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Graduate Applications

#1 Graduate Applications
10/10/2006 19:24


So its that time of year when I guess its time to start applying to companies.

I will probally be applying to the following management consultants(In order of preference):




PA Consulting

Roland Berger

Deloitte Strategy Consulting

Are there any firms Im missing out on?Also what companies are other graduates applying to.Its interesting to talk to others about this!

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#2 RE: Graduate Applications
10/10/2006 19:35

Anon to Keith (#1)

Your missing BAH; MOW; Marakon; LEK etc. I'm sure there are others.

Nothing against PA and Deloitte, but I wouldn't group them on this list. (Now there's a controversial statement! Just sit back and watch people from both companies justify their inclusion on that list!)

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#3 RE: Graduate Applications
10/10/2006 20:13

Beng to Anon (#2)

my friend keith

im sorry but i think you will have a very hard time in getting into the mc industry.

I say this based on your list of preferences. If you prefer McK over BCG, but at the same time PA over Deloitte - then i fear you havent a clue except from vault rankings. Im not saying this to humiliate you, rather to perhaps suggest you a) do more research and really UNDERSTAND why you rank your companies this way b) perhaps think of what other industries you would enjoy exploring.

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#4 RE: Graduate Applications
10/10/2006 22:29

bri500 to Beng (#3)

As a PA-er, I can understand some of the comments about why group PA and Deloitte in there. However, remember this is a grad. Remembering my time on the milk round, as a graduate you have no real concept of what MC is nor what you really want from a career. It's only from applying to companies and speaking to them you get to grips with the choice of do you want to work 14 hours a day but have a good name on your CV or have more balance in work-life but still get the variety.

It may shock the elite on here who are stuck in the dark ages, but I turned down 3 strat houses for PA and haven't regretted a minute.

On that basis, my advice is apply to any consultancy going and then make your own decisions. There isn't as big a gap in competency as many people on here would have you believe.

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#5 RE: Graduate Applications
10/10/2006 22:39

Keith to Beng (#3)

No you are right Beng.I have put very little thought into what order of preference I put companies in.The problem is I am getting weighed down under final year academic pressures so have little time for research.Engineering eugh!But hey,so is everyone so thats no excuse.

I went to the McKinsey residental spring course so know about managment consultancy.So obviously I am applying to them but the other firms I have to do a lot more research into.

Obviously everyone goes for Bain/McKinsey/BCG.The problem for me is that im finding it hard to seperate LEK,monitor,roland berger,spectrum from each other.I am just wondering what are peoples opinions on what way would people the following:


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#6 RE: Graduate Applications
10/10/2006 22:41

Keith to Keith (#5)

Hey bri,

Yeh I have heard some good things about PA.Dont worry Im not that insecure as to use this board as my bible.PA are still amongst by top choices.

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#7 RE: Graduate Applications
10/10/2006 22:56

Pirlo to Keith (#5)


There is a lot we could all say on each company; your best bet is to search this site and others and read up on it!

Ill try to give you a flavour

Deloitte ( Strategy) is a fantastic place - they are realy blue sky strategists. The difference in work will not be that great with the top 3, but prestige will be lower. However - you will get a much better work / life balance. These are very important things to think about.

LEK is a very good strat house, little known outside UK and N.America. They are very analytical and very small. I would consider them as a 'niche'.

Accenture is a big ITSI MC. Its business model is led by outsourcing and IT implementation. It also has a small strategy practice which is very good in terms of people, but usually a spearhead for the big outsourcing projects ( i used to work there). This said they have an outstanding training in strategy and its a brilliant place where to do your analyst years.

Spectrum is a well respected niche strat house that works only in the media sector. thus apply / join only if this is the industry you will want to specialise in.

I would be careful of PA. It does have a big presence in the UK, but that is riding mostly on its public sector work ( they are doing the id cards). I was currently interviewing with a BCG HR recruiter in another (developed) european country and he did not know who they were!

My list would be as follows - if and only if work / life balance were not important.






