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Postgraduate Studies - is it worth?

 
#1 Postgraduate Studies - is it worth?
03/04/2007 21:08

Pierre

Hi,

I am 23 and have worked 2 years for Allianz in their grad scheme. I am considering now to make a move into strategy consulting and have applied to approx. 10 firms but just had a reply from one (Watson Waytt).

Problem is, so far my academics are just ok (1st class degree from a "not-so-good" university) so do you guys think a good master degree would boost my chances to get into consulting? if yes which master would you recommend?

(And also, anyone knows where to practice numerical test?)

Cheers

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#2 RE: Postgraduate Studies - is it worth?
03/04/2007 22:19

anon to Pierre (#1)

Watson Wyatt isn't a strategy consulting firm but, pedantics aside, the answer to your question really depends on what type of work you want to do and what your experience so far has been.

What focus are you looking for in a consulting career, both in terms of industry (e.g. financial services) and function (e.g. operations, business processes, marketing), or are you looking for something quite specific (e.g. investment consulting)?

What is your experience from Allianz (e.g. which scheme are you on)? Have you picked up any particular qualifications (e.g. CIMA, CFA, ACII)?

Are there any particular firms you're targeting besides Watson Wyatt?

Generally, a Masters won't do a huge amount for your career standing once you have got a couple of years of experience to demonstrate your skills. The fact that you got a first classification in your Bachelors suggests that you probably don't need to demonstrate much more academic ability for most firms' purposes.

However, a Masters can be useful if you are looking to make a big change in your area of work, rapidly develop new skills or new areas of knowledge. I wouldn't recommend an MBA at this stage in your career, but if you wanted to move from an underwriting career to change management (for example), there are very good courses at LSE, Warwick and Manchester.

If you are interested in other specific moves, I expect I or others on the forum could come up with ideas for suitable Masters.

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#3 RE: Postgraduate Studies - is it worth?
05/04/2007 00:30

anon to anon (#2)

In terms of uni, it depends - what do you mean by a 'not so good' uni. I graduated from a lower tier uni - decent enough, Russell Group, but I think ~20-odd in rankings - with a first and subsequently did a masters and PhD in a completely non-business subject at a top 5 uni, with cursory work experience. The only places that I have not got interviews for are at Mars and PA even though I've applied to 12 firms, including MBB. I suspect if I'd just applied to firms with my undergrad would not have been anywhere near as high. However, this may be wrong. My undergrad results were exceptional (if I say so myself) - came top of the faculty etc. So that may have some bearing.

I should say that I have only had one offer that I turned down and that I have been rejected from a few firms at the final stage. However, I'm sure that was because of my performance on the day, rather than my 'not so good' undergrad degree.

Probably the main factor that you have to consider is that, you may be judged on your experience at this stage rather than your academics, which mainly vital at the grad scheme stages. As the previous anon said your experience will demonstrate your skills and therefore unfortunately that will pigeon-hole you to a cetain extent.

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