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Training

 
#1 Training
19/08/2006 01:57

Splash to deleted (#0)

Hi all,

I've just graduated with a 2:1 and am currently applying for positions starting in Sep '07 (going travelling first). I can see that there is a lot of discussion about graduate starting salaries on this board which i have found interesting and useful.

I'd like to think that the money will come if i'm good enough at what i do. The most important area for me right now is the training i will recieve as a graduate. I was hoping someone could shed some light on the subject for me i.e. experiences and general opinions of the training programs.

I expect that the training given by all the top firms is fantastic but i was wondering if the is anything thats makes certain firms stand out for good or bad reasons?

I'm intersted in all the top firms epecially Accenture at the moment.

Many thanks in advance, I look forward to any replys.

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#2 RE: Training
22/08/2006 13:53

J to Splash (#1)

i'm in the same position. Can anyone help?

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#3 RE: Training
22/08/2006 17:44

Accenture viewpoint to Splash (#1)

within Accenture most of the training is done on the job. as a new grad you will have some initial orientation training, but most of this is based on getting you to understand what it is like to work for a team and how you fit in (plus side is it is generally done in chicago). I would think that most other big firms have a similar structure to their training. In short, most of what you learn will be through experience, with more specialised training after a couple of years.

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#4 RE: Training
22/08/2006 20:05

salmon to Splash (#1)

Training in consulting, even at the top firms, is minimal. Compared to industry or the public sector there is very little training, either formally or informally. There aren't any generally recognised qualifications associated with consulting, as there are with accoutngin for example, and formalqualifications are less of a selling point in consulting. Therefore it is rare for consultancies to support you or send you on courses.

There are obvious exceptions to this if you are an investment consultant or IT consultant with a techy role. For all the bad press about Accenture, they have some of the best and most frequent training for graduates so that you can pick up externally recognised skills and qualifications. Deloitte puts all graduates through CIMA foundation training so you get the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting, and they support you to qualify through CIMA if you want to pursue the full qualification.

Some consultancies put all new hires through an induction programme. The quality of these varies - some are just a big social and networking event whereas other are an intensive introduction to consulting tools and methodologies. This is worth considering as I think it affects how quickly you can get up to speed and start doing more interesting work.

In terms of internal courses, which is where the vast majority of consulting training is delivered, quality can be variable. This applies even in the most prestigious firms.

The training delivered by HR or training specialists tends to be terrible - practicing consultants will run rings around their facilitation skills. Therefore, training is often delivered by senior consultants themselves. Unfortunately, I don't know of any consultancies that make training a meaningful part of senior consultants' performance assessment so it tends to go to the bottom of the (very large) workload pile.

If you get someone who has had plenty of free time in the run-up to the training event, it can be great to benefit from all their experience and knowledge of the job. However, if you get someone who has three projects on the go and thinks training isn't their problem, it's a waste of everyone's time.

In my experience, training is consulting is pretty poor. If you value depth of understanding then you can be better to do a few years of a graduate scheme in a good blue chip and shift into consulting later.

Consultancy is to some extent about bullshitting because you can never be a content expert on every single one of your clients' problems. Unfortunately that mindset can be addictive to the extent that consultants would rather make something up than sit down and learn it properly. Consulting also attracts fairly independent personalities who are not inclined to the nurturing/coaching behaviour required for training each other. The independent streak also means that a consultant who is very good at taking in information and synthesising solutions is not always as good at taking on board personal criticism or training in new ideas that challenge the way they work.

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