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REAL experience?

#1 REAL experience?
15/03/2007 23:46


I'm a recent science PhD and have been on this forum for a while now trying to get bits of advice about getting a MC job. I've had limited success - most applications get 1st interview, >60% get second interview....offers - ask me in a few weeks. However, as someone who has invested so much time in getting great academic experience and working with some potential Nobel winners, it has struck me that most MCs have experience that doesn't resemble the equivalent experience that I have had in the academic sphere. This is fine.

However, my point isn't that if I had always had the idea of becoming a MC from day one that I would have the equivalent experience. What strikes me is that surely if someone wants to learn how business really works and how to really make something work, it isn't through MC. I'm talking pure business. I mean if someone became a mobster or even started their own hotdog stand in Oxford Street and was very very ambitious then one would get a greater insight into what makes a good business work and probably make something more of themselves. I mean lets be honest - by getting a managers job in a big MC - what does that actually achieve? Sure if you have a family you can support them; this is no small thing, or at the least you have a semi-luxurious life if you're young and single. Other than that, what are you actually creating? Where is the true value? How are you making your mark?

Is this pure naive idealistic academic nonsense or am I on to something? I sometimes get the feeling that wannabe/ actual MCs like the security and salary of the MC firms more than the actual experience and knowledge gained. I am v. ambitious, but ambitious for more than just a good wage and a 'prestigious' job. I need to create my stall and stand by it and believe that this is through the application of my academic skills and talents to real business problems. Here I can really influence the real world.

I know this may sound pure blue sky bull, but I do wonder why people are actually doing this job? Is this really for me if I'd been surrounded by such drones? Where can I get REAL experience otherwise?

This is a genuine question. I’m sorry that it’s such a rant.

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#2 RE: REAL experience?
16/03/2007 00:54

RealBusiness to FealReel (#1)

Oh dear, its always a shame to see an otherwise intelligent young person talking about something that they clearly know very little about!

'I'm talking pure business' :-

How does 'FealReel' think that a top quality MC is able to advise very demanding clients (often ex-MC themselves) & remain credible without having first understood the client's business, and the issues/trends/sub trends surrounding them?

If FealReel has reservations about MC as a route to learning how business works - then I fail to see how his route so far - a Science PhD, has served as a better training ground?

'FealReel' seems to feel that his PhD somehow ranks him higher intellectually than those MC who don't have such a qualification.

I'd like to remind him that PhD holders are hardly uncommon, and as such he shouldn't feel entitled to a job by simply spending more years as a student!

One of the most enjoyable aspects of working in a top tier firm is not just the exposure to a variety of problems across a range of industries, it is developing a range of analytical, problem solving and interpersonal skills that you will use long after one has left MC to quickly identify and resolve problems in the business world.

In addition, such MCs benefit from being connected to highly intelligent workmates, external experts and alumni to draw further insight into solving various business problems.

I'd advise 'FealReel' to spend a little bit less time talking about something he clearly knows little about, and instead to speak to current MCs to educate himself.

I feel sorry for him. One can speculate that he has failed as an academic as his research was not good enough to win any grants/funding.

And I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't get into a strategy firm.

I guess we'll be seeing you on Oxford St.!

No mustard on my hotdog matey!

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#3 RE: REAL experience?
16/03/2007 06:53

man united to RealBusiness (#2)

I think Feakfree's comments stemmed from:

(i) His frustration of of zero success thus far

(ii) His naivity of the real world after spending many years in academic

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#4 RE: REAL experience?
16/03/2007 07:01

Do Lally to man united (#3)

There are two aspects to 'business'

- The entrepreneurial, risk taking element

- An ability to think on your feet and solve problems.

MCs are generally good at the later and for that all you need is an analytical mind, an ability to communicate and credibility with others. You don't need 'expertise' as such.

MCs are also generally not risk takers and you will see few starting their own businesses. They tend to go along tried and tested career paths in herds, defining progress by movement along the career paths that are defined for them. On this level, they are not real businessmen.

However, the consultancy profession is built upon the problem solving proposition.

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#5 RE: REAL experience?
16/03/2007 15:14

FeelReal to Do Lally (#4)

Hi RealBusiness,

I should point out that in my home country (Netherlands) I have been offered some pretty good academic positions that I have turned down. Also, I have been offered one (so far) MC position, but I decided that one wasn't for me. So my post didn't come out of frustration a lack of success, just a vague wondering...

However, I think that your responses have convinced me that MC is not for me! I think I will get actual satisfaction from industry. So thank you for your respones. I apologise that if it appeared I was trying to abuse people (I wasn't completely sober when I wrote the post!), but it was an issue that I had to get some sort of feedback on.

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