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PA Consulting - The Truth

#1 PA Consulting - The Truth
22/12/2006 17:31

PA Consultant

I recently joined PA Consulting in their Business transformation Group after graduating from a redbrick univ.

As christmas is around the corner, I think its a good time to reflect upon my career to date.

My ultitization rate is zero. I am not as impressed by PA as I was during the milkround

Now I just wanted to know whether it is worth it sticking at PA.

I want two things out of this job

1) the opportunity to get a good job in industry down the line

2 the opportunity to go to a good business school

Will PA as an employer add to my creditbility and allow me these options ?

In effect what do ppl really really think abt PA?

I look forward to your views.

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#2 RE: PA Consulting - The Truth
22/12/2006 21:12

Confused you are.. to PA Consultant (#1)

You really need to take a look inwards..

How long have you been at PA?

Are you unimpressed with PA because your ultitization (sic) rate is zero?

Have you had the right skills for the work that's come in?

What influenced you towards PA during the milkround? Why has it changed?

As your first job then yes it will add to your creditbility (sic) because up until now, workwise you probably have none. Will it allow you those options you mention? No. Thats up to you. Don't make the mistake of expecting things to happen.

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#3 RE: PA Consulting - The Truth
23/12/2006 10:58

anon to Confused you are.. (#2)

How is the work/life balance there? Heard it's quite good by comparison to some other well known firms.

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#4 RE: PA Consulting - The Truth
23/12/2006 15:22

Confused you are to anon (#3)

It's good. You have to put the hours in but its for the right reasons, i.e getting the job done properly. However I've found the quality of the people means that things get done within reasonable hours. From a pragmatic viewpoint it's about managing your time effectively.

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#5 RE: PA Consulting - The Truth
23/12/2006 16:55

Random Acts of Language to PA Consultant (#1)

OK, a few questions. What have you done to increase your utilisation rate? What internal marketing have you done to get yourself onto projects? Have you spoken with either your Manager or Mentor about why you're not being utilised?

Is there work out there that you're interested in? What made you go to PA in the first place?

Given what you're saying I'm not convinced that the issues you'll have are with the the firm but in your own approach. Should you try to move to another firm these are the questions that I'd be asking you. Why should another firm take a risk on someone who'se been with a firm for (presumably 3 months or so) and hasn't actually managed to get work in that time.

Before asking quesitons about PA you need to work on getting your own CV sorted. Get some achievements under your belt.

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#6 RE: PA Consulting - The Truth
24/12/2006 05:27

bri500 to Random Acts of Language (#5)

Joining any consultancy from uni it is always hard to get your first assignment. Why? You have no work experience, no real hard skills, underdeveloped soft skills and it will cost a client a grand a day for the privelage of having you on-site.

You've been with the company 2 months, it's a shame that you haven't got an assignment yet but make the most of your time in the office to network in yours and others practice because once the first assignment comes, you'll find they just roll on and on in to other things and then you'll be complaining you're too busy!

Having also joined as a grad many moons ago I know it can feel a bit left out not having something concrete to get stuck in to in the early months and that you're not learning as much as you'd hoped, but it will come.

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#7 RE: PA Consulting - The Truth
26/12/2006 17:56

Gila to bri500 (#6)

Forget about Business School... PA won't give you anything in that field, especially if you want to go to the top schools. Outside the UK they are virtually unknown (apart from scandinavia). I worked for PA in the UK but belonged to a US based practice (TT) and while there I often had to deal with ... "PA, who?" type of question . Quite frustrating.

In terms of industry PA is defo not M3B, so it is very much up top you... don't expect to be offered a senior position just because you've worked for PA, you got to have the skills/motivation.

Don't worry about yor utilisation, especially after 2 months. Give it a bit of time ... If you stick around you will look back to these days and have fond memories.

PA is a good place if you want to have a bit of a life... (they do not burn you out) but apart from that, they are very much 2nd tier MC.

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#8 RE: PA Consulting - The Truth
27/12/2006 17:57

No longer a consultant to Gila (#7)

Having recently left PA, joined as a graduate and left after two and a bit years there are a couple of things I might be able to add to the party:

1) Utilisation: Is not the be all and end all in terms of career, despite what you get told. If you are after bonuses etc then it is the way to earn the pounds.

However if you want to advance your career outside consulting a range of client experiences are crucial. I never would have got the role I now have if I had achieved 100% utilisation via being on one job for a year. Therefore I missed my utilisation target one year and just scraped under a year later, but worked for 9 different clients.

2) PA's Reputation: I was plesantly surprised when I started looking for jobs how many people had heard of PA. Plus once you are in the interview it is all about what you have done and how you perform not whether you

3) Make a Decision: If it is consulting you don't like then get on another career ladder with a blue chip quickly. I messed about for too long, ended up staying for 2 years (looking back this wasn't such a bad thing) but you need to think it through then go for it either way.

4) Operating at PA: It only takes one job, or a different approach for you to make your name in PA (due to the size) this can quickly land you in high demand. Try to get a role showcasing / if you help out with some research try to get a trip to client site (if in London) to deliver it.

5) Don't close any doors: There are many people who have left PA and come back...always and option

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#9 RE: PA Consulting - The Truth
27/12/2006 19:20

JJ to No longer a consultant (#8)

I agree with last post that utilisation is not everything. In particular if you go for interview elsewhere then they will ask you to discuss your experiences and how you added value rather than utilisation per se.

Furthermore if you go for interview in industry then the common perception is that consultants are 100% utilised and if you can talk about your contribution to projects this is enough to sell yourself.

That said bench time drives me bananas too.

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#10 RE: PA Consulting - The Truth
28/12/2006 02:43

ab to JJ (#9)

Yeah, utilisation isn't always the be-all and end-all. Utilisation for consultants at my place who have been there a while is 55% - I was getting desparate when I first joined and was only 75% utilised. Overall, the pace of consulting life is no higher than it was when I was in industry.

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