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Is a degree the only way into consultancy?

 
#1 Is a degree the only way into consultancy?
12/11/2006 12:12

Visionnaire

Hi all

Is a degree the only way into a top-notch consulting firm?

Here's my situation...

After leaving school at 18 with straight A's, I worked for a year as an analyst at IBM Business Global Services. I then went on to read a business-related degree at the London School of Economics. During my first year, I temped at various banking firms and took part in various extra-curricular activities.

However, due to an unforseen tragedy earlier this year, it became necessary for me to switch my degree to a self-study program so that I can work full-time. I am now working as an accountant in a leading marketing group but consultancy has always been my dream career and I would like to start it sooner rather than later.

My question is...

Would top-tier consultancy firms or Big4 firms consider me for entry level positions in their company even though I haven't yet completed my degree?

Should I be applying through graduate schemes or experienced hires or not at all?

Please let me know your thoughts

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#2 RE: Is a degree the only way into consultancy?
12/11/2006 12:36

acorn to Visionnaire (#1)

If you qualify as an accountant, you will probably be in a position by then to apply as an experienced hire.

Although I am sure the Big4 firms will look sympathetically on your situation during the interview and selection process, I think they will want you to complete your higher education first. You can test this by calling a few and asking them.

You may also be in a strong position to go back to IBM - given that you know people there and they will have first-hand experience of your abilities.

It may be that you do a few years work before going back to finish your studies, or work and study part-time. I wouldn't worry about that affecting your chances - although you'll have a non-traditional CV, you're demonstrating ability by working for brand-names and by the fact you got into LSE the first time. There's no need to be in a rush to get into consulting - it is still a career path that benefits from life and work experience; entry at graduate level is not the be-all and end-all.

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