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Down On Consulting

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 [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2007, 10:45
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Hi this is my first post (yay!), feels good to get it out of the way.

I've got a couple questions about MC careers. I apologize in advance if I ask a question that has already been addressed in a sticky... I've done my best to use the search function as much as possible before writing this.

1) MC Recruiting outside top 10 schools.

How about schools outside of the Elite such as Boston U, Boston C, Babson, Indiana (Kelley), Notre Dame, Michigan State, Emory, Ohio State, Iowa (Tippie), Wake Forest?

Yes, I know I can find out which firms recruit by checking out each university's placements stats... But my question has more to do with the mentality of the recruiters. How do they approach recruiting at these schools? Do they concentrate their efforts on the H/S/W-type gradutes and then send some 3rd string recruiting teams to schools outside the top 10 to try to unearth some "hidden gems"? Or do they try to give each school on their list equal consideration?

Also, could anyone recommend some schools outside the Elite (for all of us non 700 club GMAtters....) where MC firms have a track record of recruiting from?

2) Consulting Track for MBA Concentration

How do consulting firms feel about recruiting from schools with "consulting track" type programs, e.g. Darden, Indiana. Do they prefer it? Is there evidence to suggest that students who come from a case-based general management programs fair better in MC careers than those who've come from more of a theory/straight finance/quant-intensive program?

3) Choice of Location After Getting Hired.

From what I understand, generally speaking, if you work for one of the major MC firms, you can choose where you want to live. When staffing has an assignment for you, you fly out to meet the rest of the team. When an engagement is over, you're free to live where you want to. Is this correct? Or do you have to at least live near a regional office?

The reason why I ask is because I'm currently working in Banking/Finance. The bulk of activity for this industry takes place on the East Coast, and it would make sense for someone wanting to pursue a Wall Street career to....well....move to or near Wall Street. Does this principle of location apply to those wanting to get into MC?

4) Staying Power

It seems to me that most MCs leave the industry because they either (1) can't move up...therefore out, (2) burn out...personal reasons, (3) find an industry they are passionate about / boutique firm that specializes in a particular area of consulting that they enjoy.

Has anyone here decided that they'd like to make a career out of consulting? Seems like most people here see MC as 2-3 years to "get a broad exposure and decide what industry I want to get into". Does anyone feel otherwise, and what would it take to have that kind of staying power at a top firm, to eventually progress past the associate level on to VP, Partner, etc...

Ok that's not a few questions, that's a lot.

But thanks to everyone who has contributed to make this thread so rich... I've learned so much since joining this board!
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2007, 12:11
can people in the MC field tell me how seriously the GMAT figures into the interviewing/hiring decisions? How significant a factor is it and is there a cut-off like there is for bschool?
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2009, 04:55
Wow! Loom has asked some very nice questions! Any one know answers to these? I'm sure there are many others besides me who'll be interested to know...
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Re: [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2009, 10:51
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some answers based on my experiences.

[quote="loom"]Hi this is my first post (yay!), feels good to get it out of the way.
welcome.

1) MC Recruiting outside top 10 schools.

Also, could anyone recommend some schools outside the Elite (for all of us non 700 club GMAtters....) where MC firms have a track record of recruiting from?

Honestly - at my firm we tend to send people from the school to recruit at the school. So I don't know how to answer the question about 3rd string recruiting teams etc. Once you get in the interview room it really doesn't matter what school you went to - its about you selling yourself to the interviewer and getting a second round. At the second round stage - i have never heard about but he went to H/S/W and this other guy went to Indiana so lets take H/S/W guy. Now that's not to say the school doesn't matter at all - they do provide some as a signaling as to the caliber of potential employees (I know - its unfair etc.. but I am just saying it like it is at my firm), so for the 1st round we are likely to interview say 50 ppl at Kellogg but only 10 a Kelley. Similarly, we are more likely to hold more info sessions / receptions at Kellogg etc which provide networking opportunities for their students. As far as schools that we recruit at - my office has a fair number of Kelly and Notre Dame kids but then I am based in the midwest. Ross, Duke, Darden all have great

2) Consulting Track for MBA Concentration

How do consulting firms feel about recruiting from schools with "consulting track" type programs, e.g. Darden, Indiana. Do they prefer it? Is there evidence to suggest that students who come from a case-based general management programs fair better in MC careers than those who've come from more of a theory/straight finance/quant-intensive program?

not sure about this - I have never heard anyone talk about concentrations etc when deciding who gets offers but its really about can you convey your fit. Maybe that 'consulting' track helps you show why you are better than person Y.

Now - It may well matter at first rounds - I have only done second rounds so not sure about what goes on in the initial screens. One of the reasons we like sending alumni back to review resume's and conduct first rounds is precisely this - if you are a Kellogg grad and interviewing for consulting - you can probably be expected to explain why you are interviewing for consulting if you decided to specialize / concentrate in say capital markets..


3) Choice of Location After Getting Hired.

No, I have never heard of this at our company. I know of no company where you could literally live anywhere you wanted as long you could get to the client location. You usually have to live within a reasonable distance from the office so that you can come into the office when needed. We do get staffed on local projects - that don't require flights etc and even on projects that require you to work only in the office with the occasional site visit. Also offices matter - your office choice is where you go for your second round interview and where they decide if you get an offer or not.

