Starting Your Career at BrightWolves: Q&A with Partner and Co-Founder Miguel Van Damme

Author: Miguel Van Damme


Before diving deeper into BrightWolves, could you introduce yourself first?

Sure! With a background in mechanical engineering, my first professional experience was in renewable energy consulting. Then, I made a switch to the chemical industry before moving to strategy consulting after my MBA at Vlerick.


Why did you start BrightWolves?

Looking back, there are two main reasons why BrightWolves was created late 2017. With Quanteus Group partners Kris Vansanten and Evelyne van Wassenhove, we had the feeling that the current management consulting offering was not responding to the true needs of clients. Other firms were focused on either strategy or implementation. At BrightWolves, we bridge the gap between both. The other, and equally important, reason is that we wanted to have a sustainable impact at our clients and on the economy while working with a team of highly talented colleagues.


What should young graduates look for in their first employer?

It depends on what you are looking for, of course, but I see three main drivers shaping the decision. The most important one is rapid and qualitative personal development, followed by purpose- and impactful work and a good connection with your future colleagues.


How does BrightWolves address personal development of young graduates?

At BrightWolves, we aim to deliver the best post-graduate development opportunities by combining on-the-job training and coaching, off-site bootcamps – e.g. around the topics of M&A and digital transformation – and tailored online and/or external trainings. It is our ambition to allow our “Wolves” to grow to their full potential. With the BrightWolves Management team, we also aim to be collectively and individually productive consultants.


Doing purpose- and impactful work was a second driver. How does BrightWolves define this?

Our purpose is to have a sustainable impact on companies and on the economy in general. We see that our clients are very excited about our work, especially with our Sustainable Business Transformation initiative. We start to have our first impact doing Sustainable Transformation projects both by bringing back happiness at work and engagement to employees of our clients and by reducing the ecological footprint of their operations.


Could you elaborate on how BrightWolves deals with its own sustainable challenges?

I am very pleased we ignited our internal Sustainable Transformation too. We are implementing a wide variety of ideas and initiatives, coming from our own consultants, to boost employee engagement and to reduce our ecological footprint. For a consulting firm, 70% of that footprint comes from transport. This is why we promote the use of public transport and why we are converting to a 100% electric fleet. We also introduced vegetarian company lunches on Friday, put bikes at the disposal of our employees for short distance trips from the office and developed an innovative carpool platform including neighbouring companies.


A third decision criterion for young graduates is the connection with colleagues: what does BrightWolves’ culture look like?

One of the particularities of BrightWolves is that we have a very entrepreneurial and non-hierarchical culture. This puts a lot of responsibility in the hands of our Wolves. With only a few weeks of experience, they will be in charge of projects and will do CEO presentations autonomously. This is something that you cannot find at other firms. The entrepreneurial dimension is also present internally, where we give maximum space to create new opportunities. Recently, one of our consultants was able to bring in new leads for very exciting projects!

We also work on building our team by organising off-sites, afterwork events and the annual ski trip. Above that, our young Wolves organised a trip to Dublin themselves to get to know each other even better.


BrightWolves is still rather small but growing sustainably. How do you build expertise?

One of the things that stands out is that we are flexible in our support. Internally we are structured around 5 pillars: Sustainable Business Transformation, Strategy and Corporate Finance, Digital Transformation, Organization and Operations, and Data with our specialized team HighMind. Within each pillar we have experienced senior profiles, who coach and guide our consultants during their projects. Our data team, for example, is widely recognized across Belgium and is now conducting data transformations in four BEL20-companies.


Speaking of BEL20 companies, how does your client portfolio look like?

What I really enjoy is our diverse client portfolio, ranging from fast-growing SME’s with less than 50 employees to BEL20 and even larger companies. Clients where we thrive the most are larger companies with an entrepreneurial spirit. I invite all our readers to check out our website and have a look at the companies we work with.

Interested to join BrightWolves? Follow this link: https://www.brightwolves.com/join-us

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