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Unconventional answers about management consulting

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Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2009, 02:34
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Hi jacket882,

1) It's difficult for me to say, as I don't know how cometitive recruitment in London is. I can say that the offer-to-first-round-interview is around 10% (maybe something less) at MBB offices in Italy (first-interview-to-CV is 10% as well). McKinsey and Bain's offices in Milan are huge (350 people), possibly bigger of the London ones, while BCG has fewer people (about 100), so the opportunity is there.

Despite what every HR will tell you, the bar varies a lot across market cycles: being hired now is almost impossible if you're not part of the MBA round, and even so quite competitive.

If you are an international and you can speak Italian fluently, you stand a huge advantage. If you are not English, that's even better since you would know another European language fluently (ideal would be Eastern Europe). The thing is, you have to be fluent in spoken and written Italian, even if you are not impeccable: if not, you hardly have a chance to be extended a full-time offer (Italian is the language of most engagements).

2) GMAT - If you have an above 700 score, report it on your résumé. If not, don't. No one will ever ask you for that nor having a 790 will matter past the CV selection step. It all boils down to how well you do in the case, 750+ scores who can't asnwer a case in a simple and straightforward way are rejected on first round on a regular basis.
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Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2009, 17:43
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Hi Paradosso,

I came across this link while I was researching on MC as a post MBA career option. Your posts made me a little more wiser on MC and I think I still would like to get into MC. I am not sure if you are still around answering Q's. But, let me post them anyway:

1. I would like to be an entrepreneur (not the tech or emerging technology types - more on different business models/newer markets/differentiated service type in an emerging economy(India)) at a future point in my career. I currently have experience in a operational/execution/implementation role (as opposed to a strategic role). I would like to know if MC would be a good intermediate point in my career post MBA, to gain some strategic and business development perspective and experience before I can jump into my own venture? In other words, how relevant is work ex in a strategy/growth/globalization practice at Big-3 to starting your own venture?

I am not sure if you will be able to answer Q.2 (it is more related to the US-Big 3 hiring policies).But I wish if someone else can throw some light on it.

2. I am currently working in the US on a H1 visa and I would have only 1.5 years of my 6 year limit available, when I graduate from bschool (I had already exhausted my OPT during my MS). So, I am wondering if a. M/B/Bs sponsor greencard for their employees? If they do, is there a wait time before they start the process?
b. Would they be more willing (or do they) to send their hires in the US to an international location to get around the visa issue (like how the banks did for their recruits this year to circumvent the visa problem due to TARP)


Thanks a ton for the great Q&A posts.
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Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2009, 17:58
One more...
What is the age distribution of associates entering M/B/B? I will be 33 when I graduate(If I get into a school of my choice this year :roll: ). So, I wanted to know if older folks are common in the entry level associate position...Based on the age profile of people getting into b'schools, I want to think that the average age would be 29 for an entry level associate and the age distribution would match that of the b'school's class..But want to know others' thoughts as well on perceptions
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Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2009, 11:33
Thanks a lot for this thread, Paradosso.
I'm interested in consulting , post-MBA. How do you think my background as a wireless design engineer would help/harm this? Where would I best fit in in a consulting firm? Is there any such thing as strategy consulting for technology companies like Google, MSoft etc? I am trying to understand what my short-term goals shold be if I went into consulting, with my background. Any insights on this?

On a different note, if I wanted to be a financial services consultant, would an MBA suffice or would I need some other qualifications?
thanks a lot
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Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2009, 23:06
Hi guys,

without trying to put Paradosso in the shade, here are my two cents

regarding the financial certification: I think always it's useful to be certified on something. Depending on the sector, you should study for the followings: CAIA (hedge funds), FRM/PRM (Risks) or CFA (general finance)

of course, there are many, many certifications but I think these are the most important.

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Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2009, 16:49
If you want consulting based on what I have heard this fall so far, go after it hard for your internship. There aren't a lot of spots open for people who didn't intern for firms during the summer. The few positions they will probably fill are going to be the ones that were turned down by interns who hated consulting (common feeling). I have been pretty surprised with how many people did not enjoy working at a big 3 and are going to recruit for other things this year instead.
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Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2009, 14:32
Is there any rhyme or reason as to what these individuals pursue if they turn down the big 3 offer? I've only spoken with second years at Chicago that are accepting the offer...the ones that hated the gig are probably hiding the in the closet.
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Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting [#permalink] New post 30 Sep 2009, 21:14
fluidian wrote:
Is there any rhyme or reason as to what these individuals pursue if they turn down the big 3 offer? I've only spoken with second years at Chicago that are accepting the offer...the ones that hated the gig are probably hiding the in the closet.


