Are you looking for a career that mixes travel, strategy consulting and entrepreneurship? So was Nicole Schlemmer, a recent graduate in International Business Administration at the Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands. Nicole interned on one of Start Me Up’s Startup Internship Programs in Bali.
Nicole was one of the first ever participants on the Start Me Up Program in Bali in 2016 and she’s now on Roland Berger’s new graduate program. The largest strategy consultancy firm in Germany, Roland Berger offers a program for graduates where they get the chance to live and work in three different continents.
What were you looking for after completing your studies?
“After my studies, I was looking for positions in product management, tech, analytics and consulting.”
And, where are you now?
“I’ve just spent three months in Kigali in Rwanda. While I was there I worked as the Head Account Manager for Academic Bridge, a startup that digitizes information and centralizes data for schools and colleges as part of Roland Berger’s graduate program.”
How did you get onto the program?
“I just had to apply, like you would for any other job with a CV and a motivation letter. Then I was invited to do an analytics test which was basically like an IQ test where you have to answer questions based on different pictures and put them in a logical order. Once I got through that, I was invited to go to an assessment center, which was half a day where I had a presentation, a personal fit interview, a personal case interview and a group case activity.”
What appealed to you about the program?
“I decided to take the offer for two reasons. Consulting teaches you to work efficiently and improve your analytical skills. I was also drawn to the opportunity to work across three different continents. After working in Kigali, I’m moving to Boston in the United States.”
What are you currently doing?
“I hired and trained seven account managers who I now supervise. The managers visit Rwandan schools to market and sell our products. They also train the schools. I help with training and management and I’m working with IT to automate the financial statements using our system.”
Did working in Bali inspire you to want to travel more with your job?
“Working out of an international co-working space in Bali made me even more excited to go traveling. It also made me more aware that it’s possible to have a very enjoyable life while developing a career.”
What advice would you have for people looking to have an international career?
“The advice that I would give to people who want to have an international career or work while they travel is that they should just do it now. Don’t postpone it because it won’t get easier.”
“Going to Bali was such a different experience. I had many interviews with all kinds of companies, from startups to multinational corporations, and they loved the fact that I’d worked in Bali. It shows you are international, but also flexible and open-minded, which can give you a lot of leverage as well.”
What do you hope to do in the future?
“To be honest, I don’t really know what I want to do in the future yet. I’ve done a variety of great internships and roles, but I would still like to explore other options to know what it is that I really want to do and pursue in the long run. I hope to travel the world of course. If that’s with work or without work I’ll have to see, but as long as what I do is meaningful, and I have great colleagues, I’ll be happy with that.”