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Change of Career but Lack of expereince in Consulting

#1 Change of Career but Lack of expereince in Consulting
20/10/2016 10:54


Hi guys

I was wondering if I could get some advice on what to do, I'm not sure if it is a real concern or if recent events have knocked my confidence a bit.

I have over 10 years in telecoms with over 5 years in a training and management position. I think I did very well in the position and was probably the best amongst my peers. I decided to go back to university because I felt if I wanted to progress past retail I needed those extra qualifications.

Now my undergrad was pretty average, scored a 2:2 but did my GMAT and scored 640 and got into Cranfield and without my thesis my current average is 74

After my experience I'm dead set on becoming a consultant and I really want to move away from the sales environment. I was exceptionally good at my job but really got tired of being the voice of reason in meetings or having to be a moral compass to people around me. I have just got really tired of the culture of hitting targets by any means necessary and getting push back from senior management when you show them that your team sells more than anyone else and does it ethically. I remember being called for a job and the first thing the manager said on the phone was "Are you greedy?". in the end I went for interview got the job and turned it down.

Anyway I'm in the situation of being in my mid 30s, job hunting , with a good amount of work and leadership experience but have no experience in consulting and have mediocre undergrad grades

Most consulting jobs all kinds of experience which I don't have but some of my work experience is defiantly transferable so I am still applying to those jobs ( A few rejections coming though already ). The back up plan would be a graduate scheme but considering the amount of work experience I have a few people have advice me that it wont be the best route.

Question is.

do people in my position get those consulting roles with little consulting experience especially going up against people who have done some sort of graduate scheme or have a few years of experience

and considering my age and experience if I just wanted to get through the door do you think a graduate scheme would be suitable ( this also means waiting till January of Next September which is quite sometime away).

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#2 RE: Change of Career but Lack of expereince in Consulting
20/10/2016 11:12

Rollercoaster to I_amnr (#1)

You are highly unlikely to get into consulting. You are too old for a grad scheme. You don't have the experience or undergrad grades for an MBA hire, you don't have the relevant experience for an experienced hire role.

I'm not even sure you have the right mindset for it (ethical selling?). What attracts you to consulting? Selling more consulting work is a key part of consulting.

Best approach is to get relevant experience working on projects for a (good) organisation.

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#3 RE: Change of Career but Lack of expereince in Consulting
20/10/2016 12:35

I_amnr to Rollercoaster (#2)

When I say ethical .. I just don't want to be in an environment where I encouraged to do anything illegal or unethical.

I know it can happen in a consultancy but in a sales environment it is something I negotiated on a weekly/daily basis. There was a time when it didn't matter so much because the structure of the organisation meant that no one from head office came down to tell my team how to do their job. But once we got franchised into a smaller unit , everything from miss selling from out right fraud was over looked or encouraged. In situations like that you are pretty much swimming up stream if you try to hold on to a more ethical culture.

So don't get me wrong, I love selling, I used to be called Obiwon Kenobi because people didn't understand how I got people to buy stuff BUT I always did it ethically. I just don't want to work in an environment where people would happily rip off their own gran and no one cares.

I think part of the attraction of being a consultant is that I get to come up with new ideas, improve processes and actually make a change. I did a lot of that in my last job when it came to performance evaluation and customer satisfaction. Most of the stuff I learnt for my MSc I continually linked it back to my work experience and half the stuff blew my mind and I really want to get to use what I learnt in my next role. My thesis revolved around a lot of market research and basically everything a consultant would do and I really enjoyed it.

If I have a good MSc score , does the undergrad matter that much?

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#4 RE: Change of Career but Lack of expereince in Consulting
20/10/2016 15:08

Whizz to I_amnr (#3)

In my view a decent result from Cranfield will outweigh the undergrad result. My advice would be to just put on your CV the undergrad degree rather than result. It depends very much on the type of consulting that you're after. Cranfield must have a career centre. Have you reviewed your CV with them / discussed your options?

I'd say these are some of your options:

1) Join a Telco in a project based role, learn project management fundamentals and then make a move to consulting after a few years. Your best bet would be to join the corporate division of your previous company if you have a good reputation. Do you have any contacts that you could reach out to / an old manager could do on your behalf?

2) BT have a good in-house consulting team that work on cost reduction projects. That would be a good way to learn project work and see different elements of the business. I understand it's tough to get into but worth a look.

3) Look for a boutique consulting firm that focus on Telco only, or a Big 4 in the TMT (Telecoms, Media, Tech) division. If they divide those roles into HR consulting / People and Change, go for that.

4) Upskill yourself in your personal time. If you like process, do Lean Six Sigma. It all adds to the appeal. Probably worth doing this anyway alongside above options.

In my view the first option would be your best bet.

Best of luck!


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#5 RE: Change of Career but Lack of expereince in Consulting
07/11/2016 17:49

I_amnr to Whizz (#4)

Good news is that I just found out that I won an award for being top of my class .. I guess that will help a bit with applications

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