consulting and embrace new challenges:

  • Showcase problem-solving skills – During interviews or on your CV, highlight instances where you’ve successfully tackled complex problems or projects. Discuss how your analytical thinking, research abilities, and creativity contributed to solutions.
  • Emphasise teamwork and adaptability – Consultancies value candidates who can work effectively in teams and adapt to changing circumstances. Share experiences from group projects, extracurricular activities, or internships that demonstrate your collaboration skills and adaptability.
  • Stay informed on consulting trends, methodologies, and best practices – This knowledge will help you engage in informed conversations during interviews and demonstrate your commitment to the consulting profession.

 

3) Show Genuine Interest in 1) and 2) when applying: When applying to a Bayer Business Consulting, your application should reflect your passion for the industry and consulting work:

  • Tailor Your Application – Highlight relevant coursework, research projects, and experiences that demonstrate your interest in the life science industry and consulting.
  • Use the STAR Method – When answering behavioural interview questions, use the Situation, Task, Action, and Result (STAR) method to provide specific examples of how your skills and experiences align with the job requirements.
  • Ask Informed Questions – During interviews, ask thoughtful questions about the company’s projects, clients, and culture. This shows that you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in the organisation.

Finally, please do not hesitate to apply even if you do not have previous working experiences in the industry. 

LSE and the CEMS programme foster an environment where meaningful conversations are encouraged, and critical thinking is prized.

How did LSE and the CEMS programme help you to prepare for and finally land your job?

A journey towards a dream job is often paved with educational experiences that shape your skills, perspectives, and values. For me, that journey led through the doors of the London School of Economics (LSE) and the CEMS (The Global Alliance in Management Education) programme.

These institutions not only prepared me academically but also fostered a unique environment that encouraged personal growth, multilingualism, and a commitment to making a positive impact on society, for example:

1) Polyglot Environment: One of the standout features of both LSE and the CEMS programme are its multicultural and multilingual environment. They bring together students from diverse backgrounds and nationalities, creating a dynamic polyglot community. This immersion in a linguistically diverse atmosphere offers several advantages:

  • Language proficiency – Through coursework and daily interactions, I honed my language skills. Being fluent in multiple languages, especially in today’s globalised job market, is a valuable asset that can set you apart from other candidates.
  • Cultural competence – The exposure to various cultures and perspectives enhances cultural competence, a crucial skill in international business and consulting. Understanding different cultural nuances and communication styles is invaluable in building effective relationships with clients and colleagues worldwide.
  • Networking opportunities – The diverse student body opens doors to a vast network of connections across the globe. These connections can prove invaluable in securing job opportunities and gaining insights into different industries and markets.

2) Enriching Conversations with Inspiring People: LSE and the CEMS programme foster an environment where meaningful conversations are encouraged, and critical thinking is prized. This enriching aspect of my education has profoundly influenced my career trajectory:

  • Intellectual growth – Engaging with professors and peers in discussions that challenge conventional wisdom and encourage fresh perspectives stimulates intellectual growth. These dialogues sharpen your analytical abilities and prepare you for the complex problem-solving demands of the professional world.
  • Exposure to thought leaders – At LSE and within the CEMS network, I had the privilege of interacting with thought leaders and experts in various fields. These interactions not only broaden your horizons but also inspire you to aim higher in your career aspirations.
  • Networking for opportunities – The relationships I cultivated during my time at LSE and CEMS provided opportunities for internships, mentorships, and job referrals. Connecting with inspiring individuals opened doors that eventually led to my dream job.

 

3) “Doing Good Better” and Value for Society: LSE’s motto, “Rerum cognoscere causas” (to know the causes of things), epitomises a commitment to understanding the world’s most pressing challenges and finding solutions. This ethos aligns perfectly with the CEMS programme’s emphasis on “doing good better,” a philosophy that emphasises responsible management and sustainability:

  • Ethical decision-making – The curriculum at LSE and CEMS encourages students to consider the ethical dimensions of business decisions. This focus on responsible leadership equips graduates with the tools to make positive contributions to society through their work.
  • Social responsibility – Companies and organisations today increasingly prioritise social responsibility. My education at LSE and on the CEMS programme provided me with the knowledge and mindset to contribute to organisations that are dedicated to making a meaningful impact on society.
  • Alignment with dream job – My passion for “doing good better” and my commitment to creating value for society played a pivotal role in landing my dream job. Many employers in today’s market are seeking candidates who share these values and can drive sustainable change within their organisations.

By embracing these experiences and values, I have not only secured my dream job at Bayer Business Consulting, but have embarked on a journey toward a fulfilling and impactful career that I am truly passionate about.

How and where to apply? 

The most common way is to apply via roles on the Bayer Business Consulting LinkedIn page.


Learn more about the Global Master’s in Management programme

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