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Moving from industry to strategy consulting/ business intelligence or analysis

 
#1 Moving from industry to strategy consulting/ business intelligence or analysis
27/06/2006 14:48

fred to deleted (#0)

I am certainly not a seasoned profesional, but i do know that i am bored with what i do and want to change. I have been reading many of the posts of this forum, and have gathered a lot of valuable information, and thus have decided to post my question and see if anyone can give me any good pointers or advice on how to proceed.

FYI, I am 30 yo, have a degree in engineering obtained through a university in Spain and the US (double citizenship), a Master of Management obtained in Australia and 4 years of professional experience in industry(US and Europe), being a middle manager in an FMCG mill of a global and well known company right now.

I have sent many CVs for junior consulting opportunities, but have not been successfull at all. I have been aiming for change management, strategy and similar fields. After reading the posts i am believing it is because I am not a recent graduate nor have any consulting experience. Is this it? Are there any other areas that i would fit in better? Should i think of other career options?

Thanks for any help youmight be able to give.

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#2 RE: Moving from industry to strategy consulting/ business intelligence or analysis
27/06/2006 16:25

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to fred (#1)

Fred - there's a simple truth you need to take on board here. And it boils down to the fact that you are underselling yourself!

Consultancies hire people for entry-level roles that are straight out of university or that at most have 1-2 years' experience. They want people that can be "moulded" (I mean this in a good way) and also to sign up an intake of new joiners that will have a strong bond through being of similar age and similar lack of experience. Being 30 would make you an outcast in such a group and hence you're not a desirable hire for such a role despite your greater experience. Not taking someone who's 30 also fends off the inevitable resentment that you would feel if, one year into your consulting job, you saw your career and salary progressing no faster than someone who was just 21 with no other experience under their belt.

Two ways out of this situation that I can see:

1. Go and do an MBA from a top business school. At the MBA entry level consultancies would expect to be hiring people in the 27-34 age range and would certainly be making some hires of MBAs with no prior consulting experience. You would then be joining alongside people of your age & experience and stand a far greater chance of acceptance.

2. Alternatively, focus on those job ads (most probably recruiting for niche retail / FMCG specialists) where deep knowledge of the FMCG sector is deemed more important than prior consulting experience. Again these will not be entry-level roles, so you'd be entering based on the strength of your industry knowledge rather than a willingness to drop down several salary rungs and start from scratch again. There are a number of firms that do specialist work in the retail sector - Kurt Salmon and Javelin spring to mind. Do some internet searches and check back to our job board a few times and I'm sure you'll come up with some roles that fit this description.

Hope this helps Fred - and best of luck. Tony Restell

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#3 RE: Moving from industry to strategy consulting/ business intelligence or analysis
27/06/2006 20:26

consultant to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#2)

Dear Fred,

I believe Tonys suggestion of doing an MBA is most defiantely sound advice. Yet I would like to bring forth my perspective. Whilst many consultancy openings require individuals with experience in industry thesedays, yet its only the very best performers they aim to take onboard. You need to realize that the most difficult professions to get into our 1.consultancy (strat firms solely) 2. investment banking (trading and ib) 3. Full Service Consulting firms 3. CA 4. Middle office at IB and then Industry. Thus it might apt to keep this in mind when applying and be a little realistic. For what its worth, I work in industry(+3yrs Exp) and I have slowly realized this.

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#4 RE: Moving from industry to strategy consulting/ business intelligence or analysis
29/06/2006 07:52

fred to fred (#1)

Hi

Thanks for both of your replies. It is pretty clear now why I am not being succesful, and I guess i should stop waisting time sending CVs to see if I can get such a job. Perhaps I will only try with niche firms and those that would prefer FMCG experience.

I understand that an MBA from a to school would be good, but that is something I cannot afford now, so I will have to rule that out unfortunately.

Maybe there are some other optinos that other readers might have, I´d like to hear them! Thanks for the advice, I will check on those two firms you have mentioned. Cheers!

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