Deloitte Strategy

Accenture Strategy

Roland Berger





wild card: EY - this could be either a fantastic opportunity or a crash and burn experience. however, if i were a grad - i would be more willing to take the risk! ( if rejected from mckinsey...)

all the best mate - the most important thing i can say: these are ALL well respected, brilliant firms. sometimes this site dables too much into 'tier 1 bla bla yataa yaa'. take it with a pinch of salt - 99% of the people in the world dont even know what a consultant is - be proud that you are already starting at the pinnacle.


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#8 RE: Graduate Applications
10/10/2006 23:06

Keith to Pirlo (#7)

Cheers man.Fair play.

Ill deffo take your advice on board and your ranking list is actually scarily close to mine.

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#9 RE: Graduate Applications
10/10/2006 23:18

bri500 to Keith (#8)

Most of PA's work is in the private sector, hence why many people on here underestimate it. Sure, it's not the best name, but the number of projects that PA takes on and delivers that those above us on the list above failed to deliver is quite high! I hate to do it as sometimes it makes us cringe, but take a look at the Management Consultancy Awards over the last 10 years to see who's really been doing innovative consultancy that wins awards.

In general, you'll find a very wide difference in terms of culture across all the companies above, my advice once again is just apply and go where your heart takes you, if you're good then being successful at any of the companies above will keep you in a job for life.

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#10 RE: Graduate Applications
11/10/2006 10:31

Dave to Pirlo (#7)

Interesting that noone has mentioned OC&C... I seem to be the only person to ask about them here!

I am considering an offer from them at the mo, and very tempted.

They also seem to have revamped their recruitment site with some case studies, might help for new graduates.

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#11 RE: Graduate Applications
11/10/2006 11:30

bri500 to Dave (#10)

Hear some very good things about OC&C, would definitely include them in the above list.

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#12 RE: Graduate Applications
11/10/2006 11:32

shy to bri500 (#9)

Hi bri500,

I like your enthusiasm and your support for PA. I have just accepted an offer from them and its good to hear good things about them, it makes me feel like I haven't made a big mistake.


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#13 RE: Graduate Applications
19/10/2006 19:06

duck! to shy (#12)

What about Arthur D. Little? do they fit in anywhere at all?

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#14 RE: Graduate Applications
19/10/2006 19:30

Fred to Keith (#1)

I would suggest Mercer Management Consulting - they certainly claim they will break into the top five in years rather than decades, but put what value you will on that - one recent ranking actually showed them above Bain in penultimate students' opinion.

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#15 RE: Graduate Applications
19/10/2006 21:43

MB to Fred (#14)

Regarding PA- They seem to get slighted with the whole good company/poor brand thing a lot but I'm sure I heard a few years back that many leading politicians in the UK, such as William Hague, got their break in PA and that it was at one time a breeding ground successful public servants. I may have got the wrong company but I am pretty sure it was them. Plus grad starting is something like £30 grand, dude that's £9 grand above what the average PERSON in the uk makes.

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#16 RE: Graduate Applications
19/10/2006 22:51

Behave to MB (#15)

Listen dude - honestly whats your problem?

Firstly there is absolutely no brand. Its a fact. Sorry but there is no brand.

Yes PA does most of its work for the government. Are the most successful public servants ex Paers?

No they are not. William Hague is ex Mcckinsey. BIG DIFFERENCE.

If don't have anything constructive or factual to provide stop wasting ppls time.

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#17 RE: Graduate Applications
19/10/2006 23:00

Behave to Behave (#16)

Oh and Pls get your figures correct :

Avg graduate salary is 25 K in the UK not 21 K as insinuated by you. This figure takes into account employers that pay pathetically low like BT.

In the Ibanking world the average starting salary is 35 K.

The talent consultancys will fight for is from the above as that is where the best go.

Hence we can figure that the starting salary is pretty darn low !

Now PA considers itself to be in the middle of the strat houses and full service firms.

Hence you would expect it to atleast pay more than the full service.

However Deloitte, CG, PWC Strat, BAS and ACC with the joining bonus is a few thousand more.

I know it is only a few thousand but nevertheless it is more. Moreover the above have a brand.

