Okay, to be fair the response was a little flippant. But the original poster asked what to do if a client "accused an analyst of swanning into his company knowing bu**er all and just out of uni"
My point is that this situation is highly unlikely. Big consultancies don't generally leave new grads out on their own with clients. Some grads seem to have this idea that they'll actually be providing advisory services to clients, which isn't quite the case.
Generally, as a grad, you'll be part of a much larger team. Granted, the work that you'll be doing as a team is advisory, but the actual work that grads normally do in my experience falls into a number of categories:
- data collection
- data analysis / e.g. Excel number crunching
- drafting client presentations
- facilitating / scribing at meetings
- researching for input to proposals
- creating powerpoint slides for proposals
And there's a certain element of being a general dogsbody as well. When there's a workshop, guess who gets asked to assemble all the markers / bluetack / flipcharts / brown paper / etc and cart them to the client site? When there's a presentation that needs to go out the door, guess who gets tasked to go collect it from graphics, check it, and make sure it gets bound?
This much is true -- as a new graduate, the proportion of relatively boring work vs. exciting work is heavily skewed towards the boring and crappy. I came up through the Big 6 (as they were) and this was my experience then -- I'm currently in the Big 4 and can tell you that this is very much the experience of the junior consultants now.
To summarise -- the value that new grads bring to an engagement is their intellectual ability, their analytical minds, and a certain threshold to do the boring jobs that need to be done as part of an engagement. They're not part of the engagement team for their experience (yet) and their insight is based on analytical rigour rather than years in the field.