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From MBA to management consulting

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Meet Morkel, Manager from our Africa region. Morkel has shared the reasons he chose a management consulting career at Partners in Performance. Read on to hear Morkel's story...

Meet Morkel, Manager from our Africa region. Morkel has shared the reasons he chose a management consulting career at Partners in Performance. Read on to hear Morkel's full story...

When I joined Partners in Performance in May 2019, it was my biggest career change since I left university. It’s only been a few months, but I’d like to share the highlights I’ve experienced in that short amount of time.

After graduating as an Industrial Engineer in South Africa, I spent the first 13 years of my career in the petrochemical sector, in roles ranging from engineer-in-training, to business analyst, to project management, to construction management and finally to establishing myself for a decent tenure in supply chain operations management.

So, you can imagine my excitement (mixed with a tinge of anxiety) as I left that career behind to move into a new career in management consulting with Partners in Performance.

Morkel 1Auditing the "wiring" (electrical wiring this time) of a rock hauler at a client site

Fast forward three months, and my only wish is that I had made this change sooner! That being said, I did spend the two years prior to joining Partners in Performance managing the delicate balance of said past career with completing my MBA part-time, so it seems my timing has actually worked out for the best after all.

Morkel 2

Compiling my first visual board in the shift change room – the facial expression is not for lack of joy, it's from squatting for extended periods

During my corporate tenure, I worked with many other consultancies in South Africa. The engagements I was involved in had more flaws than successes – many had low sustainability rates, were poorly implemented, poorly managed, or a combination of all of these things. I walked away from each of those experiences thinking that I would not actually want to work in management consulting.

After hearing about Partners in Performance, I decided to give it another shot. 

I spoke to some people in my network who had joined the firm, and I was intrigued. I wondered, “Is this a management consulting firm that cares about implementing WITH the line instead of TO the line?” I wanted to work for a firm with people who cared about delivering results that would last and continue to benefit the client. I didn’t want to work for company that only cared about adding another client name to its CRM database. I wanted to be able to work with the client and ensure that the implementation process was done properly.

After learning more about Partners in Performance, I took the plunge and applied – and got the job.

Since joining, I have worked with so many great colleagues and been exposed to a different way of working. I have been challenged more than any of my previous roles in terms of my own growth, resilience and development. When people told me that there is ongoing coaching and capability building in the firm, they weren’t lying.

I am so grateful to every single team member who has taken time to constructively coach and assist me in getting to grips with the terminology, methodology and toolkit. In doing so, they have put me on the path to becoming the best consultant I can be.

I spent my first six weeks on apprenticeship at an open-pit coal mine in South Africa. The apprenticeship programme at Partners in Performance really sets you up for success by pairing you with an experienced consultant to guide you in not only learning the toolkit and methodologies, but actually applying them to real clients.

Beyond engagement work, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the broader team and developing my learning during ‘Days in The Office’ and UP Day with the rest of the Africa team. UP stands for ‘Unleashing Potential’ and it is something that the team lives by at Partners in Performance.

from left Morkel,Riaan&KathFirst-aid training during Johannesburg’s latest 'Day in The Office'

Having been through the apprenticeship programme, being staffed on my first full-time engagement, and being fortunate to attend Continuous Improvement training with the North and South American consulting teams, I can now confidently say that I have found the management consulting career I was looking for at Partners in Performance. I am looking forward to growing and learning exponentially in the next few years, while being able to bring my unique experience and skillset into the mix as well.

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Shenanigans from our UP Day dinner in July 2019 – I'm on the left

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Starting off a recent engagement with a team dinner

A huge thank you to everyone at Partners in Performance who has helped make my first five months here a success. Here’s to the future! 

Morkel 5

My UP Day selfie on the left... and on the right what it might have looked like after three months working at another consultancy


About the authors

Karen Wong