What does Javelin Group do?
Javelin Group is Europe’s leading retail strategy consultancy firm. The Strategy team specialises in omnichannel and digital planning, but we also support retailers with international expansion and carry out a considerable amount of commercial and operational due diligence. Alongside Strategy, our other teams work across supply chain and fulfillment (Operations), technology planning (Technology Consulting), technology development (Systems Integration) and retail store formats and locations (Locations & Analytics). Javelin Group’s vertical model means we possess a range of skills and depth of expertise focused on ecommerce transformation that is second-to-none.
Why did you choose to apply for Javelin Group?
The specialisation in retail drew me to apply to Javelin Group given the extent and speed of change in the industry over the past few years. The impact that ecommerce and mobile have had on the way that consumers shop has been phenomenal and the opportunity to learn more about the impact of the omnichannel world and support companies with such significant challenges really appealed to me. I was also keen to apply to a small consultancy in particular since it was evident that I would be given high levels of responsibility and exposure to clients from the outset.
What was the interview process like?
My two first interviews were with the Cornell Partnership, Javelin Group’s recruitment firm. The first consisted of talking through my CV and my motivations for choosing Javelin and a career in consulting. The second was case study based, focusing on market sizing, with a short maths test too. After this, I was invited to interview at Javelin Group. The first round included a CV-based and retail trend discussion and a case study interview with managers from the Strategy team. The final round involved a group case study and an interview with a Director and the COO.
Describe a typical day as a Consultant
Although I was aware that consultant life would be varied, indeed it was a key reason for my interest in the work, the extent of this only really became apparent once I had started – there really are no two days that are the same. Our work is project-based and, while we specialise in certain areas, the specific nature of each client’s business means that every project has its nuances. One day you could be sitting at your desk researching foreign retail markets, the next day be on the high street evaluating the store proposition and the next be writing a report for an executive board. The variety combined with the fact that projects are usually quite short (6-12 weeks) means that, despite long hours at times, work is never dull and you are always developing new skills and working in new ways.
What are the best aspects of your job?
The variety outlined above is definitely a vital part of enjoying my job, as is making a real impact on firms that I have experience with on a day-to-day basis as a consumer. The amazing people and atmosphere in the office really make the difference though. While we are passionate about our work and always ensure we do the best possible job, noone is too serious and everyone is keen to have a laugh. The team is young and we all get along really well, with regular socials which have included white water rafting, the dogs, a ski trip, bowling and pizza making in my first year alone.
Do you have any advice for applicants?
A passion for retail is key for this job. Read up about emerging trends in omnichannel and e-commerce. Think about who your favourite retailers are and why.
Case study practice is also helpful, particularly market sizing exercises. Be logical in your approach to answers and always talk through your logic, even if it seems counterintuitive to do so.
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