4) Staying Power

A lot of people who actually work in the industry have been in it for years. Personally, I am hoping to leave it because I want to do more specific finance type work. But lots of friends are applying with plans of coming back etc.
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 04 Mar 2009, 22:32
Worth your time: http://www.youtube.com/born2consult

I would totally go for a head twice its normal size.
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 21 May 2009, 05:53
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Im only studying for my gmat now.

I used to work for Accenture (got a place before I graduated). Once you are posted out of town on a project the hours are insane. I did 8-8 on average most days. With plenty of days where I worked from 8am - 2/3am. Pizza/take away in the office was the norm. Then off home in a taxi at night.

Mind you I was looked after. Driven everwhere. Stayed in top hotels, partied 2/3 nights a week with the firm. I think I put on about 20 pounds :-(... infact everyone on my team put on weight! All that good food!

I now work for an investment bank in London. I much prefer it. The hours are better. Its not frowned upon if you go to the gym (any time of the day). The money is better. The work is more specialised unlike consulting which tends to involve a lot of grunt work (coding, writing documents etc, inane process improvements) when you are at the lower levels. Thats Accenture for you though. Booz, Bain, Boston might be different...

Post MBA I want to continue working in banking or start my own company.

I guess experience has thought me that!

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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2009, 10:35
johnnyx9,

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.
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2009, 10:40
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).
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2009, 23:59
Hi all,



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?


Thanks and good luck!
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2010, 07:56
Thanks to everyone who contributed to make this a great thread. Every post here has added value. I wanted to ask a question thar has not been answered so far. ( I read every post)

- mobility between offices
If you start in Cleveland and want to move to New York? Does that happen ? How often ? If it does, would it be a good recruitment strategy out of a business school ?

- mobility between geographies - if I start in New York and want to move to Singapore or Hongkong ? Does it happen ? How often ?

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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 11 Feb 2010, 15:42
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All,
Been just absorbing and taking in the wisdom of GMATclub and want to offer some back!

Background - was at a boutique strategy group within an economic consulting firm as a analyst/associate post undergrad.

I can try and answer a variety of queries under a few buckets:

Source/type of work - at a boutique, the work is very relationship driven where you have a proven tendency to deliver on problems. The reason clients come to us (or we propose work) is one of three items being missing (knowledge, people resources, or lack of visibility). It is either us proposing to the client to do some work for them to help them in an aspect of their business goal and presenting a simple spend $M with me and get a $N impact with N>>>>M or sometimes, they will bid it out and say i want all the firms to bid for a 2015 business scenario planning for my business. The third might be a serious need by a 3rd party e.g. Ibankers cannot figure out how to IPO/Sell a company because the investors/market is wary of the companies current place and future potential - a Consulting firm can provide credible 3rd party analysis to figure them out.

Types - you will see M&A advisory (how do we value the synergy potential aka replicated operating costs in this deal), long term strategy formulation, new market entry plans, supply chain planning (how do i decide criteria for my procurement team to make decisions on), sales force incentive structure/planning, business risk planning and competitive thinking (What if XYZ does...) and finally, you will surely see a lot of modeling and scenarios, but in consulting the big reason this is "effective" or perceived that way,is that seniors at most firms are REALLY good at taking complex analysis and presenting the "dumbed down" or elevator pitch to the ceo about what the crux of the case is and what they need to do.

Project Structure- scoping project requirements, identifying key questions/analysis pieces and assigning tasks, then doing the actual work, then assimilating the results and validating/disproving original hypothesis, then the typical consultant thing of building a wicked little powerpoint that simultaneously distils it down to actionable recommendations while still demonstrating the depth/scope of analysis and try and force/incite the reader to action. (You are more often involved as an analyst/associate pre MBA in the last two; as an MBA, you move further up the chain... the first step before this ofcourse, is convincing the client to shell the $$ on your firm)

I'll try and post again about the daily life/stuff, but i think boutiques have a lot to offer while having some obvious disadvantages to the M/B/B shops.

Do try and grab a read of the online version of consulting magazine - very good insightful interviews with seniors at big and small shops.
I'd suggest GDIFC a lovely blog that was taken offline which chronicled life as a consultant in a great satirical/humorous way.
Good luck all and get in touch with me directly if you want to talk about some of the specifics since I am not comfortable sharing too much on the web about my specific firm/details
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2010, 23:59
Haha! Thanks for sharing this Toubab, thats a cool little cat.

Toubab wrote:
Worth your time: http://www.youtube.com/born2consult

I would totally go for a head twice its normal size.
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2010, 08:55
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.
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2010, 10:20
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
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2010, 16:55
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.
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2010, 18:21
staind wrote:
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.


I believe it is the same at other firms.
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 27 Aug 2010, 09:16
rhyme is consultant the same way as Howard Roark was Architect. great insight into the world of consulting.
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2011, 11:12
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!
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2011, 21:51
Great Thread!

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.

Any insight would be much appreciated!

Thanks!
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Re: Down On Consulting [#permalink] New post 04 Mar 2011, 09:02
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)

thanks!
Re: Down On Consulting   [#permalink] 04 Mar 2011, 09:02
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