Roland Berger is a prestigious strategy consulting firm with a strong international presence. It’s not quite as well-recognized globally as the Top 3 but boasts a strong brand name in Europe and is an excellent place to start or continue a consulting career.
The firm’s strong reputation exists for a reason. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the company, and nothing you don’t. Culture, life at RB, careers, interviews, and more – it’s all here. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents:
- Roland Berger Key Stats
- Roland Berger History
- Roland Berger Careers
- Practice Areas
- Office Locations
- Career Path
- Roland Berger Internships
- Exit Opportunities
- Notable Alumni
- Roland Berger Culture
- Roland Berger Interview
- Roland Berger Salary
- Target Schools
Roland Berger Key Stats
- Roland Berger Website: www.rolandberger.com
- Roland Berger Headquarters: Munich, Germany
- Roland Berger Locations: 50+ offices located in 30+ countries
- Roland Berger Chief Executives: Stefan Schaible, Marcus Berret, Denis Depoux (Global Managing Partners/Directors)
- Roland Berger Revenue: ~$670M (USD)
Roland Berger History
After working as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, Roland Berger founded his own company – Roland Berger International Marketing Consultants – in Munich, Germany in 1967. Roland was the ripe old age of 29 when he launched his company. Within a couple of decades, the company had grown after shifting its focus from marketing to overall strategy. In 1980, Roland Berger became the first European consulting firm to be admitted to the Association of Consulting Management Engineers (ACME), the most renowned association of consulting firms in the United States.
Despite its expansion and success, Roland Berger has had its ups and downs. In the 1980s, Deutsche Bank acquired most shares while Roland Berger retained veto rights and the remaining shares. In the 1990s, Roland Berger established offices in Japan and China, successfully opening the Asian market.
In the 2000s, Roland Berger considered merging with another consulting firm, Deloitte Consulting, but the firm chose to remain independent. Today, Roland Berger is led by a panel of three Managing Directors/Managing Partners and has 50+ offices in 30+ countries. The firm is a top three consultancy in Europe, and top 10 globally. The company’s presence in the U.S. is small but growing rapidly. The firm has the most credibility and prestige in Europe and is able to leverage that with clients in the U.S.
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Roland Berger Careers
Roland Berger tends to focus on the same type of strategy and operations work as top-tier consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. The firm has a bent towards the industrial segments of the economy (ex: automotive, chemicals, capital goods), but serves a wide range of industries. Careers at Roland Berger look different based on the office, but in general, here’s what the firm offers candidates.
Roland Berger Practice Areas
Roland Berger has four umbrella practice areas that define how it scopes projects for clients:
Roland Berger Industries
Roland Berger consults in a wide range of industries and keeps up with ever-changing technology and dynamics within each:
Roland Berger Office Locations
The headquarters of Roland Berger are in Munich, Germany where the company was founded. 52 offices are in 34 countries all around the world.
- Hong Kong
- Kuala Lumpur
- New Delhi
- São Paulo
Roland Berger Career Path
The career path at Roland Berger looks like this:
Analyst > Junior Consultant > Consultant > Senior Consultant > Project Manager > Director > Principal > Partner.
Thinking about changing your career path or landing a new job as a consultant? Roland Berger is always looking to recruit experienced professionals. To qualify, you need a PhD, MBA, or master’s degree in a related field in addition to professional work experience. Depending on which office you are applying for, local language proficiency is a must.
Roland Berger is also hiring for a range of non-consulting opportunities. The company has needs in the realms of administration, finance, HR, IT, legal affairs, and public relations.
Roland Berger Internships
If you are currently a student, Roland Berger provides excellent internship opportunities to get your foot in the door. The internship program provides participants a chance to get a sampling of what consulting work is like, and to see if they are a match for Roland Berger’s culture. Successful completion of an internship can lead to a full-time job offer. Find specific details and qualifications for each internship opportunity on the company website.
One other internship-like program that Roland Berger offers is the Roland Berger Gap Year Program. This is a 9-month program designed to give you practical experience in the world of consulting and to develop entrepreneurial instincts, a quality important to the firm. The program combines 3 months at a local RB office, 3 months at a startup company, and 3 months in an international RB office. After completing the program and finishing their master’s studies, the strongest candidates receive a job offer as a Junior Consultant.
Roland Berger Exit Opportunities
Opportunities abound for you after leaving Roland Berger. It’s possible to leverage your experience with the firm into a position with MBB if you can demonstrate top-performer status on your resume. Other consulting firms are also viable options, perhaps in more senior roles. In addition, folks leaving Roland Berger often get hired into corporate strategy roles at Fortune 2000 firms.
Is Roland Berger as attractive on a resume as MBB? Not quite, but it’s not far behind. Of course, this depends largely on the type of consulting role you held at RB.