Lastly many ppl would willingly work for free for a top tier strat firm just so they can cash in the brand. Many ppl wouldn't mind being paid modest/market rate for firms like acc and cap gemini even. This is because they also have a brand.

For a grad as your consultancy skills will barely be specialized all you have to offer if you want to switch is your brand which inevitably is the brand of the company you worked for.

PA does not have this.

Nexttime pls refrain from saying silly things. Your post just exposed how intellectually incompetent you are.

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#18 RE: Graduate Applications
19/10/2006 23:23

Keith to Behave (#17)

I have applied to OC & C,LEK and Deloitte Consulting so far and will apply to big 3 over next week or so.

I know they are premium brands but hey,what the hell,may as well aim for the top..

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#19 RE: Graduate Applications
20/10/2006 09:00

grad to Behave (#17)

Behave, much of what you say is correct, however there are some false claims in your account.

1) EY BAS do not pay more than PA at grad level (taking everything into account)

2) Most IBs pay more than all consultancies, perhaps bar a few top tier. In fact my reserach shows that MOW pay the most for grads. Is this to say by your insinuation they are better than PA.

3) For a grad brand is important but so is client contact and exposure. I have friends at PwC and even more Accenture who have NEVER seen a client. At PA grads get close client contact and do real client work not stuck in the office crunching numbers etc

I think you are slightly hard on the PA brand. It may not been known outside consulting that well, but many people know about it within consulting. So if your a grad and your sure you want to work in consulting, it's not a bad place to go = client contact, decent salary, friendly people, meritocracy, employee owned, ertc etc etc hardly a career killer!!!

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#20 RE: Graduate Applications
20/10/2006 09:05

bri500 to Keith (#18)

I can't deny branding at PA is an issue, but it's not as bad as some clowns on here point out.

If PA didn't have a brand, why did it remain massively profitable during the downturn and didn't have redundancies whilst the "big" names hemorraged people, money and credibility?

PA doesn't compete head to head with the strategy houses but against Accenture, CG, EY, Deloitte, KPMG and pretty much everyone else it wins a substantial amount of work in BOTH the private and public sectors.

Also, the people at firms mentioned above don't go on to work with any more glamorous companies than PAers when they leave. They have a name on their CV but if people on here are trying to claim it competes with having McKinsey, Bain etc. on there then they are seriously deluded.

I've mentioned on here before, but what PA gives graduates is immense responsibility and variety from day one. You work face to face with clients and can manage relationships from your first assignment, many of the firms above simply squirrel you away in front of a spreadsheet in a basement somewhere. Comparing my peers in my first 3 years from graduating, my REAL experience (ie I could say I delivered things and not just "I worked on a £20m IT implementation for x client" when in reality there was 50 people on that project over 2 years) was streets ahead of my mates elsewhere. I have had periods where I've looked around at other firms and the interest in my CV has been immense, however when it came to the crunch PA pay me well, I work across many industries and assignment types (I guess the people bigging up other consultancies forget to mention you very often get your pigeon hole and that's your career) and the work life balance is great. Again, I suspect the people posting on here saying "I just want a brand" are quite junior, when you've been in consultancy long hours and travel, especially when you start a family, force many people out of the industry. The downside if you like of having one of the big strat house names on your CV is very often the jobs you go to after will expect the same ethos from you. You may be able to be the big shot at the golf course on a Sunday morning, but essentially your life will be crap.

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#21 RE: Graduate Applications
23/10/2006 20:58

Heidi to bri500 (#20)

Hi Bri500 - if you don't mind, can I ask what the salary bands are at PA?

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#22 RE: Graduate Applications
28/10/2006 11:36

nugrad to Heidi (#21)

So I am guessing that no one really knows anything substantial about Arthur D. Little then.

Oh woe is me.

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#23 RE: Graduate Applications
19/11/2006 11:43

K to nugrad (#22)

I'm not too sure about ADL's place on the rankings list. However, they have their strong areas. They're amongst the tops in Telecoms and doing pretty well in Europe, Middle East and other parts of Asia.

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