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Language skills in consulting

 
#1 Language skills in consulting
25/08/2006 09:43

Chris to deleted (#0)

Dear All,

I am currently in my final year in a UK university and thinking of applying for an MS job. My english language skills are quite good but I do not possess the extensive vocabulary that a native english speaker does, at least not in my everyday communications. I believe my writing skills are good but I was wondering how much my simplistic approach to English would affect my chances of geeting a place...Moreover, could someone offer a brief description of the preparation that helped you ace an interview?

Regards,

Chris

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#2 RE: Language skills in consulting
25/08/2006 10:57

anon to Chris (#1)

I 'aced' a consulting interview some time back and a key element of the interview was communicating my desire to learn a second language. I spoke it (at the level of a seasoned tourist), but it was probably worse than your English. Part of the interview was in my second language, but it was mostly in my first language.

- You DO need to show that you are keen to do something that you cannot do, but want to do, at an interview. You also have to be very careful about how you phrase your responses at interview, so prepare well (not only the responses to questions, but the questions to ask them etc.).

- 'Trade' with a future employer. 'Fair trade is no crime' was an adage I was kindly told in the mid-1990's. It has some real resonance in a world that now has soft business skill amnesia (loss of memory) some days. If you find an organisation that trades with regions of the world that speak your language, then offer to 'trade' your language skills for the chance to work in their business culture, on top of the existing contract negotiations.

- Do NOT suggest a trade that is grossly unfair to you (i.e. a significant pay cut to be insulted by a failing, racist UK manager each day). However if you explain it as some form of 'trade' you can communicate your understanding of a two-way process.

- We do not know much about you, so it is very difficult to judge your chances in the jobs market. You should spell check the CV carefully though.

-Another possibility would be to look for a similar job to consulting, but not actually consulting, so you can change to a consulting job later on.

I would read the top-consulting literature carefully before an interview. My message was only intended to address your specific questions.

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#3 RE: Language skills in consulting
25/08/2006 11:57

Chris to anon (#2)

Dear Anon,

Thanks for the quick reply, especially for the "trading" point as I was considering suggesting something like that in an interview. However, coming from an engineering background I am not exactly sure of what you mean by “Top consulting literature”. Could you maybe elaborate a bit on that?

Browsing through the previous posts it seems that you are currently employed in MC..Another concern of mine is age, since on graduating next year I will be just 21 but having acquired an MEng as well as having completed two summer internships (one Finance,one Engineering)...Do you have any info on the average age of a graduate employee?

Regards,

Chris

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#4 RE: Language skills in consulting
25/08/2006 12:45

RG to Chris (#3)

I can't see that you would need to worry about your age (unless accompanied by immaturity) as most UK graduates are 21-23 ( 3 years at university having left school at 18, perhaps with a gap year before or travel after being fairly typical); it's not like some parts of Europe where peopletake years to get through university and graduate at 26 or whatever.

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#5 RE: Language skills in consulting
25/08/2006 22:04

anon to Chris (#3)

- Find top-consulting literature on this site (not only the forum) which is really what I meant, but univ careers, consulting employer websites...

- I'm a BC not an MC these days, but not all anon threads are me

- On age I agree with RG, although for other reasons as most graduates in consulting are not 21-23 (you don't lose a degree from a top uni mysteriously at the age of 23)!

- they might ask whether you are going to return to your internships (the sort of question you might prepare an answer to in English before you get into the interview).

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