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# Down On Consulting

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Intern
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16 Apr 2011, 13:10
I would appreciate if someone answers my query!

Do MC companies recruit MBA students who have had work experience in their family businesses prior to their MBA?
or they've got no chance??
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16 Apr 2011, 15:31
This is a great thread on Consulting providing detailed insight on the life style.

Thanks a ton to all the contributers !!
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17 Apr 2011, 14:54
chaitanyabhansali wrote:
I would appreciate if someone answers my query!

Do MC companies recruit MBA students who have had work experience in their family businesses prior to their MBA?
or they've got no chance??

Considering they'll hire people with ZERO direct business experience (scientists, engineers), I'd have to say yeah, they'll hire someone who has actual business experience.

RF
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27 Apr 2011, 08:12
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?

Senior Manager
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05 Jun 2011, 18:04
1
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http://www.economist.com/node/18774614
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06 Jun 2011, 04:56
Thanks for all the great insights on consulting.

Quick question: I would like to specialize in Hi tech or Greentech/environment companies. Which firms have the most expertise in each of these industries ?

Thanks
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11 Jun 2011, 03:53
gijoedude wrote:

http://www.economist.com/node/18774614

thanks. this seems useful.

Any other material - blog,magazine,websites - we can look into for good insight on mgmt consulting.
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13 Jun 2011, 08:37
PranavChamp wrote:
gijoedude wrote:

http://www.economist.com/node/18774614

thanks. this seems useful.

Any other material - blog,magazine,websites - we can look into for good insight on mgmt consulting.

You might find this site helpful.

http://managementconsulted.com/
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28 Jul 2011, 18:15
Hey all. Firstly, I have been on and off ghosting this forum for about a year now. I originally was curious about GMAT prep, even though it's a ways off for me, but after looking through the site a bit more, there are some wonderful insights into various industries, including consulting, which I have some questions about.

So I'm about to be a sophomore at IU Kelley, doing undergrad, and it's going quite well. However, I'm really having trouble thinking about what kind of career I'd like to have when I graduate, so I've been researching MC. This thread and Rhyme's thread on recruiting have been interesting, but I have some general questions that I haven't seen answered.

First off, Is getting a big 3 (or really any) MC job more difficult for an undergraduate business major, or majorly different in any way then if you're an MBA grad?

Secondly, I'm definitely considering going back to grad school, though I have quite a while before I will have to know, and I'm wondering if consulting is a good fit for someone who is looking into an MBA/JD program. I mean to say, do business schools have any preference when it comes to MC? For it? against it?

Third, in anyone's experience, is hard-work rewarded in the MC industry to a greater extent that face-time with the partners? What I mean to say is that I respect the idea of working your way upward in a company, rather than networking your way upward. I know that a certain amount of both is required to be successful, but I feel like there are definitely industries where advancement relies on one more than the other, and I'm wondering how the MC dynamic is.

I hope I didn't sound too ignorant, and that I didn't miss these answers somewhere else.
Thanks!
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11 Aug 2011, 11:31
Want to go into consulting, have an entrance level job (Production Assistant) with Deloitte. I have my in, now what do I need to get into a Consulting position? Possible Designations? I'm obviously considering an MBA at some point too, hopefully Part time in 2012.

Thanks
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22 Aug 2011, 14:37
im currently an auditor hoping to make the switch to consulting (pre-MBA to a smaller firm and post-MBA to MBB hopefully). any advice on doing this? i have a year of work experience and my cpa, any specific consulting firms i should target that will be open to my skillset?
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04 Nov 2011, 23:58
I just want to thank all the people who have contributed their insights and experience in this thread...i've obtained a lot of useful info about consulting...was wondering if it is right for me and all these discussions will really help me make my decision....thanks a lot for posting
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03 Jan 2012, 02:57
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Hi there,

I'm a CXO who has been a client for MBB firms on three occasions (once as the client lead for a multinational company). I've friends who have done consulting. I thought some might be curious about a client's perspective.

rhyme wrote:
I believe transitioning into Director level roles is likely a reality for any top MC firm.... but like you said, I doubt its 2 - 3 years out.

No.

I'm currently recruiting a new Director role and would avoid someone from a MC role. The key reasons are those given in The Atlantic article:

"Moreover, a consultant’s voice is not the voice of direct experience; most of the problems that consultants analyze are ones they have never faced. And although consultants asking for your business may talk about the trove of industry intelligence they have to share, in practice, the sharing is limited: contracts forbid sharing anything really juicy, and some firms work with only one client per sector at a time. In fact, the arguments for hiring a consultant are often the same as those for seeing a psychiatrist. Both experts have helped an awful lot of people work through prob­lems, which makes them good at listening and gives each one an arsenal of best practices to suggest to their new clients."

