Robert Steemers



What is your background?

I studied Econometrics in Groningen and Quantitative Finance in Amsterdam. After that I started as management trainee at ING Bank where I did several rotations in Risk Management and worked for a longer period of time for the Treasury department. In the latter position I worked on strategies to improve the funding and liquidity position of the bank, in the light of the many changes in regulations for banks.

Why consulting?

Although I had a good time at the bank, I was not sure if I wanted to stay in banking forever. I wanted to broaden my horizon and explore different industries. The question was, where to go? Thinking about it more deeply, I figured out that most important things for me in my work are that I like to be challenged, to work on strategic issues and to work in teams. Strategy consulting seemed to be the best step.

Why Strategy&?

A friend of mine is an alumnus of PwC's Strategy&, and another one just started here, that is how I got into contact. During the interview process I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm of the interviewers. It just felt like we had a nice conversation instead of an interview – I cannot remember having laughed so much during an interview as I did at Strategy&. I am convinced that the most important factor for having a good time at your work is your direct colleagues, so Strategy& was an easy choice.

What do you like most about your job?

There are many aspects, but the most important one is that I am just having a great time with my colleagues. We all work hard and are committed to deliver what we promise to our clients, but still the atmosphere is relaxed, we find time to joke around and have a quick laugh. Other aspects that are important to me are the impact we have for our clients, the fact that every day is different and that we are being challenged to get the most out of ourselves all the time.

Which project was your most interesting project and why?

We worked for a technical services firm to define a new operating model, one that was more suitable to address their strategy, that improves and rewards entrepreneurship and that simplifies the organization. What I liked so much about it was the way we worked with the client: co-creation. Through several workshops, where many clients were involved (sometimes even more than 50 at the same time!), we defined the design principle, the top structure and finally we detailed the organization. Over time, the balance shifted from us doing the ‘classical’ consulting analyses and presenting this to the management team, towards working with the new leaders to co-create their own future within the company. It was very rewarding to see the enthusiasm within the company growing day-by-day, and at the same time coming up with a very big change that was supported so widely. It was just great to have such a significant impact together with the client.