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Worries ahead?

#1 Worries ahead?
02/04/2002 00:00


After applying to just three of the big 5 firms I managed to gain an offer from Andersen Business Consulting (my first choice :)). Awesome, I thought. Now with all the specultaion I'm worried about what's going to happen. If Andersen can't fulfil its offer I don't really know what to do. Will it help in other applications if I have been accepted by Andersen?

Does anyone have any knowledge about what could be the likely fate of myself and the eighty other people who've gained offers?

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#2 Re: Worries ahead?
02/04/2002 00:00


To be completely honest with you, I do not think it will make a difference if you state that you were offered an ABC position, in fact, it will probably hinder you for example when applying to Accenture.

Currently, most if not all Big 5 (soon to be big 4) have stopped hiring- unless you are experienced.

Your best bet is to get some experience in a relevant field for a few months and then apply, at which point the economy should have picked up.

Good luck.

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#3 Re: Worries ahead?
02/04/2002 00:00

Tony Restell

I can certainly understand your concerns. Andersen BC is a highly regarded operation, and there is considerable interest in the firm right now - I believe both from VCs to fund the firm as an independent operation, separated from Andersen, and also from major firms looking to strengthen their consulting arms through an acquisition. My own opinion is that you and others don't have to worry about Andersen BC still being in business in some shape or form for many years to come. I know from consultants there that the consulting part of the business is actually doing very well, so it's more a question of what its future will look like rather than whether it will have a future at all<br><br>

Should your offer for any reason not be honoured, having won a place at Andersen BC in the current environment - where competition for places has been much tougher - will be a big feather in your cap. If this happens, I would suggest speaking to the graduate recruitment managers at each of the firms to make sure they are aware of these credentials and are specifically looking out for your CV when they receive it (otherwise it may get lost in the floods of applications they are undoubtedly receiving). Hope that helps and good luck kick-starting your consulting career. Tony

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#4 Re: Worries ahead?
03/04/2002 00:00

less concerned now

Thanks for the confidence booster, Tony! Does anyone have any inside gossip about what's going on at ABC at the moment?

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#5 Re: Worries ahead?
04/04/2002 00:00


The company (BC)is growing fast (20 % per year) and in Europe it did not loose any client. My suggestion however is that given the transitional moment you should accept only if you do not manage to get an offer from another big (5) consulting company. Anyway it still is a great opportunity.

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#6 Re: Worries ahead?
04/04/2002 00:00

William Burleigh

I saw your email, and aware of how tough consulting can be for new recruits I thought I would offer some independent advice, although I would recommend that you seek other opinions as well.

Essentially in answer to your first question :

It will help you in other applications to an extent, as you have achieved something and that is still seen as a good thing in business (I hope !). It does not necessarily guarantee you another employment contract though.

To answer your second question the answer is that nobody really knows for sure what is happening to Andersens Business Consulting, or at least if internally they do (and I doubt they do from what I read) then it is not yet public knowledge. One way you can plan is using scenario planning. What if...and then do what you can to plan for all eventualities. You could even put your own probability guesses next to each scenario, so as things develop you know your own best route ahead.

I would imagine the scenario's are :

- INDEPENDENCE. Andersen Business Consulting finds it has the financial ability to go it alone. It breaks off from the auditing practice and rids itself from the US auditing legal problems. It keeps sufficent clients from the old days and grows future business. In time the company rebrands or the problems of the last few months fade in peoples' memory.

Your contract is secure and your employment is guaranteed.

- MERGER/TAKEOVER. It merges or is taken over. It is one of the better parts of Andersen, and has some future. If this frees you from Andersen's US auditing problems, so much the better. Your contract is reasonably secure, although the loss of significant client relationships and reputation would be a concern for you as an individual and your employers. The company might choose to rebrand or be forced to by the acquirer, so in time the reputation damage could lessen. Takeovers often lead to job cuts although this should be less likely to be amongst new recruits who joined post-scandal. Your contract is reasonably secure, it becomes a question of stick it out as long as you can or until a better offer comes your way. This could be in one year or until you retire ! If the business is turned around successfully, who knows it could become a massive plus on your CV.

