is a student consultant and head of customer relations at Academy Consult München, one of Germany’s largest and most successful student-run consulting firms. In addition to small and medium sized businesses, they help clients like Microsoft, Siemens or Procter & Gamble find innovative solutions for problems in a plethora of fields. His job encompasses the acquisition of new projects, the establishment of collaborations with companies and customer relations. Vincent leads a team of 25 fellow student consultants, while also conducting consulting projects by himself. He is currently also working toward his Master’s degree in Information Systems at the Technical University of Munich. Today he’s talking to us about his travel experience working in consulting.
Thank you for being with us today, Vincent! How do you travel as a student consultant?
As most of our clients are based in the greater Munich area, I travel mostly by car or public transportation. I, however, also travel to conferences, network events, or clients in other regions of Europe by plane or train.
What do you love most about traveling?
What I love most about traveling is the fact that when I travel, my surroundings, and as a result my mindset, are constantly changing. I feel as if I were no longer just a regular student, but a consultant and ready to apply my knowledge and skills in real-world projects to help real clients and collaborate with those in charge, instead of listening to a lecturer at university. On top of that, during a trip I can focus entirely on a project and temporarily escape all the distractions and worries of home.
What’s different for you when you travel privately vs. as a consultant?
Of course, the contents of my luggage are different, since I do not need to carry my laptop and other work material when I travel privately. Furthermore, when traveling privately I usually look more forward to warm, relaxing days and prefer colder regions for business trips in order to work more productively. Besides that, the way back from the destination is different. After a vacation, I go through the pictures I took during my travels while as a consultant I reflect on my trip and ponder on the lessons learned and best practices. Moreover, when traveling privately I listen to music more often, read a book and enjoy myself, but as a consultant I do lots of preparation or follow-up work.
What’s the one item you could never travel without?
Definitely my smartphone. It’s of utmost importance to me to be available and stay in touch with both colleagues and clients.
Do you have a travel motto?
The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read the first page. Every task on a project gives me the opportunity to read a new page and get insights into various chapters of the world book.
What’s your favorite travel outfit?
Usually, it is a suit or a jacket.
What’s your craziest travel story?
There are actually a few. One of the most memorable happened while I was working on a project at a client site in Edinburgh. After our on-site work, a colleague and I decided that evening to do a little exploring in Edinburgh, since we had not been there before. So, we strolled through the city, visited all of the major tourist attractions and toured a few typical Scottish pubs. As we had a very important client dinner later that evening, we had to make sure to leave the city early enough to make it to the hotel where the dinner was taking place, which was around 40 kilometers outside the city. After a while, we were looking for a taxi, already starving and thinking about the fancy food that the client had promised us. So, we found ourselves a taxi. During the ride, we speculated about the fabulous meal that we were promised. Unfortunately, our taxi driver was probably the slowest taxi driver in the whole of Scotland and then the traffic caused serious delays. We sat nervously in the taxi, racing against the clock, with the image of a delicious dinner in our minds. In the end, it took us almost two hours to arrive at the hotel. Of course, the dinner was already over and the client could only tell us about the fancy food we had missed. At the end of the day, disappointed and still starving, we settled for some casual junk-food from room service and thought enviously about the fancy dinner that we had missed.
Thank you so much f0r sharing your travel experience with us, Vincent! We wish you pleasant travels and some fancy dinners in the future!