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consulting or Startup

#1 consulting or Startup
17/04/2007 22:56



I found quite a few helpful suggestions and thought I could get help with my decision. I h have a Master´s degree and 2 yrs of Industry experience in a large European MNC. Currently i have a choice between a Consultant role (C1) at a Big 4 and a Product Mgr position at a Start-up. I am quite interested in Consulting but my exp is not being considered completely - C1 level. The PM positions builds upon by industry background and the Start-up is showing a real interest in hiring me (10% pay increase).

I feel that moving into Consulting would always open up such industry opportunities later. Is it wise to give up a role that leverages my exp for a career in Consulting?

suggestions, comments are greatly appreciated.


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#2 RE: consulting or Startup
18/04/2007 09:55

anon to mifflin (#1)

start-up is higher risk but could prove an interesting challenge, you will learn a lot of sure

you sound young enough to take a chance

depends on your risk profile - do you want a safe salary or take a chance - I'd say take a chance, you have to grab an opportunity when it comes your way - you could always move on

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#3 RE: consulting or Startup
19/04/2007 11:14

Rob to mifflin (#1)

Take the start-up job. Two likely outcomes here.

1. It blossoms - and take you with it; or

2. It busts - which is the ideal material for a case study that you will learn from BIG time. No shame in that and it will teach you far more about what works and what doesn't.

Frankly your development within a Big 4 environment is unlikely to do a lot for you other than breed a "Me too" individual. Ask yourself do you really want to be one of the crowd or do you want to be seen as special?

You only get to be "special" if you have special experience - start-ups give you that. Put Big 4 Consulting into perspective - how many people who have joined big accountancy firms go on to do special things in finance? They don't. They get decent jobs in big companies if they move out of the accountancy practice. The same applies in Consulting.

Where do you really want to be in 10-15 years time? Big 4 consulting is not the answer. Besides the nich consultancies probably DON'T want ex Big 4 people. I wouldn't hire from there - the mindset is all wrong for my business.

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#4 RE: consulting or Startup
19/04/2007 14:32

Ian Pye to mifflin (#1)

The consulting title makes it sound like Accenture. They used to use such nomenclature a few years back. If you go for the big 4 just try and check out the culture with someone who is already there. Don't agree with the person who said big 4 types don't make out big time. Most of the niche consultancies have been started by big 4 people.

If you go for the start up, you will need to do some due diligence on them: their goals, funding, markets, structure, where you would fit in, will you have some equity, what their USPs are versus potential or existing competition in the market.

It depends how much of a risk taker you are and how viable the pitch is of the start up. If you are young enough not to worry too much, you can always get your mainstream career back on track if the start up doesn't work out. You could argue though that your career would be on track if you went for the big 4 option.

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#5 RE: consulting or Startup
19/04/2007 22:33

mifflin to Ian Pye (#4)

Thanks a lot for the replies so far.

just to clear things up, C1 is at CG(Central Europe)

adding to Rob´s replies:

the startup has been around since some time - 8 yrs and they have been growing very well the last few yrs. it appears more likely that they might be acquired in their segement rather than going bust. but then again there is no denying the risk involved.

I am aiming for an MBA in a top b-school in a few yrs time. any suggestions which of these roles prepares better for that?

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