- DECLINE. Probably the worst scenario. Partners become paranoid, clients leave, profits turn into losses, no white knights arrive to rescue the business, the media keep giving the company negative coverage (whether true or not), company equity declines...Your contract could become worthless. Obviously you would have to investigate any possible severance pay, but after the lawyers have been in you might find you are quite low down the list of priorities in terms of pay-offs. You would have to weigh up any pay-off against the decline/rise in value of your contract achieved by staying. Not an easy equation to work out, I guess it depends on :

x - size of pay off

y - likely time spent looking for future employment

z - future alternative employment pay

w - decline/rise in value of contract (unlikely to rise for the next year at least, the thing about realising declines is that they are sudden and you never know for sure its going to happen...until it does !).

Equation could be :

w > x + (z - yw) to make you stay.

You can't really calculate it though because w is so dependant on the brand, the client base, your fellow employees...but it is the logical answer.

My only other advice would be:

- Listen carefully to those in the same boat as you, particularly those that were offered contracts at the same time as you. Andersens people aren't really androids, they are humans! What you say could upset people who are more worried than you, and unless you have reason to think otherwise they deserve some respect.

Then take a walk as events unfold, think what is in your best interests. If you do move firm, then it would be best not to tell everyone you work with until you get a new contract, unless of course it is unavoidable.

- Consider taking legal advice, but only if you do not have to pay too much for it! How much is that ? Well more than you would lose by not taking it !

- Please respect my confidentiality, and do not me quote me on this advice. These are only ideas. Being outside of this firm I can say things people inside might like to say but are not allowed to.

- Don't worry too much

- Enjoy consulting.

An independent consultant

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#7 Re: Worries ahead?
04/04/2002 00:00

andersens lover

I'm sorry for you since this is a shameful organization with no ethics. Forget them as soon as you can.

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#8 Re: Worries ahead?
05/04/2002 00:00



Sorry to hear that you have had this bad luck. Incidently if you have been accepted by Andersons then you are no doubt good enough to cut it big time elsewhere. Be warned that Andersons hire lots and fire lots. YOu have to be good to stay - thats how you REALLY get in.

Wait and see what happens - if someone takes them over, then approach that company and ask advice. Don't panic - go only where you want to go.

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#9 Re: Worries ahead?
05/04/2002 00:00


Very insightful. Based on...?

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#10 Re: Worries ahead?
10/04/2002 00:00


Difficult question : Its' based firstly on advice for a new recruit expressing concerns at a particular time.

It was a way of approaching the problem, when the facts are not fully solve the problem. The data I put into the method were based on various reliable sources (quality news sources...)I also added in some honest observations of my own from real experiences in the industry.

Bit unsure about some of the other views :

- there was a severe ethical deficit amongst certain individuals in that firm, but not all of them. It's not for me to judge ultimately.

- Find being in the same industry with people that think an 'aggressive culture' is always a good thing rather tedious though, not yet convinced its' ever a good thing inside the consultancy industry. I prefer defendable cultures !

- Tend to agree with Tanya about the value of something like that on a CV much mattering either way in another company.

- To answer the new recruits other question, I do have some 'inside gossip' but it was told to me in confidence and will remain as such.

Finally if you think what I wrote was insightful then thanks, that is in the spirit of a healthy forum.

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#11 Re: Worries ahead?
18/04/2002 00:00

I think you should re-read my response. Also, understand that &quot;quality news sources&quot; have consistently confused the real issues and misrepresented the truth to generate a newsworthy article

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#12 Re: Worries ahead?
18/04/2002 00:00


Re-read it but my thoughts remain the same.

&quot;News articles&quot; are rarely 100% or 0% :

- Factual

- Fully representative of all the issues in a story from every angle

- Able to cover all of the real issues all of the time

Also I used my own experiences, confidentially, so I remain confident in the understanding that I offered to help you.

However my own guess is that there are significant levels of truth from the quality news sources that I have read.

Do you think that written attacks on quality news sources will create or lose further jobs at ABC ?

Do you think that the management of the Andersen's brand over the last 6 months has created more jobs than it has lost ?

Do you think that the leadership, and/or the culture of the company should have taken responsibility for this ?

Most importantly do you know what your best career options are now ?

Good luck with your career.

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