Roland Berger Notable Alumni
One way to measure the prestige, overall attractiveness, and exit opportunities of a consulting firm is to research and assess what people have done after working there. Roland Berger’s alumni are internationally recognized for their outstanding leadership, knowledge, and experience. Here is a list of a few notable alumni:
- Oana Bizgan-Gayral, Member of Romanian Parliament and President of the Gender Equality Committee
- Alexander Sixt, Member of the Executive Board at Sixt SE
- Christian Freese, Director at UBER & General Manager at Jump EMEA
- Peter Schneidewind, CEO of RENA Technologies
- Wei Zhou, Founder and CEO of XNode Startup Accelerator & Corporate Innovation
- Jacqueline Bauernfeind, Partner and Member of Board Consultants International
- Avin Rabheru, Founder & CEO of Housekeep
- Andreea Petrişor, Managing Director of foodpanda Romania
- Mahesh Lunani, Founder & CEO of Aquasight LLC
Roland Berger Culture
Roland Berger is proud to be the only native European consulting company with an international presence, and the firm has established a unique culture.
Note: The culture at Roland Berger varies greatly based on the office you’re based in. There are different factors (city, country, an office’s managing partners, etc.) that affect culture. This differs from firms like MBB that offer a more consistent and established culture across offices. While networking, make sure to get a feel for the culture in the office(s) you’re interested in, and if those specific offices are a fit for you.
Culture at Roland Berger is consistently one of the first things you’ll hear mentioned when talking to consultants at the firm. With an entrepreneurial, almost startup-like feel (especially in the U.S.) and a high degree of freedom and autonomy given to consultants, the firm is ideal for go-getters, hustlers, and initiative-takers. You’ll be given lots of responsibility to make things happen.
The downside? Tons of travel and long hours. While this isn’t at all unusual for consulting, if you want your weekends and nights free, RB is not the place for you.
Roland Berger provides hands-on training, seminars, and mentorship to support employees from day one. There is also a professional development program specifically designed for women called EmpowHer and a global community for employees who identify as LGBTQ+.
Many employees find Roland Berger’s culture to be strong, team-oriented, and supportive. The company regularly hosts events to promote camaraderie and teamwork. Although the work environment can be highly stressful, it is cooperative overall.
You will find highly motivated, intelligent, and engaged people working with a wide range of clients at Roland Berger. Due to its continued growth and global presence, there is great potential to learn, meet new people, and work on challenging and exciting projects.
- Management Consulted: Top 25 Consulting Firms
- #5 in 2021 Vault’s Best Consulting Firms for International Opportunities
- #11 in 2021 Vault’s Best Consulting Firms for Benefits
- #11 in 2021 Vault’s Best Consulting Firms for Health & Wellness
Roland Berger Interview
Roland Berger’s interview process is intense. With multiple rounds of interviews, candidates’ analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills are thoroughly evaluated.
Depending on which position you are applying for, the interview process varies. But generally, there are 3 parts of the process.
Resume & Cover letter Screening
To pass the screening stage, you need to create a resume and cover letter that showcases transferable skills and highlights the impact you’ve driven throughout your career. If you need guidance, work with our expert team of resume and cover letter editors today.
Online Reasoning Test
In some regions, you’ll be asked to take an online reasoning test either during the initial screening stage or shortly after. The test is about 90 minutes long and will assess your numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and figurative reasoning, like the GMAT. You must achieve a certain score in order to move on to the next phase, which is the interview!
At Least 2 Rounds of Behavioral & Case Interviews
Once you pass the initial screening and reasoning test, you will go through several rounds of interviews. In the first round, you will face a case interview and a fit interview. Interviews are delivered by different people within the firm (often junior and senior consultants). Interviews are roughly ~40 minutes each. In the fit/behavioral portion, highlight your entrepreneurial drive if possible. Roland Berger values this more than most other firms.
The final round interview consists of a written case interview, fit interview, and a “business knowledge discussion.” The business knowledge discussion is very similar to an unstructured case interview – use the hyperlinked article to prep and work with our ex-MBB coaches to get ready for Roland Berger interviews (case or fit).
Check out our complete guide to case interviews as you optimize your approach to RB case interviews. In addition, the firm shares several case interview questions and what to expect here.
One positive of Roland Berger interviews is that, regardless of pass/fail, all candidates are given feedback on why or why not they were chosen for the role.
Roland Berger Salary
How much does a consultant get paid? For Roland Berger specifically, the firm’s compensation and benefits packages are in line with other top consulting firms – the base salary for a consultant with an MBA/PhD is $160,000. That doesn’t include performance or signing bonuses. Check out our Consulting Salary Report for the full numbers.
Since Roland Berger and its 50+ offices are located all over the world, target schools also vary. The firm doesn’t list its target schools, but it’s safe to assume that it targets Top 5 schools in the regions its offices are based in.
The firm recruits from around 10 target schools in the U.S. but doesn’t disclose which programs make up the list. Our best read is that the firm recruits heavily from HBS, MIT Sloan, Northwestern Kellogg, and Chicago Booth.
Roland Berger Diversity Programs
Given Roland Berger’s international footprint, you’d expect to work in an environment that prizes diversity. However, the firm has received some negative feedback in regards to diversity on sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. It does seem that Roland Berger is making progress towards rectifying these discrepancies. Below are Roland Berger’s current diversity programs:
If you are interested in global consulting work and the idea of working in a smaller but still prestigious firm, Roland Berger may be a great option for you. Whether you are a student, graduate, or industry professional, the firm has opportunities for you. Roland Berger has a rich history, does interesting work, and partners with the same types of clients as McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. After giving it a closer look, Roland Berger may be the proverbial “diamond in the rough” that launches your professional consulting career!
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