Victor Dijon has found a way to combine both his passion for music and a his intellectual striving in the prestigious world of management consulting. Trained from a young age to be a concert pianist and conductor, he too decided to flex his intellectual muscle and took on the challenge of an MBA. Now a consultant at A.T. Kearney, Dijon sets about bringing his passions together in support of Save the Children – setting up a charity concert series that is now five years in the running and will debut at Carnegie Hall at the start of next month.
Swiss-origin Dijon is a Manager at A.T. Kearney with a musical predilection. A child prodigy destined to inspire the sublime and beautiful through his musical art, he developed his capacities as a pianist and conductor. Yet not wanting to be confined to one world, and with more than just curiosity, Dijon deviated from a purely musical life to take on the challenge of an MBA and to make his mark on the world in a synthesis of business and art.
Seeking to challenge his intellect as well as to deploy his precision in a wider context, Dijon joined A.T. Kearney in 2010. The strategy consultancy offered him a place in which he could develop not only himself as a leader but also to work, in line with the consultancy’s values, on his interest in projects that are philanthropic or derive sustainable outcomes. "One of the best projects I have worked on was the development of a sustainability strategy for a fast-moving consumer goods client", he says. "We created 27 sustainability programs, including one against deforestation and another targeting the prevention of child labour. We interviewed almost 60 farmers as part of the project and travelled to Africa, Brazil, and the United States to understand the issues and identify ways to resolve them."
To combine the philanthropic with the philharmonic – after a mere year into his career – Dijon has set about creating a concert series whose proceeds go to charity. “I proposed the idea to a group of partners who said, ‘Yes, we are doing it—and sponsoring it,'" Dijon reflects, after which he set about establishing an annual concert series titled ‘Swiss Charity Concert’ in Zürich to benefit the international organisation Save the Children.
With the success of his efforts, in 2013 Victor joined A.T. Kearney's New York office, and brought the concert series with him. His own interest in music hasn’t waned, “Music was always my passion,” he explains. "During my musical career, I've played at various places in the world, but never at Carnegie Hall. Playing at Carnegie Hall would be a life achievement.” Now into the fifth in the series – which A.T. Kearney continues to support – the young prodigy will be set to deliver both a boon to Save the Children as well as one of his life achievements, with a debut at the US Carnegie Hall. He will be joined by violinists Koh Gabriel Kameda and Gina Keiko Friesicke and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, himself performing a classic masterpieces to support educational programs for children in the world's poorest areas.
Counsel for the inspired
For that that are inspired by Dijon, and similarly wish to combine their passion with their work, the musician and consultant, for he remains an advisor, gives some counsel:
- Set a vision. A consultant’s path is never an easy one. But you either ride the path or direct the path. In both cases, a vision of what the journey looks like will help you keep it on course despite the inevitable intrusions that occur along the way.
- Make calculated choices. Your decisions must be deliberate. The strength of Victor’s vision made his choices all the more calculated – to become a consultant and to work for A.T. Kearney – knowing the great places he and the firm would take each other.
- Build a network. “As fast as possible, build a strong internal network that will support you,” says Dijon. The strength of the network he established immediately upon being hired at A.T. Kearney clearly is to credit for giving legs to his idea.