Venture Advising in Budapest: MBA students pushed outside their comfort zone

  • June 29, 2018
  • By Guest Blogger
  • 3 minute read

Budapest teamBudapest. It’s not the first destination American college students typically place on their European backpacking bucket list. But this hidden gem of Europe is a must-see. If you’re reading this and seeking an offbeat, energetic, foodie-paradise for an unforgettable travel experience, put Budapest on your list.

You won’t regret the people you’ll meet, the unique clients you’ll work with, the beautiful sites you’ll experience, and the opportunity to develop closer friendships with a select group of your MBA peers.

Washington University’s Venture Advising in Budapest May 2018 trip was an incredible learning and entertainment experience. The purpose of the one-week trip was primarily academic: an opportunity for Olin MBA business students to do consulting work for a growing European company in association with Budapest-based private equity firm, Oriens.

BudapestOur team of four students consulted for Sziget, a major European music festival, and the other two teams consulted for innovative fitness product startups.

We met with our client, led client meetings to define business needs and goals, and worked with an Oriens mentor to refine two presentations within our first week. The client was appreciative of our work and the Oriens team was supportive in our success.

Moreover, Krisztián Orbán – Oriens’ founder and a former McKinsey consultant – provided sage advice and guidance while remaining hands off in allowing our team the freedom to steer the direction of our project recommendations.

During the short week we were in Budapest, we learned much more than we bargained for, in the best of ways. The week was a true cultural immersion. Krisztián – an incredibly accomplished and personable CEO – not only shared amazing career advice and presentation feedback but historical context of Hungary’s journey, which enhanced our appreciation for the sites and people we encountered.

Three Oriens employees were assigned as our mentors and co-hosts. They not only served as sounding boards for our client project preparations, but as local experts eager to help us enjoy and discover the city.

They organized and joined us on fantastic city, museum, and Parliament tours in addition to restaurant, bar, and cooking class outings. We experienced many facets of Budapest the typical tourist would not while led by our very own local hosts — as thoughtful and informative as they were fun.

It was a more meaningful experience than any of us would have had as usual tourists passing through Budapest because we got to know the people. Wherever you travel or work, it is the people you meet who leave the most impactful memories and shape your experience.

We were fortunate to have such a welcoming group of people at Oriens take us under their wing and such a fantastic selected group of full-time and part-time MBA students on the program, each with unique backgrounds and experiences to bring to the table. By the end of the experience, we emerged with new friendships, new perspective on life, and deeper consulting career insights.

MBA school is more than passing through classes and landing a great job. It’s ultimately about accelerating your personal and professional growth.

The Venture Advising in Budapest program will advance you in this aim by pushing you outside your comfort zone to navigate ambiguous surroundings and steer company growth through unfamiliar territory.

Everyone on the program left with smiles and fond memories – a little wiser, cultured, and heavier than we arrived. (Beware the gelato stands and delicious pastries!)

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