I spoke to one individual that interned at one of the Big 3 and turned it down because that person wanted to focus on a particular industry, and that firm placed them into an industry/functional role that did not suit them or their interests.
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Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2010, 12:05
Paradosso wrote:
1. Do European offices hire almost exclusively from European b-schools?
2. If working in an office in a European country other than the UK, is it necessary to know the local language (French, Italian, etc.)?
3. Are European offices significantly "older" or "younger" than U.S. offices, i.e. do they prefer older candidates for each level (analyst, associate, engagement manager), sort of like European b-. It'sprefer more experienced folks?


1. Not at all! While most people come from European schools, INSEAD in the first place, for abvious reasons (they are Europeans in the first place), European office are dying to recruit from US schools. Remember that schools are a signal to the employer that their graduate is a low-risk hire. Everyone knows that the best schools and the fiercest competition to get in are to be found in the US, so they want to get those people. They really want to --you can ask good money.

Yet most of the US schools graduates are Europeans because

2. Yes, you have to be fluent in the local language (i.e., you have to be able to speak with the client). Not native (being a foreigner could indeed be an advantage), but fluent of that fluency that can be learnt. Think 105 in the TOEFL. Ok, you have never took teh TOEFL, never mind :). The more an office works abroad the more they can think to staff you around in English-speaking engagements, which are also very high-profile, so you better be good (my money says you fit that bill). So I say that for an American who is willing to learn languages, is very possible to work in Europe at Bain, quite possible to work at McK, difficult to work at BCG. Things change if you are willing to go to Kiev or Moscow, no one expects you to speak Russian there and you will make a lot of money.

3. There is no real age preference at recruiting. At the same level, you will find Europeans are older (especially in Italy/Germany) because:

a. there are more years of study to gain an undergraduate degree
b. there is always some kind of thesis/dissertation that takes up other time
c. few people begin straight into consulting

I, for one, am 27 and have been working for two years only. That said, you will find 32-year-old partners here too: he who sells wins, that's worldwide.

Hope that helps guys!


Paradosso - thanks again for all your great posts. I am hoping you can expand a bit on questions 1 & 2 above.

Besides M/B/B, which other top firms (such as boutiques L.E.K., OC&C, etc), accomodate the most to international assignments? Specifically, I am American and would like to work in consulting in Europe after my MBA. Would it be better to select to interview for a full-time position with an office in Europe from the get-go, or interview and get in to a US office first, and then internally transfer to a European office later? I have "fair" french speaking/reading/writing abilities from taking classes during undergrad, but I am not fluent in business situations (as of right now). Which top firms would help me get to Europe, at least for a year or two? I am thinking London is probably the most likely scenario, but would love to experience other locations (Paris, Moscow, Munich, etc).

Additionally, I have heard consulting activity in Africa is slowly increasing (Morocco, Egypt, etc). Gaining professional experience there would also be of interest. Do you have any insight about how projects in Africa are staffed? I am guessing that if a consulting firm does not have an office in Africa, they staff projects from offices which are relatively close by (London, etc)?
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Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2010, 21:27
bump - would really appreciate any more comments to keep this topic alive! :)
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Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting [#permalink] New post 08 Nov 2010, 14:25
Hello,

I was hoping you could provide some feedback on what I would be doing and experiencing in a more operational consulting role at say IBM/PWC/ACCENTURE. How do you value these positions and do they still make for a good stepping stone into management?
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Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting [#permalink] New post 09 Nov 2010, 21:14
Thanks paradosso! I really admire your selfless approach.
+1 to you. Thanks once more for opening such an informative thread.
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Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2010, 14:03
blast00 wrote:
Hello,

I was hoping you could provide some feedback on what I would be doing and experiencing in a more operational consulting role at say IBM/PWC/ACCENTURE. How do you value these positions and do they still make for a good stepping stone into management?

The work is dependent on the group function you're in. A strategy consultant at PWC will bid for the same projects that someone at MBB is going for. If you're looking specifically into operations/IT, then it's really all about systems implementation.
Re: Unconventional answers about management consulting   [#permalink] 29 Nov 2010, 14:03
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