This is a guest blog by our summer intern, Dan Snow, an undergraduate at Oxford University interested in becoming a consultant.
Today is the last day of my summer internship with Oxbow Partners. Initially, I knew virtually nothing about strategy consulting, let alone insurance, but the last seven weeks have been a steep learning curve. I’ve had the chance to work on two major projects, conduct research and write blogposts, and attend meetings with leading people in the industry.
I’ve also had the opportunity to work closely with several members of the team (both Partners and consultants), all of whom have a wealth of experience in management consulting, and right from day one I’ve been encouraged to speak up in meetings and ask questions. Oxbow Partners is a relatively small firm, so even as an intern I’ve been able to make a real contribution, gaining an understanding of what it’s actually like to be a consultant – this certainly wasn’t seven weeks of making the tea. Below is an example of a typical day I spent as an intern at Oxbow Partners.
7.45am: Wake up to my alarm, then hit snooze too many times and end up rushing for the bus.
9.00am: Arrive at the office, take advantage of the free coffee, and check my emails for any new tasks that need doing today. Planning my day is always a case of prioritising, not of searching for things to do.
9.15am: Spend some time browsing the web to find out about blockchain and its implications for insurance. If there’s enough interesting information available, we might do a blog post on it. I note down some blockchain experts to try contacting for a quick discussion about it.
10.00am: Meet with Greg and Scott to brainstorm some ideas for a project we are all working on involving a potential market entrant. Having worked on the project for two weeks, I’m able to contribute to the discussion. I have a few ideas about what our client’s strategy should be which get added to the pack.
10.45am: Begin researching some companies needed for case studies on a different project. I put together a rough draft for Scott (my manager) to look at later, making use of my newly improved PowerPoint skills (it’s all about the keyboard shortcuts).
12.30pm: Head out to get food with George, one of the other consultants, choosing from the many options around Bishopsgate. We go for Coco Di Mama; their Bolognese is amazing.
1.15pm: Prepare for an interview at 1.45 with Richard Hartley, cofounder of Cytora, an InsurTech startup. I look up their website, read a profile Oxbow Partners has published on them already, and check my understanding with Chris.
1.45pm: Join the call between Chris and Richard. Chris mostly asks the questions while I take notes, but I get to ask a couple too. It’s good to hear what such firms are doing first hand; we can cut through the hype and get to the heart of what they are offering. Consulting is often about asking the right questions, so it’s insightful to see how Chris conducts the interview.
2.00pm: Use my interview notes to write the first draft of the Cytora blog post. The focus at Oxbow Partners is always on clarity; if it isn’t obvious what the startup does then it needs to be rewritten. I email it to Chris for editing, and for the addition of the ‘Oxbow Partners’ View’.
4.00pm: Third coffee of the day while I complete a few odd jobs that need doing – writing some macros on Excel, tidying up some PowerPoint slides – that sort of thing. The work I do varies a lot from day to day, so I’ve picked up a lot of random (and useful!) skills.
5.30pm: Scott sends me some feedback on the case studies – not as many red stickers as last time since I’m starting to get the hang of it. I make the relevant changes and add them to the interim pack to be sent to the client on Monday.
6.00pm: I’m done for the day. It’s a Friday so it’s nice to get out at 6 on the dot after a fairly hectic week. I leave my laptop in the office and head off to enjoy my weekend.
Oxbow Partners is always looking to hire ambitious, talented young individuals like Dan. If you would be interested in working for one of Europe’s leading insurance consultancies, get in touch with the team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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