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Have I been duped?

#1 Have I been duped?
26/05/2016 13:02

Geoff Chaucer

Hello All,

I am a long-term reader and first-time poster who would like some advice on an opportunity that has come my way.

I am a recent graduate and have been offered a 12-month internship working as a Business Analyst for TCS based in Mumbai. The opportunity comes via the British Council however, apart from some vague allusions to retail banks, details of what I'll actually be doing are rather thin on the ground (more info here if you're interested:

Now, I'm well aware that TCS is the deformed relative of the consulting family, but here is some context to inform your advice.

After graduating in 2015 I interviewed with each of the MBB firms and after two-first round and one second-round interviews the salient feedback was that, though I'm likeable, impressive enough, and come across as though I would fit in, I simply lacked any bona fide corporate experience compared to the other applicants (similar sentiments came from a few IBs too). This is very much a valid point. The reason that I lack any internships is because throughout University I had a starting date for Sandhurst and therefore I spent my summers climbing mountains and playing sports rather than collecting internships. Unfortunately, due to a sporting injury, the army is now off the cards.

I have two degrees in History from two top (though sub-Oxbridge) universities, and a whole host of generically impressive extracurricular HR bumpf of the sporting, leadership and academic varieties. On the one hand, I feel this offer from TCS might be my last opportunity to jump aboard the consulting ladder, gain client-facing experience in an international context, and move on to bigger and better things. On the other hand, I have a sneaking suspicion that the whole thing might be a case of 'the pith helmet is on the other head now' and I'll just disappear into a Dante's Inferno of call centres and bad plumbing.

Apologies for the long post, but the advice on these fora tends to be marked by a real appreciation of the life lived behind the job title. At the moment I'm working as delivery skipper for boats, but I feel that if I don't take this opportunity my foppishly quaint labouring gap year might actually end up with me being a cab driver or something. On the other hand, might I come back from India with a sahib complex and end up as a jaded IT guy at the local council?

Any advice would be appreciated. Is this a good opportunity? Or have I been duped?

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#2 RE: Have I been duped?
26/05/2016 14:06

Happy to Geoff Chaucer (#1)

My two cents: No, you haven't been duped, because you presumably applied for this role...

A few thoughts:

1) If you are unsure about it then that says something - you should be excited about your first 'real' job - not least because, whatever it is, you need to enjoy it to do well

2) If it's IT and you don't want to do IT, then it doesn't seem to make much sense

3) I don't know anything about IT or about TCS so I am only writing in general terms

4) If you were good enough to get interviews (and get to second round) at MBB, then you should not be selling yourself short - you will be able to get a great job somewhere. Maybe TCS is it, maybe not, what does your gut tell you?

5) There is a very big World outside of consulting - much of which is also much better than consulting, in terms of the role, the work-life balance etc etc

6) Why consulting? It's not that good, and many other jobs give you very similar experience. As an alternative, consider graduate schemes at the major employers. If you're good enough to get interviews at MBB, you are good enough to get interviews at the likes of Unilever, Shell, Diageo, Rolls Royce etc etc. There are some great graduate schemes out there, many of which are pretty much on a par with MBB in terms of prestige (e.g. getting into business school down the track) and also actually better in that regard than 'other' consulting firms.

7) Have you already missed all the deadlines for graduate jobs starting in Sept 2016? If so, why?

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