MC firms are valuable for bringing smart, fresh insight. They are also valuable for carrying out grunt work, like an industry analysis, with added intelligent insight.

Frequently, however, the strategy is the easy part. Getting a large multinational organistion to actually implement the strategy is the hard part. Consultants have no management experience of the latter.

rhyme wrote:
* Jack of all trades, king of none syndrome
* You are pretty much hated by every employee the second you arrive and you can count on about 90% of them not wanting to help you. There's three reasons for this: 1) You make them look bad by being there, 2) You get paid a lot more than they do and 3) Consulting firms often make the client employees pull data sets, find contracts, etc - then use all that in their presentations to mgmt and give no credit to whoever the poor sap was that gathered all this stuff was.

* I agree. This is what can make MC a bad choice of first job. If you've only worked in consultancy, then you can sometimes struggle to get into industry. Another one of my friends graduated from Oxford and went straight into strategy consulting. Despite an awesome CV, she had a nightmare trying to get into industry. Nobody wanted to hire a jack of all trades. (In contrast, another friend who went from industry into consulting as an 'experienced hire' has had a fast track career; a couple of years consultancy served him very well.)

* As for being hated, my experience was that being a jack of all trades caused this. Consultants come in without much industry sector knowledge. This means you're paying them to learn your industry! They can make all sorts of poor recommendations because of low sector knowledge.

I believe MC can be great for your career if you do some time industry, before joining a MC firm as an experienced hire. You have lots more credibility with clients. You'll have lots more career options to progress on from consulting.
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08 Jul 2012, 02:53
Is there anything like consulting jobs in the Big 4 focused on the automobile industry or the engineering and operations firms?

I'm a mechanical designer for the govt. of India with 5 years of experience. I'm looking at MC as a post-MBA goal.

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20 Jul 2012, 01:47
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Hi! Even though some of the previous posts are quite old, I thought I'd try and answer some questions that haven't been replied to yet . I interned at a tier-two company and after that applied for full time positions at MBB. I received offers from two of them and reached the final round at the third so I have quite some experience with the recruiting process and also with how it is to start out as a consultant, but obviously know much less about what life is like in consulting long-term. My experience is based on offices in Europe, so it might be different elsewhere but my impression is that offices are quite comparable regardless of where they are.

dragoon wrote:
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?

Work-wise, I feel all of the three are very similar. The differences are marginal, at all three companies you will do similar work in a similar setting with similar people. The small differences that I observed:
- Bain is very focused on realisable, implementable and measurable results. They will always tailor their work such, that their client can actually use their advice (this is not necessarily always the "best" advice, but it is the best advice for this client). Also, they will refuse work if they think they can't book results for a certain client. Bain has a link with Bain Capital and does a lot of due diligence work, making it a good place to be if you're specifically interested in PE. Culture wise I felt Bain attracts people with a very high energy level, that are extremely enthousiastic about their work, but even more so about other passions they have outside of work. People at Bain seemed very close with eachother and the atmosphere felt very informal. Finally I got the impression that of all three firms Bain is the least "strict" with their up-or-out system, which makes for a better work-life balance.
- BCG focuses on always finding the best answer. They are known in the industry for being "thought leaders", though I'm not sure their approach is always the most practical one. Their portfolio is pretty well-balanced (though that may differ from office to office) with a slight leaning towards financial services. My impression was that BCG attracts the smartest people, and that people at BCG don't fit into a certain "box" - there is no such thing as a BCG-type I think. I felt that there was a lot of room to just be yourself, and I think it's charming that they have such a variety of people working there.
- McK is probably still the most prestigious of the three. They're the largest, have the largest alumni base and the best brand. Rumour goes that there is a real "McK way", and that they will do it this way regardless of what the client wants. On the other hand, clients seem to perceive McK as the safe choice - can't go wrong when hiring them. Culture wise, I felt McK attracts people with a very specific type of leadership style (quite masculine, if that makes sense) and the atmosphere seemed slightly more formal and competitive than at the other two firms. This could also be caused by McK's size.

dragoon wrote:
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?

At Bain and BCG everyone gets a contract for unlimited time (though obviously, there is an up-or-out system so you can still get kicked out if you don't perform well enough). At McK I am not sure - I know pre-MBA hires get a two year contract, post MBA I wouldn't know.

dragoon wrote:
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?

