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Career Advice

#1 Career Advice
01/10/2002 00:00


I am an MSc Operational Research student interested in pursuing a career as a strategic management consultant. However, the idea of constant travel from one client-site to another does not appeal to me. Can anyone suggest an alternative line of work where I would be performing a similar job but without the extensive travel?

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#2 In-house consulting
02/10/2002 00:00


Hi Lauren. I can understand that you do not find it appealing to travel from one client to another, however that is mostly how the fastest and largest consulting experience is made: by working on several clients. But an alternative might be to be an in-house consultant. Many FTSE 100 companies have their own Consulting Division. But there will probably still be travel involved, from one site to another.

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#3 Re: In-house consulting
03/10/2002 00:00


Hi Lauren,

Unfortunately, travel from client to client is what consulting entails. It is the nature of the beast. As previously mentioned, in-house conuslting is one option, although that too would involve travel of some sort. I would not choose in-house consulting as an option if you really want to build your career. A few years travelling around, experiencing the cultural and market differences will provide you with a good firm foundation on which to build. Who knows, you could be leading one of those in-house consulting team by then, instead of being just one of the herd. Good luck!

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#4 Re: In-house consulting
03/10/2002 00:00


Lauren, you could go for investment banking / fund management or financial analyst jobs, as the skills are similar to those used in Strat consulting. Less travel but AWFUL market at the moment tho'.

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#5 Re: In-house consulting
03/10/2002 00:00


Hi Lauren

In general I agree with what has been said already. One other are that you should consider would be that of working within a strategy unit or strategic planning unit of a major multinational. You get the benefit of undertaking strategic consulting type work, and will generally work in a small, tight nit team. Virtually always, these teams will be based at head office and will also receive high exposure to senior management giving you good insight to issues facing an industry plus also te issues facing your company. I did this for a couple of years and then moved on to working as a strategy consultant. The experience gained from working "within" an organisation still proves valuable to me today. FTSE 250 corporations in most cases are big enough to have such a unit so you should target them. I strongly suggest though, that you think of the industry you would like to work in. A "spray and pray" approach with your CV will, I am confident, NOT work. Good luck!

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#6 Re: In-house consulting
03/10/2002 00:00


Thank you all for your replies. I found them all very useful.

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#7 Re: Career Advice
03/10/2002 00:00

Gordon Bunker

Joining a large company with it's own in house team is a good idea, it gives you stability, opportunity to work on a number of projects and insight into the politics of employment and decisions. But lacks the most important element of a successful career - Personal Development, that does not nescessarily come from experience - the best way is wisdom - have a mentor walk you through the pains of personal growth over a 2 - 5 year period teaching you all the things that the education system totally ignores, and it then becomes an easy step to set up your own consulting business and then you can choose your hours (10 hours a week) your clients (those that you like) and their locations (close to home!). - Where do yo find a mentor? - depends upon your part of the country, I work with a network of over 3000 consultants that spans the UK. Regards


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#8 In-house consulting
04/10/2002 00:00


The best of luck in your search - I have been in a similar position recently and it is not easy at teh moment - particularly if you are looking to get in to pure strategy consultaing. I would strongly recommend the approach already suggested by looking to go in-house. If you choose a sector, then look for the leading business in that sector you are sure to find an in-house strat team.

If you went to someone like Sainsbury's, not only are most of their in-house strat team ex-consultants, but you would also be virtually working with lots of current consultants (Accenture) at the same time!!

Good luck ;-)

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