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Moving from ACN to Strategy boutiques and getting nowhere

#1 Moving from ACN to Strategy boutiques and getting nowhere
22/05/2006 14:23

fed up

Please can anyone offer any advice? - i have been in STRATEGY consulting with ACN for over 2 years now since graduation, have really worked hard for global and FTSE 100 clients and won firm awards in recognition of the contribution i have made. I am however desperate to get into one of the strategy boutiques to broaden my skills and experience - but they wont even look at me. Bain and Mckinsey replied that they wont even interview me as i dont get through the screening yet I have a 2:1 from Oxford, a wealth of work, sport and charity experience, over 700 on the GMAT....2 years in Consulting and am still only 23 - what more can i do? Do these firms have a policy of not recruiting from other firms? And more generally is there anyone that I can contact to check these firms arent discriminating? It seems crazy that a practising management consultant cant get an interview to be a mangement consultant....

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#2 Re: Moving from ACN to Strategy boutiques and getting nowhere
22/05/2006 14:30


try a recruitment consultant. they often have better pathways than recruiting direct.

also a word of advice for the botiques. you are in a 'gray area' right now. let me explain. mckinsey and bain recruit at specific levels. these tend to be a) graduate b) mba c) very experienced hire (8 years plus).

it is VERY rare to get recruited at 2 years of experience because you dont fit in with thier procedures, they usually wait until someone has 3/4 years + mba. my advice would be to a) either stick aroud for another year and then do an mba and try again or ) do an mba right away (its hard but feasible to get in, especially with your credentials) and then re apply.

by the way, what division of accenture strategy are you?

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#3 Just Desserts
22/05/2006 14:46

Victor Chavez

ACN are not a top-tier consultancy - not by a long way. As software bodyshoppers and IT systems integrators they are among the best in the marketplace. But strategy? This is why you have been unsuccessful in your endeavours.

Please let this act as a warning to all those who join ACN convinced that it is the greatest company in the world, and will act as a springboard for untold riches. Truth is - it won't. It will burn you out then spit you out. ACN on your CV is uasually a bit of a millstone around your neck. You will be perceived as a certain type of individual, whether you are or not. Top tier strat houses have a different culture, and probably don't want any Anderoids moping about the place. Deloitte did it - and it ruined the atmosphere - taking it from one of the highest levels of employee satisfaction in the industry to one of the lowest.

I do feel sorry for you - but you should have chosen your first employer with more care.

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#4 Re: Just Desserts
22/05/2006 14:56

james a

thats absolute rubbish! I worked in accenture strategy for 3 years and now am in a top strategy botique. and i have many colleagues who have made the move as well. Accenture have a list of strategy projects that is en par with marakon, booze allen, mercer and sometimes even the top 3. there are dozens of people that transfer to mckinsey, bain, bcg, marakon, mercer, booze etc every year. just read the papers.

all i hear from you is a lot of resentment, frm a person that probably couldnt even get in pa. there is nothing to feel sorry about; look at the survey and see that accenture is the 2nd most desirable consultancy to work in.

dont make apprentice style comments on an industry you dont belong to - and if youre resentful about how youre own career has turned out, thats youre problem. chill dude, youre not worth it.

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#5 Re: Just Desserts
22/05/2006 15:16

PA easy to get into?

Are you suggesting it's very easy to get into PA?

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#6 Re: Moving from ACN to Strategy boutiques and getting nowhere
22/05/2006 17:10

An older consultant...

Don't take this the wrong way, but what you consider to be valuable experience isn't that impressive in the grand scheme of things. As others here have pointed out, you're in a grey area in terms of your experience. With two years of work experience beneath your belt, you've got just enough experience to think that you're clever, but not enough to actually be useful. Essentially, a strategy house would have to train you as a graduate.

Similarly, you've not yet got enough experience, even with an MBA, to offer the sort of depth that a strat house is looking for. No matter how clever you are, there will always be stronger candidates than a 25-year-old with an MBA. Look around at most MBA recruits into the strat houses -- they're in their late 20s and early 30s. This isn't discrimination based on age (or ability), but rather on experience.

When I was your age, I thought I was the bee's knees. And in a certain sense, I was. Like you, I'd worked hard and achieved recognition for my contributions. I was promoted very quickly. But hindsight has taught me this: all the intellectual firepower in the world, all the creativity, all the energy -- it isn't valuable to clients until you can marry it with real-world experience. And it takes time to get that experience.

Carry on where you are, try to get the best client experience you can, then go do an MBA at a top school in a couple of years. That's your surest route to a career at one of the top strategy houses, if that's what you really want.

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#7 Re: Just Desserts
22/05/2006 20:10

ACN consultant

James YOU are full of rubbish. While u might be correct on project ACN is doing on strategy and the work its winning there I can tell u that ACN is terrible company to work for. Are you gonna join the company solely based on clients that they are having?? I dont think so! Ive been with ACN 2 years as consultant and thank God I got offer from IBM which is much better with better scope of work and as far as I could see great ppl. I was intervied by a number of partners who were so down to earth - unlike almost all partners in ACN. ACN is full of bullshiters (like u James) who just have overhyped sense of self importance and whose whole attitude in life is kick down and suck up!! And who have never worked in real industry in their life.

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#8 Re: Just Desserts
23/05/2006 12:53

Victor Chavez

Hmmmm, never mind james a. You claim to work at a strat consultancy - but obviously one that doesn't teach you to punctuate correctly. Or would that be an IT implementer? Go back to your testing. Please.

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#9 Re: Just Desserts
23/05/2006 13:13

.ppt & me

One of the best things about this site is the prevailing logic that spotting a gramatical, spelling or punctuation error (in order of precedence) invalidates any argument. Brilliant.

Anyway to the point in hand: ACN is just too big an organisation to tar with any single brush. I am under no illusions that we are not a strat house but nor does everyone do testing. Victor has a point that people joining ACN should realise that they are very likely to be doing some pretty techy stuff. But to the point james made there is a lot of niche stuff that goes on that is a million miles away from code and test, which is a diminishing part of the workload in consulting anyway.

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