Held bimonthly, IE Titans of Finance Conferences provide IE students the opportunity to gain insights from top-level professionals in the financial industry.

Last week, I had the chance to attend the first of this series of conferences- “Insight into Consulting in the Financial Sector” –held at the Aula Magna. As the distinguished speaker, we had Justo Alcocer, partner at PwC, Madrid office, where he leads the Financial Institutions Sector across Assurance, Advisory and Tax & Legal services. A MPA Graduate from Harvard, Justo previously worked for 15 years at McKinsey & Company serving primarily large institutions in the Banking and Insurance sector.

With his wealth of experience in the consulting industry, Justo shared his stories about how he got into McKinsey after graduating from Harvard even though he had very little idea about the industry. One of the most intriguing aspects of the conference was how frankly Justo articulated his transition from a leading consulting firm to a private banking group, and eventually joining PwC. He spoke about the projects that posed different challenges, the type of work he used to do as a Consultant, and more than anything else, how he enjoyed his time sharing success with his clients.

To be honest, I never had much idea about the Consulting industry myself. But after attending the conference and hearing from Justo, I think direct client engagement and striving to solve their problems- is what lies at the core of consulting. It was indeed fascinating to know the type of personalities that suits the consulting industry, and how not everyone succeeds in consulting despite having stellar academic backgrounds. I believe most of the audience in the conference would have similarly positive feedback about the seminar.

At the end, there was an interesting Q&A session, where Justo answered questions regarding the cultural differences between McKinsey & PwC, recent trends in the Spanish banking industry, and some useful tips about joining consultancy firms.

Being a fairly newcomer at IE, this was a great experience attending a seminar that essentially links students with industry practitioners. From now on, I’ll try to keep everyone posted about such events at IE regularly on this blog.

¡Hasta pronto!  J