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I work in a niche area of consulting, and I can tell you that yes, you will certainly have to make a tradeoff between your career and your personal life. I have a manager who is very laidback about hours and I end up doing about 55 hours Mon - Fri with very little travel - well, put it this way, it's more that he simply wants me to get the work done, and if I do, then I'm free to go. My own arrangement is pretty decent, I would say, but there's something you should know about why I'm on this board:
I absolutely do not want to be a consultant that much longer.
It's great for a few years because you truly learn a lot (no matter how hackneyed the statement, it's true in almost any circumstance). However, I suggest that if you want to recover your life, you either leave consulting, or downgrade to a lower tier consultancy where the work culture isn't so aggressive.
Loom, I really think that if you look at the Employment Report for each school and see any consultancy in bold type then it's fairly safe to say that there's some level of feeding from that school. A place like USC gets recruited at actively by everyone but McKinsey, I think (the younger or niche consultancies like Oliver Wyman or FTI might not go there, simply because they're much more defined in their recruitment scope).
I am an HBS 2012 international candidate. My professional goal is to become a consultant in one of the top global consulting firms. My GMAT score is OK, but not more than that and very unbalanced: 710 (51Q,34V).
I understand that top consulting firms consider high GMAT scores an important criteria. I have relatively work-free couple of months, and I feel I can retake it and improve my score to ~740.
Do you think I should do it? I will definitely improve my score (second time, no pressure...)... Question is whether it is really necessary considering I am already in a top program?
Thank you for the thread. This is a lot of good information. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately) for me, after reading through this thread - and among other reasons - I have decided not to pursue consulting anymore. The hours and traveling sound really, really demanding, and I'm just not sure that's something I'd be willing to put up with. Great thread. _________________
The numerous exceptions: - Some go on to non-managerial positions in PE/VC/other professional services (lower leadership, much higher pay) - Associates with significant pre-consulting work experience can become corporate directors; particularly impressive Business Analysts can be recruited into managerial roles - Mid-market and smaller companies tend to bring in consultants at a higher level than corporations - Many go on to start their own businesses
Do associates starting fresh from MBA join a specific functional team such as corp finance, risk, strategy or do they rotate among multiple groups and pick one over time? From Mck's website I sensed they have a generalist approach but couldn't get a feel from the other company websites. _________________
Do associates starting fresh from MBA join a specific functional team such as corp finance, risk, strategy or do they rotate among multiple groups and pick one over time? From Mck's website I sensed they have a generalist approach but couldn't get a feel from the other company websites.
rhyme and all others, I just want to thank you guys for a wonderful insight into MC. I am just starting to research about B-school and will be appearing for GMAT. I am sorry i do not have anything to contribute as of NOW! _________________
My dad once said to me: Son, nothing succeeds like success.
I had a question regarding areas/industries of focus. For MBB and other MC firms, how is it broken down by industry? Is there a breakdown by industry?
For example, I am/will come from a full time pharma/biotech corporate role. Will they stick me in a "healthcare" group where I will remain if I so please? or will I be thrown into a general pool with the staffer knowing that I might be more useful for healthcare/pharma/biotech projects? What amount of latitude will be given here? I would love to stay in the healthcare arena, but wouldn't mind being staffed on the whole gamut. It sounds like with the whole "Jack of all.." theme, we would be thrown into the general pool with little thought as to our pre-MBA roles.
I am assuming it would follow that IF I wanted to MC in a specific area of focus I would have to find a "boutique" firm that caters to that industry... however, you never hear of fortune 10 companies in a particular sector NOT going with MBB or other top tier MC firms...
The same can be asked for those of you coming from IT or engi backgrounds, etc.
I have an admit from the McCombs MBA program. I still have about 3-4 months till the program starts. I have picked up a tutorial for SAS software and am keen on learning at least the basics. I have used SPSS and STATA in my economics program at LSE. How much value will SAS add? (I am looking at top tier consulting firms)
First of all, thanks to all the contributors on this thread. I've learned a ton about the industry lifestyle here.
I've read through most all of the posts, but you'll have to forgive me if any of these questions are redundant. I may have missed earlier answers/insights.
What really differentiates McKinsey, Bain and BCG? I've heard mumblings about their different cultures (e.g. Boston is for intellectuals), but I've never heard anything comprehensive. Is there one among them that tends to focus more on specific industries or problems/tends to attract a different kind of person/be more family and free time friendly?
What is the duration of the typical signing contracts Associates get coming out of their MBAs? Is it just for one to two years or longer? Is there any negotiating in this process or do all MBA grads get roughly the same package?
Does it behoove an MBA to focus on a particular industry so that he can have a specialization going into the job or are most Associates at the big 3 basically all general management and strategy folks? Are there attractive or necessary concentrations within the major consulting firms that MBAs should aspire to become proficient in?
Is it easy to move offices once you're with the company? And conversely, is it common for the company to reassign you to a different office?
Do consultants in U.S.-bound offices typically get a lot of assignments in overseas or, more logically, do the European offices handle all the Europe assignments, Middle East office handle all the ME assignments, etc.? I'm working on polishing a couple foreign languages right now, and I'd like to know if this is even useful.
Are there a lot of opportunities for pro bono work?
Any advice for a former military officer who wants to get into consulting?
Thanks again, this thread has been extremely helpful!
Re: Down On Consulting
27 Apr 2011, 08:12