How KoNsta is Expanding his consulting horizons

Konsta Laitinen has always had a passion for travel and loves immersing himself in different cultures. He’s lived for a time in Russia, the UK and Germany — although he has a soft spot for his native Finland. “It’s safe to say I’m a fan,” he says. “In fact, I love all things about the country. You have to be able to withstand the cold weather... but everything works! That said, I always enjoy exploring other countries whenever I get the chance.” So it’s no surprise that when Konsta — a Senior Consultant with DHLC — got the opportunity to move to the company’s office near Miami, in the U.S., he seized it with both hands.

Our Explore program now gives you the chance to expand your consulting horizons in a similar way by spending one year in our Bonn headquarters before transferring to Miami for at least two years. It’s something that Konsta would heartily recommend.

In this interview, he explains what drove him to relocate to the States, the challenges and opportunities he’s encountered along the way — and why he believes all consultants would benefit from an experience just like his...

Author: Tony Greenway

Published: Last updated:

Be You, Consulting career paths, Culture & Career

When did you start working for DHL Consulting?

It was an eventful time because it was during the pandemic in September 2020! Prior to joining  DHL Consulting I’d been living in London, so I moved from the U.K. to Germany and stayed with the Bonn office for about 18 months. I transferred to the U.S. office here in Miami at the end of March 2022.

Why did you want to move to the Miami office?

For a mix of professional and personal reasons. Professionally, I had heard that Miami offered more opportunities to work on projects for external customers. I wanted more exposure to that side of things because in Bonn the focus is more on in-house consulting projects. I’d also heard that because the Miami office is much smaller it has more of a ‘start-up’ feel, and so all colleagues have a lot of responsibility and get hands on with all aspects of the business. That appealed to me. And, personally, my girlfriend — now my wife —was living in the US.

Did the Miami Office live up to your expectations?

Definitely. I really enjoy the high level of responsibility and that consultants at all levels are responsible for driving the growth of the office. We’re a small team, so we’re all really hands on which also results in a great and close team culture.

You weren’t part of the Explore program. How did the move to Miami happen?

I was aware of the potential transfer opportunity and had discussed it internally with my Personal Developer and our Miami Office Head. I saw a company-wide email outlining opportunities at DHL Consulting in Miami, so I applied and was successful.

I believe the Explore program is set up to guide colleagues through the entire transfer process, with regard to visas and accommodation, etc. But, in my case, I arranged the move myself. It was quite straightforward and DHL Consulting did give me support in the shape of a financial budget which I could spend in any way I liked.

Do your responsibilities extend beyond project work?

Yes. For example, we have our own internal ‘to dos’. I have a very exciting one, actually. At the end of 2022, I was responsible for revamping our Consulting Essentials training — which is the training we provide to DHL employees across the Group.

This involves traveling around the country and providing that training to our DHL customer teams. So far I’ve trained around 250 people and it continues to be a significant part of my work schedule, on top of my project work. It’s been very gratifying because I get to impact people in the Group over and above the consulting project work I do.

Does that mean you have a busy work life?

I do! But I realized it would be busy when I applied. When I first approached Alex, the head of the office, about transferring here, he made it clear that he needed entrepreneurial people. So I knew I would be expected to do a lot and own multiple topics.   As well as that, I travel several times a year to deliver the two-and-a-half-day Consulting Essentials training program.

What opportunities has the Miami office offered you?

It’s been great getting the opportunity to undertake a team leadership role and to develop high-level stakeholder management skills.  In Miami, from very early on, I was also expected to get involved in structuring and scoping projects and then delivering proposals to stakeholders in a way that gets their buy-in. That kind of skill development is invaluable.

What are the cultural differences between Bonn and Miami? And how did you deal with those?

I’ve always travelled a lot and I’ve lived in different countries, so I’m used to immersing myself in different cultures. But I would say that coming to the U.S. from a country like Finland or Germany is very different. That’s because different regions of Germany still feel like Germany. Different regions of Finland still feel like Finland. But, because it’s so big, different parts of the U.S. can feel like different countries. It’s like night and day. You really notice that as you travel around. That’s something people coming here should be aware of.

Why should anyone consider applying to the Explore program?

Most people in consulting, wherever they end up afterwards, would benefit from an extended experience in a vastly different market and culture. Because, in the end, the market in the U.S. is quite different to the market in Europe or Asia, and vice versa.

So I would always say, no matter how well-travelled you are, the Explore program will broaden your perspective, both in terms of your professional life and your character. That sounds like a cliché I know — but it happens to be true.

What advice would you give to someone when applying to Explore?

You should be as certain as you can be that it’s what you really want. And if you’re successful, be open-minded, because transferring to Miami is going to be different. What you expect is most likely not going to be 100% of what you actually get.

Finally, what are your own long-term career goals?

We’re staying in Miami for at least the next three years. I’m happy here right now, so I’m committed to DHLC and see myself growing and developing in the Florida office, both personally and professionally.

DHL Consulting Explore: Embark on the adventure of a lifetime with DHL Consulting Explore.

Apply today

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