Hannah, Business Consultant, IBM


  • Case Study Hannah Rutledge


    Experimental Psychology (BSc 2012)

    Business Consultant, IBM

Since leaving Bristol…

After graduating in July 2012 I went travelling with a few friends and then unfortunately had to move back home with my parents! I worked as a Conference Assistant for a hospitality company which gave me the flexibility to attend interviews whilst saving money.

I had attended various careers events whilst at Bristol, so I knew that I wanted to pursue a career as a Management Consultant. I would highly recommend thinking about potential career paths whilst studying and make use of the resources Bristol has to offer, as this makes the application process a lot easier.

If you are considering a career in consulting I would recommend applying for Insight Days at firms as you will pick up useful tips about Assessment Centres.

In my current job…

I was lucky enough to get a place on a Graduate Scheme with IBM as a Business Consultant. Consulting is all about working with clients to improve their business models by increasing profits and reducing costs.

The pros of the job are that I was given high levels of responsibility early on, great exposure to a wide range of clients, fantastic training and development opportunities, and a high starting salary.

The cons include: lots of travel, often working on the client's site Monday to Friday and the long hours.

I hope to develop a wide range of skills whilst at IBM and become a Senior Consultant in my chosen area of specialty.

Having a UoB degree…

I was able to use my degree to sell myself throughout the application process. IBM do not ask for a specific degree for the Consulting programme.  However they do look for a set of competences which include: creativity, problem solving, communication, team work, etc. A useful exercise is to compose a list of all the degree related activities/extra-curricular activities/work experience you have done and the skills you have developed from these. This will be an invaluable tool for self-awareness and for preparing for competence based interviews.

I imagine the reputation of Bristol as a University aided my application.  However, at the end of the day, it's all about how you sell yourself as a candidate and how you perform at the Assessment Centres.


Take advantage of the Careers Service, attend careers events such as Mock Interviews and Assessment Days, and try to network with professionals on LinkedIn.

Take time out to decide what career path you want to follow. It is a waste of time to apply to random Graduate Schemes that you are not passionate about.

At the Assessment Centres be yourself and exude confidence. These days are designed to be stressful and to push you out of your comfort zone.

If you are unsuccessful don't beat yourself up; take it as a learning experience and ask for feedback on how to improve for the next time.