As Master of Finance student with chemical background and experience, I have always wanted to work in consulting with a focus on chemical industry. For those who are also interested in pursuing a career in consulting, prestigious consultancies such as McKinsey, BCG, and Bain should not sound unfamiliar to you. But do you know that at BASF – the world’s largest chemical company – there is a corporate unit consisting of dozens of experienced consultants, working exclusively for BASF with regards to numerous interesting topics? In the last 3 months, I had the great opportunity to finish an internship at BASF Management Consulting and would like to share what it is about and why it is special.
As a dedicated in-house consultancy, BASF Management Consulting works on 5 large topics of the whole company, including Growth & Innovation, Marketing & Sales, Organization, Post Merger Integration, and Change. The work there is project-based, and the majority is related to corporate strategy, business transformation, and organizational change. Right after the new corporate strategy came out last November, consultants have been busy working on related projects with the aim of turning BASF into a high-performance organization with strong customer orientation.
During my internship, I worked on a project regarding one Operating Division in the business of specialty chemistry. The work content was very diversified and exciting, and I worked as a team member from day one along with several experienced and inspiring full-time consultants. Thanks to the broad scope of the project, I was able to apply financial knowledge I learned at Frankfurt School at first and then move on to areas such as business management and organizational structure. I really enjoyed the work I did and have benefited from it greatly. Besides work, there were various activities organized by either the company or Management Consulting to get interns to know each other and talk and learn from experienced colleagues.
Even though I spent only 3 months at BASF Management Consulting, I have nevertheless noticed several unique characteristics about it. The first thing is that the difference it makes on the company is tangible and seeing the positive impact of the work you do is beyond rewarding. At external consultancies, consultants spend considerable amount of time doing pitch work, whereas at BASF consultants are more devoted to impactful projects. The second thing is that the majority of the internal clients are either Board of Executive Directors or Presidents of business and functional units. This means the communication and alignment with clients could entail fantastic personal development experience and networking opportunities. Last but not the least, even owning a dedicated in-house consultancy, BASF still hires external consultancies from time to time and let them work hand-in-hand with its in-house consultants, promoting the exchange of ideas and know-hows.
In a nutshell, I really enjoyed my internship at BASF Management Consulting and could only recommend it to students who want to try consulting and gain insights into a large corporation. Chemical background is nice to have but not necessary. I would also encourage students to ask our Career Service team for useful advice and actively participate in all those activities organized by it.