Hands-On Experience and International Exposure at Bluebik Got “Boss,” Senior Consultant, Into Cambridge
Each year, Cambridge Judge Business School thoroughly assesses top-tier candidates from every corner of the globe. Only around 200 people made up one class.
For the class of 2024, which will commence soon, one of the 200 students is “Boss” or “Supavich Pannara,” a Senior Consultant from the Management Consulting & Strategy team. He was the brain behind the success of multiple projects, such as an application for Thailand’s leading organization that facilitates and meets the needs of users’ daily lives. It was Boss who came up with the app’s killer features.
Despite his Master’s Degree in Finance from John Hopkins University, Boss discovered his passion for management consulting when he represented the university in a Venture Capital Investment Case (VCIC) competition at Silicon Valley and the JHGCC 9th Healthcare Case Competition. Thus, he decided to become a management consultant.
“Competing, I felt challenged. There were so many things I had yet to learn in class, and I must apply what I knew. The questions were open-ended. It’s not a fixed mathematical formula. We had to figure it out ourselves. Apply the formula in a way we thought would make sense.”
Boss’s formula worked, apparently, as he has been working as a management consultant for over 4 years. Half of that time he spent with Bluebik helping our prestigious clients achieve their business goals.
Before Boss began a new chapter of his life, he sat down with us to share his experience working at Bluebik and his tips for applying to the MBA program at one of the world’s most distinguished universities.
With a strategy in place, you take off fast
Although he already finished his Master’s Degree, Boss believed an MBA degree was the missing piece in his career puzzle. It would fill his knowledge gap and open new doors of opportunity.
“I’ve been a consultant for a while, so I know what I don’t know. I was once assigned to work on a branding initiative for a financial institution in Singapore. I knew right away that I needed to work on my creativity. I want to improve myself, and what’s good about MBA is that I can choose whatever class I like, and I plan to learn everything that will help me overcome my weaknesses.”
Knowing full well what he wanted out of an MBA degree, Boss laid out an MBA application strategy like any great consultant would do.
“As I didn’t have much time, I completed a mock assessment to evaluate myself first and then only read the part I didn’t score well on. I also tried to tackle as few test questions as possible and picked only the quality ones. For example, if I already nailed this type of question, I’d move on to the next. Focus on what you didn’t do well, and your score will improve.”
“Also, although GMAT mainly focuses on logical thinking, familiarization with the English language also plays an important role. At that time, I subscribed to websites like “The Economist” and read the articles daily. It’s good for both my consultant job and test preparation.”
“As for the essay part, I need to develop how to tell my own story. Honestly, it’s almost like working as a consultant. It would be best to have a convincing storyline and pitch yourself to the university. Everything must be connected. Why do you want to study for an MBA? What makes you different from the other candidates? Tell your story in the simplest, most easily understandable way possible.”
With hands-on experience, you’re unique
More than half of the MBA candidates have management consulting backgrounds. That’s why Boss was asked, “How are you different from the others?”
Some people might find this question difficult, but Boss can answer right off the bat.
“I’m not like any other because I got hands-on experience. Consultants in most consulting firms would only lay out the strategy but aren’t involved in the implementation process. However, at Bluebik, I participated in every process, such as the application development. This is a rare opportunity in this field which I personally enjoyed. Every consultant must try once in their life because when you devise a strategy, there will be something you can’t foresee. If you’re there in the implementation process, you’ll see whether your strategy is actually doable, do any problems arise during implementation, and so on. With this experience, you’ll develop better solutions next time.”
Aside from being involved in the implementation process, Boss also said that working at Bluebik has provided him with an exceptional experience working with premium clientele from the public and private sectors. He wouldn’t be able to work with them had he not worked with a leading consulting firm such as Bluebik.
With international exposure, you’re ready to roll with intercultural classmates
With background studying and working in international environments, Boss believed Bluebik to be the best fit for his career as he got the opportunity to work with international clients. For example, he led an application development project for an Indonesian brokerage firm.
International exposure was one of the key selection criteria for MBA candidates, so Boss definitely had the upper hand here. “The MBA program values international exposure tremendously. When you join the class, they won’t put you in the same group with people from the same country. This is based on research that you wouldn’t learn as much if you were with people from the same background. So, the fact that I had so much experience with people from diverse backgrounds was of great help.”
With getting-things-done mindset, you’re successful
When asked about his tips for building a successful career, Boss said there were none.
“I didn’t do anything differently. I only did what everyone else should do as a norm: always complete whatever task you’re assigned. Get it done no matter what.”
But when asked about his learnings from Bluebik, Boss said there were plenty.
“The first thing was prioritization. You need to juggle many things all at once, so you need to prioritize. What is at risk and needs immediate attention. What requires no attention, so don’t waste time with it. These things were not just hands-on, day-to-day experiences, but it’s something that I got from spending time with high-level clients, too.
“The second lesson was resilience. Sometimes I was assigned projects that I wasn’t familiar with. The good side is I learned a lot. On the flip side, however, the job did come with high stress. And if I made any mistake, I needed to learn how to get back on my feet again.”
With self-awareness, you live a life you love
Boss has some advice for anyone reading and wishing to work in management consulting or pursue an MBA degree: don’t do it just because everyone’s doing it. Talk it out with yourself first.
“Lately, I interviewed a lot of aspiring consultants, and I met a lot of young graduates wishing to break into the field only because being a consultant seems so cool and you can transfer to other areas later. But you need to ask yourself first: why do you want to be a consultant, and do you really like this job? For me, any field of work is equally good if you have passion.
“Similar situation for studying for an MBA. Some consultants think getting an MBA degree is mandatory, but you need to pinpoint first what you need from the program. The school also wants someone who knows what they want and how they will take their career further with an MBA degree.”
If you already know what you want to do, Bluebik is more than willing to open doors for you. See available positions at https://bluebik.com/career and email us now!