Most people are generalists when they enter MBB, when and how they specialize tends to depend on personal preference, office location and firm, but mostly personal preference. I guess some offices concentrate on some industry sectors, but this is dynamic and location dependent.

dragoon wrote:
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.

I'm not sure how staffing works in the US, in Europe staffing is organized by office. This means that offices in the UK handle projects in the UK, offices in Italy handle projects in Italy, etc. Moving between offices is possible - you can move for a single project, for a certain period (like a year, or longer if you want) or permanently. How easy this is to realize depends on a lot of things - your performance, the office you want to move to, the office you're coming from, etc. I guess when you perform well, anything is possible.

dragoon wrote:
Are there a lot of opportunities for pro bono work?

Yes, but there are also a lot of people interested in doing it . Your main work will not be pro bono, but it should definitely be possible to do a pro bono project now and then.

murtyjones wrote:
[...] is hard-work rewarded in the MC industry to a greater extent that face-time with the partners? What I mean to say is that I respect the idea of working your way upward in a company, rather than networking your way upward. I know that a certain amount of both is required to be successful, but I feel like there are definitely industries where advancement relies on one more than the other, and I'm wondering how the MC dynamic is.

You are probably right when you say a certain amount of both is required to be succesful, it's no different in MC. However compared to a lot of industries, I feel MC has the most merit-based dynamic. Performance evaluation is very structured and transparent (you get evaluated after each project, which means every few months and evaluation is done using a score form that is the same for everyone and every six months you get a formal evaluation). Obviously it's impossible for the system to be completely objective but it's pretty close I think.
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24 Jul 2012, 02:08
AylaSmith wrote:
Hi! Even though some of the previous posts are quite old, I thought I'd try and answer some questions that haven't been replied to yet . I interned at a tier-two company and after that applied for full time positions at MBB. I received offers from two of them and reached the final round at the third so I have quite some experience with the recruiting process and also with how it is to start out as a consultant, but obviously know much less about what life is like in consulting long-term. My experience is based on offices in Europe, so it might be different elsewhere but my impression is that offices are quite comparable regardless of where they are.

Hi!

I'm a lawyer from Europe (experience mostly concerns EU law), and I'm looking to move into consulting after MBA, preferably back in Europe. Do you have any experience about financial regulatory consulting? Or for that instance, consulting work that involves public policy analysis? I'm asking because I'm really interested how exactly can I best use my law experience in consulting jobs.

Thanks!
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27 Jul 2012, 00:20
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GPT55 wrote:
Do you have any experience about financial regulatory consulting? Or for that instance, consulting work that involves public policy analysis? I'm asking because I'm really interested how exactly can I best use my law experience in consulting jobs.

I don't have any experience with public policy consulting, I do know quite a few lawyers who ended up at MBB. At MBB and I think at most consulting firms there is no real difference in the work you do regardless of what your background is. People do enter at different levels, but within those levels work is similar for everyone, especially when you've just entered. After some consulting experience you may choose to specialize in certain areas if you like, and the further you get the more likely it will be that you specialize at least somewhat. In the beginning however, you'll probably be a generalist like everyone else.

If you plan to enter after your MBA, you will probably enter at the level just below project leader (I think this is called consultant at most firms) which means you will be handling your own work streams from beginning to end, maybe with an associate consultant to help you. This will include gathering data, modeling, presenting your results to the client. Possibly if you know a lot about something that your particular office has little experience with you will be staffed accordingly, but this doesn't happen a lot and generally you will just do "consulting" work and building the skill set related to it. So in conclusion, I don't think your knowledge of the law will be super useful, but I do think other skills you picked up while practicing law (like, I don't know, verbal skills?) will be valuable.
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02 Aug 2012, 09:42
AylaSmith wrote:
.

Thanks, very informative!

If you don't mind I might come back later with additional questions, since you work in Europe and I'm also looking to get back to Europe after MBA.
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08 Feb 2013, 13:27
hi all,

If i am SCRUM certified and have a knowledge of auto loan and been into consultation, do all these aspects will be helpful to me when i apply to the MBA courses in different universities?

Thanks,
harsh
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10 Mar 2013, 21:13
harshpopo26 wrote:
hi all,

If i am SCRUM certified and have a knowledge of auto loan and been into consultation, do all these aspects will be helpful to me when i apply to the MBA courses in different universities?

Thanks,
harsh

It's all about how you spin it as adding value to the learning environment and classroom discussions. It sounds like you have a unique perspective to bring to the table, which is great, but no one can tell you how much those experiences specifically will bolster your candidacy.
Re: Down On Consulting   [#permalink] 10 Mar 2013, 21:13

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