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work experience advice

 
#1 work experience advice
18/02/2003 00:00

Ed

Hi, I am a second year student reading history at Durham Uni and am interested in pursuing a career in consultancy. I was wondering how important relevant/prestigious work experience is in applications? I have little paid work experience-just fairly menial temping work in hotel kitchens etc-but am actively involved in extra-curricular societies at uni and hold major positions of responsibility in a couple of groups. Will lack of work experience count against me?would appreciate any advice.thanks, Ed

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#2 Re: work experience advice
19/02/2003 00:00

Nick Bourne

Ed, relevant blue chip work experience will greatly enhance your chances of getting into consulting. You are at the right stage to seek an internship - so concentrate on getting something for this summer - a good 10 week stint somewhere will help you stand out from the crowd and allow you to talk about how you handled real business situations rather than just going on about uni work, etc.

Many internship scheme deadlines are approaching fast, or have already passed - so get cracking! The schemes however are arguably harder to get onto than landing a real job. So think about other ways of getting meaningful work experience - any family ties, friends' parents, strings you can pull? Also, check out www.talentladder.com - they are designed specifically for people like you who want to get good work experience on your CV - they're a really friendly and very helpful bunch, a significant proportion of which have consulting backgrounds.

Best of luck! Nick

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#3 Re: work experience advice
19/02/2003 00:00

Ed

thanks for the advice, ed

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#4 Re: Question for Nick...
20/02/2003 00:00

Ilan Astrug

Hi Nick, I read your reply to Ed and I was wondering: I hold a law degree and I have two years experience in an Oil Company and now I would like to get into a consultancy company, but I don't know which is the best way ?! Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks, Ilan

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#5 Re: Question for Nick...
21/02/2003 00:00

Nick Bourne

Ilan, quite a few firms prefer to take on individuals into analyst positions once they've had a bit of experience - AT Kearney - are certainly that way inclined. A law degree and industry experience will only help your case. However, unless you have specific consulting experience I believe you would have to enter at the analyst (basic entry level) position (although I may be wrong), or perhaps an associate. The best way to find out how to get into a consulting firm is to work what sort of part of consulting you want to get into - ie IT, management, strategy, and then identify the firms that operate in those areas - and then jsut give them all a call, find out who the head of HR/recruitment is, explain your situation and have a chat. Be ready to slip in your skills that you've already learnt: teamworking, leadership, communication, etc - and just go from there!

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#6 Re: Question for Nick...
27/02/2003 00:00

Ilan Astrug

Thanks Nick for the advices.

Are you working in a consulting firm? I was also thinking to do a master, even if I don't belive in it, I rather and I think that a training on the job is much more better, don't you think?

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#7 Re: Question for Nick...
03/03/2003 00:00

Nick

Ilan. If you're talking about doing an MBA, you may find that 3 years is not enough experience, you may need a couple more years. In terms of training on the job, that is really the best way to learn anything. The smaller firms can only give you training on the job, whereas larger firms give you formal support, as well as the opportunity to study for qualifications - CIMA, etc. My advice would be to remain open to any opportunities, and pursue all avenues simultaneously. There is such competion out there for few places, in everything from MBA courses to consulting jobs that you've just got to get your head down and work hard for those chances. And when you create the opportunity seize it!

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