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Down On Consulting

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Intern
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 11 Sep 2013, 08:51
Great info on the realities of consulting on this thread! Much appreciated.
Intern
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Joined: 27 Dec 2012
Posts: 32
Concentration: General Management, Technology
Schools: HBS '15
GMAT Date: 09-21-2013
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WE: Engineering (Energy and Utilities)
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2013, 20:06
I want some info on consulting in terms of projects. For the big consulting companies such as Accenture, McKinsey, BCG, PwC, how do projects work? Do you get assigned projects? What if you are in between project? Do you get paid during this time? The reason I ask is because I've heard conflicting and confusing stories from some people who say that between projects you basically don't get paid and getting another project all depends on whether the next company/individual likes your consultant. Others say that you do get paid during this time between projects and that getting another project is not difficult.
I would like some clarity on this issue. I do not want to end up getting into a situation where I'm sitting at home waiting for project without any sort of income.
Intern
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Concentration: General Management, Technology
Schools: HBS '15
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WE: Engineering (Energy and Utilities)
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 06 Nov 2013, 17:37
Can anybody answer my question?
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 17 Nov 2013, 10:59
chestud13 wrote:
I want some info on consulting in terms of projects. For the big consulting companies such as Accenture, McKinsey, BCG, PwC, how do projects work? Do you get assigned projects?


It depends. You do have say over which projects you get, so you're not just randomly assigned one. The only caveat to this would be your first project, where you don't have a support network / any power to say "no." That being said, I've both been booked to projects without my knowledge and turned down projects before.

In general, however, you'll be interviewed before chosen for a project - whether it's internally or by the client or both. So if you know you're not interested, don't try hard in the interview.

chestud13 wrote:
What if you are in between project? Do you get paid during this time? The reason I ask is because I've heard conflicting and confusing stories from some people who say that between projects you basically don't get paid and getting another project all depends on whether the next company/individual likes your consultant. Others say that you do get paid during this time between projects and that getting another project is not difficult.
I would like some clarity on this issue. I do not want to end up getting into a situation where I'm sitting at home waiting for project without any sort of income.


When you're between projects, this is called being "on the bench." You get paid during this time. Many people will reach out to you (unless there's a big bench), whether to ask for your assistance with business development work or to staff you on their project. In my experience, it's easiest to get on a new project through your network - people you've already worked with. They know your reputation and will most likely have their eye on you when you're available. With the exception of my first project, I've gotten all of my roles through my existing network.

So don't fret - you won't be sitting at home waiting for a project without any sort of income. Bench time is like vacation - you're paid and not working - except you're not using your vacation! I was on the bench for six weeks this year (right after I was promoted, too). It was marvelous. I hung out with my boyfriend and our dog and actually cooked and took care of stuff around my house! Oh, and I applied to three business schools :-D (perfect timing!). Now I'm staffed on a project. Rest assured, bench time does not affect your performance review / rating, either.
Intern
Intern
Joined: 27 Dec 2012
Posts: 32
Concentration: General Management, Technology
Schools: HBS '15
GMAT Date: 09-21-2013
GPA: 3.51
WE: Engineering (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 1

Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2013, 20:02
missxmelon wrote:
chestud13 wrote:
I want some info on consulting in terms of projects. For the big consulting companies such as Accenture, McKinsey, BCG, PwC, how do projects work? Do you get assigned projects?


It depends. You do have say over which projects you get, so you're not just randomly assigned one. The only caveat to this would be your first project, where you don't have a support network / any power to say "no." That being said, I've both been booked to projects without my knowledge and turned down projects before.

In general, however, you'll be interviewed before chosen for a project - whether it's internally or by the client or both. So if you know you're not interested, don't try hard in the interview.

chestud13 wrote:
What if you are in between project? Do you get paid during this time? The reason I ask is because I've heard conflicting and confusing stories from some people who say that between projects you basically don't get paid and getting another project all depends on whether the next company/individual likes your consultant. Others say that you do get paid during this time between projects and that getting another project is not difficult.
I would like some clarity on this issue. I do not want to end up getting into a situation where I'm sitting at home waiting for project without any sort of income.


When you're between projects, this is called being "on the bench." You get paid during this time. Many people will reach out to you (unless there's a big bench), whether to ask for your assistance with business development work or to staff you on their project. In my experience, it's easiest to get on a new project through your network - people you've already worked with. They know your reputation and will most likely have their eye on you when you're available. With the exception of my first project, I've gotten all of my roles through my existing network.

So don't fret - you won't be sitting at home waiting for a project without any sort of income. Bench time is like vacation - you're paid and not working - except you're not using your vacation! I was on the bench for six weeks this year (right after I was promoted, too). It was marvelous. I hung out with my boyfriend and our dog and actually cooked and took care of stuff around my house! Oh, and I applied to three business schools :-D (perfect timing!). Now I'm staffed on a project. Rest assured, bench time does not affect your performance review / rating, either.



Thanks for the reply mxm!
Are consulting companies able to work with you in terms of placement location? For example, if you graduate from a NE bschool (IE. Harvard, Duke, MIT,etc) and you get placed in SF , but you want to work in the south where an office is located, is that feasible?
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2013, 22:15
chestud13 wrote:
Thanks for the reply mxm!
Are consulting companies able to work with you in terms of placement location? For example, if you graduate from a NE bschool (IE. Harvard, Duke, MIT,etc) and you get placed in SF , but you want to work in the south where an office is located, is that feasible?


Consulting companies are definitely flexible about work location. When I joined, I was asked to rank my top three cities. I therefore wasn't expected to work where I graduated. Fortunately, I was given my first choice. However, certain offices at my company are difficult to get into - for example, Denver and Austin (high demand, low supply). My company happens to be implementing a "staff locally" policy, so there have to be projects in the city to justify consultants being located there. I know it doesn't make much sense, since most of us travel to our clients anyway. As a side note, I was also able to transfer offices quite easily.

Basically, you have flexibility with where you work, but it has to be a major-ish city. My company has plenty of offices in the south like Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, Dallas, etc.
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2014, 11:52
Expert's post
chestud13 wrote:
Thanks for the reply mxm!
Are consulting companies able to work with you in terms of placement location? For example, if you graduate from a NE bschool (IE. Harvard, Duke, MIT,etc) and you get placed in SF , but you want to work in the south where an office is located, is that feasible?

Disclaimer, I don’t work in Consulting. From my knowledge, where you get staff is firm and economy dependent. Some firms have a local staffing policy; however, if there’s a huge need in another location, and they can’t staff locally, they may reach out to you, especially if you have a specialization that matches the project. Other firms, staff nationally, so you can be in the SF office, and get staffed on a case in NYC. The more experience you have and the better your network, the more likely you’ll get staffed on a project higher on your preference list.

For post-MBA office location, all of the top MC companies make you to choose your post-MBA office. It is very difficult to switch office initially. In another word, McKinsey won’t turn you down for the NYC office for and offer you a place at the Dallas office. This is critical choice, since the hiring is done by the office, and supply and demand comes into play, as well as strength of alumni at the office.
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Re: Down On Consulting   [#permalink] 23 Jan 2014, 11:52
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