What can I do with my degree?
A quantitative analyst developing soft skills
The feedback culture at Prokura is rare, and is probably the main reason why the company is evolving rapidly. It also explains why Baran Yurtkuran is continuously developing in his role.
Baran started his career at Prokura part-time, while he was still finishing his master in quantitative finance at BI. Now he has worked there full time as an associate consultant for 6 months, and thanks to the feedback culture he keeps learning and developing every day at work.
Prokura is a consultancy company specializing in purchasing and supply chain. The clients vary from pharmaceutical clients, public companies, offshore vessel operators, supermarket chain owners, and other industrial companies. A typical day for Baran consists of a lot of problem-solving, with a primary goal to create value for their customers. His days vary, and he describes them as both exciting and challenging.
- A lot of my time is spent in various meetings and workshops. I then have some time to execute the tasks we have agreed on. This may involve running a tender process or running quantitative analyses to identify savings for our clients.
The benefits of having it both ways
Baran refers to his new competence as hard skills and soft skills. On the one hand, he has developed his Powerpoint, Excel and Alteryx skills, and he has learned a lot about procurement and supply chain. In general, technical skills are related to his job. On the other hand, he has developed his communication skills. With a bachelor degree in engineering and a master in quantitative finance, Baran has always been very technical and into details whereas now, on top of understanding the details, he can also leverage his communication skills. He sees this as a good combination.
- I have learned how to speak to high-level people in organisations. Now I am much more comfortable with them in terms of communication. I can now, with confidence, present to both my clients and to the partners in my company in a better and more structured way. I really appreciate having the opportunity to develop both my soft and hard skills.
Feedback is the key to success
One of the key propositions of the company is that everyone, including Baran, is educated to always give feedback, both downwards in the organisation, but also upwards. This is how they develop and where they learn from each other. Baran gets a lot of feedback on what he could have done better. This could be, for example, if he is delayed with a project, for any reason, he is then asked to look at what he could have done to make things work even though there is a delay. He is also advised on how he needs to explain himself in the best possible way.
- I think this is a part of the reason why we are developing the way we are. The feedback is also given upwards. I am a big fan of that! The other day I gave my partner some feedback that was probably hard for him to take from a young and fresh consultant like me. But he took it really well because he is used to it. This is how the culture is. It's rare and very special.