I joined The Value Engineers on a permanent basis in 2009 having got to know the company during a twelve week internship between my final two years of university. Prior to the internship I’d heard about the potential for being thrown in at the deep end however, finding myself driving to Heathrow for a flight to Rome to meet clients on day three was a little unexpected! This is just one example of how The Value Engineers mix of hard work, fun and enthusiasm for learning encourages you to push yourself beyond your natural comfort zone (and learn to stay there!)
The greatest asset we are provided with here is a long list of significant international clients. I never imagined the amount of travel and senior client contact I would be exposed to so early in my career. The trust invested in me and other new joiners only benefits the long term development of our consultancy skills, business acumen and overall brand thinking.
Throughout my internship, as a Marketing Analyst and now as a Consultant the work has been varied and above all challenging. A fulfilling mix of creative and analytical approaches across the business never fails to highlight the number of interesting ways to deliver solutions to our clients’ problems. Having been here for eighteen months now the work continues to challenge and engage me on all levels and that doesn’t ever look like changing!
My journey with The Value Engineers began in 2008 after graduating from Oxford University having studied Modern Languages.
Intellectually, brand consultancy is part-art, part-science, requiring both clear and analytical thinking – being able to see the wood through the trees – and creative flair – being able to approach a challenge in a fresh way.
I have been able to think and learn about human behaviour, consumer and market trends, and how companies strategise and execute their marketing plans. Project work has taken me to Singapore via Slough and New York via Newcastle. It is an evolving and ever-changing area of business and part of the challenge is staying at the forefront of the issues that affect clients which helps foster an entrepreneurial mentality, another reason why brand consultancy is such an exciting sector to work in.
What sets The Value Engineers apart from the competition and makes it such a fulfilling place to work is that our clients trust us with their most challenging and interesting problems. It is also an optimal place to develop a brand consultancy skillset; no other company in our sector takes graduate recruitment as seriously as we do.
My expertise has primarily been developed in brand positioning and proposition development – helping businesses create compelling and differentiated customer offers for their products and services – and marketing strategy – developing ways for businesses to grow and access new customer and market segments. I have also had the opportunity to undertake a secondment at one of our larger clients which gave me the opportunity to experience life ‘clientside’ at close quarters.
Having been promoted twice since I joined as a graduate, I am now a Senior Consultant, which involves taking a bigger role in the leadership of projects and greater responsibility for developing new business and our company’s intellectual property. I’m really enjoying what I’m doing at the moment, but the best part is that I really don’t know what the next challenge might be lying just around the corner.
My journey to brand consultancy began in 2001, when I arrived in the UK in from Poland. Having completed a Masters in Management from Wroclaw University of Technology, I set out on a doctoral programme based at Northumbria University and supported by Oxford University. Researching ‘The Culture of Innovation’ led me to explore scenario planning and business management, and eventually saw me specialising in the role of design in the innovation process. My work as a strategy lecturer at a business school also gave me opportunities to publish articles in peer-reviewed journals and took me around the world to, quite possibly, too many conferences – speaking on topics from Aristotle in Business to Aesthetics and Knowledge Management!
During my travels I became more involved in organisational analysis and consultancy – including a project with the Design Council to collect best-practice on multi-disciplinary working frameworks, from businesses and universities across Europe. It, therefore, seemed a natural progression to move agency-side. My next step was to work with Wally Olins and Saffron Brand Consultants; where I found myself branding, amongst other things, my home country!
At this stage I realised the depth and richness of the contribution that brands could bring to businesses and NGOs, and decided to pursue a career in strategic side of brand consultancy. Having looked at other agencies I felt most at home at The Value Engineers; my first impressions were of a meritocratic atmosphere and thoughtful environment. Several years and one promotion later, I’ve led projects in global segmentation, brand positioning, innovation strategy and capabilities. What makes this place work for me is the freedom I have to think and act, coupled with the rigour and focus on results. Always collaborative, sometimes random, never dull!