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Consulting - intellectual stimulation.

 
#1 Consulting - intellectual stimulation.
18/07/2007 09:21

Ed

I am contemplating making the move to consulting via the experienced hire route. My motives for doing this are the desire for a structured career path, the chance to work alongside some very intelligent people and - most importantly for me - the fact that consulting means working with a wide variety of clients across multiple industries.

However, one question intrigues me - what is it about consulting for you that stimulates you intellectually? There was a recent thread posted about the need to leave a firm being underlined when the level of effort exceeds the intellectual challenge. Extending that further, how intellectually stimulating is consulting, and why?

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#2 RE: Consulting - intellectual stimulation.
18/07/2007 09:48

Anon to Ed (#1)

I moved from a middle office role at an IB to Deloitte Consulting. Currently a manager. Quite frankly I hardly find it intellectually stimulating!!I guess it depends on what area of consulting you get into. I really feel as if I am working with paper shifting individuals who have never worked in industry (meaning very little substance) and producing very pretty power points with nice colours!!I genuinely believe consulting to add value you need to have been in industry, learnt your trade and then add value. Thoroughbred consultants in my opinion add very little value!!

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#3 RE: Consulting - intellectual stimulation.
18/07/2007 09:53

Anon to Ed (#1)

I moved from a middle office role at an IB to Deloitte Consulting. Currently a manager. Quite frankly I hardly find it intellectually stimulating!!I guess it depends on what area of consulting you get into. I really feel as if I am working with paper shifting individuals who have never worked in industry (meaning very little substance) and producing very pretty power points with nice colours!!I genuinely believe consulting to add value you need to have been in industry, learnt your trade and then add value. Thoroughbred consultants in my opinion add very little value!!

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#4 RE: Consulting - intellectual stimulation.
18/07/2007 11:42

Ed to Anon (#3)

Oh dear, not the answer I was hoping for!

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#5 RE: Consulting - intellectual stimulation.
18/07/2007 12:27

Balanced view to Ed (#4)

It depends on the company, the market and the company's position in the market. If you are with a top player in the region, it follows that yo will be on high profile projects and will have access to major change projects of great intellectual attraction. Also, there is variety. Some projects are "roll your sleeves, get the job done and move on". Others are fascinating and intellectually enormously stimulating.

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#6 RE: Consulting - intellectual stimulation.
18/07/2007 13:25

SA_Consultant to Ed (#1)

I am what Anon calls a "thoroughbred" consultant, and what I have found intellectually stimulating is the diverse areas of business I have had exposure to. In order to add value on a project, you have to learn about it very quickly - no two projects have been the same even though they might both be about managing risk in a bank. Also, having like-minded people working with you that you can bounce ideas-off is very intellectually stimulating. Some projects can be boring, but as most are short lived it is not really a problem.

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#7 RE: Consulting - intellectual stimulation.
18/07/2007 14:13

Anon to SA_Consultant (#6)

Just in response, I find it very surprising when consultants say they can come and 'quickly' understand the business!!Its mind boggling...seriously!!If you havent worked in that industry within a line role you cant possibly comprehend the problems fully...its just not possible. Half the time you will see consultants trying to bluff their way through...I have seen it for 2 and a half years now...challenge them on the depth in terms what they are saying...and out comes a very flaky response. I agree it matters what sort of projects one works on, but seriously if you havent seen things in action fully you cant add value.Apologies for being cynical but that is the honest truth. I guess I see it more as I work within the cap market space where all my superiors say they are cap market subject matter experts when none of them has ever worked in an IB!!

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#8 RE: Consulting - intellectual stimulation.
18/07/2007 15:45

Village Idiot to Anon (#7)

I disagree with Anon -- I don't need to have worked in a line role in your industry to add value. Most businesses suffer from the same sorts of problems, and though there may be some industry-specific variations, they generally all boil down to similar sorts of things.

Moreover, many consultants get brought in to do the generic stuff that isn't industry-specific. Implementing SAP is pretty much the same no matter where you go. So is setting up an HR shared service centre. So it performing a cost-reduction exercise.

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#9 RE: Consulting - intellectual stimulation.
18/07/2007 16:22

Anon to Village Idiot (#8)

That exactly my point Village Idiot. Not to downplay any experience, but system implementation is the lowest of competencies amongst management consultants...thats the reason why most management consultants cant make it to top tier consultancies/ PE houses/hedge funds. My debate is over hard core skills (FFD/CDD), financial analysis...skills which are much sought after...intimate understanding of financial instruments/their valuation principals/where the FS market is going...all that kind of stuff...talk to any FS consultant you will get blanks!!Remeber the cream is involved in the latter type of work and its obvious employers value that and are willing to pay a premium

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