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Day in the life of a consultant

 
#1 Day in the life of a consultant
23/10/2007 10:35

KG

Hi all,

I am interested in starting a career in consulting and would like some guidance please.

I know consultancy work is highly varied, but please could you give me an outline of some of the things you do day to day?

Also, what do you think are the most important qualities to have as a consultant?

Many Thanks in advance for your help!

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#2 RE: Day in the life of a consultant
23/10/2007 13:15

anon to KG (#1)

I get in, read the paper, put stuff in powerpoints, put stuff in excel, send to manager, re-draft so many times have done full circle, send to people who will never use/read them.

Seriously though, most important quality bar none is being able to just run with something you don't have a clue about and pull it off. e.g. your manager will frequently ask you to do things you have no idea about but they dont want to hear that, they want to hear 'no problem I can do that'. Also, doing the opposite of that is probably the thing that will wind them up most.

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#3 RE: Day in the life of a consultant
24/10/2007 04:23

blab to anon (#2)

Day in the life:

Get up - drive - work - drive - sleep

Repeat

OR, if abroad:

Get up - work - choose dish price relative to work load - talk to beatiful girl in bar who turns out to be a whore - sleep

Repeat and bill more expenses in a week than your monthly salary

If you are really good, people will actually believe you are something

Have fun!

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#4 RE: Day in the life of a consultant
24/10/2007 06:43

Fake James O'Shea to blab (#3)

I wish there were more cynical posts about consulting. I mean, talk about an unmet need.

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#5 RE: Day in the life of a consultant
24/10/2007 10:36

anon to Fake James O'Shea (#4)

there was an excellent post on a day in the life of a strat consultant a few months back - can't find it now

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#6 RE: Day in the life of a consultant
24/10/2007 10:38

anon again to anon (#5)

i've found it - 19141

here is the main part for lazy among you

words from Beng

NOTE THAT ALL COMMENTS BELOW APPLY ONLY TO STRAT HOUSES (before all the Big 4 and IT guys pounce on me saying that it doesn't reflect work practices at their firms).

As an associate (or ass. for short), you're job will primarily be (in the order of importance):

1. Research

- Could involve conducting a large number of interviews of customers, suppliers, competitors, management, etc. and archiving your interview notes in such a way they could be easily retrieved later (not as easy as it sounds)

- Could involve gathering massive amounts of data...from the Internet, proprietary research reports, and of course from within the client company. You'll have to design spreadsheet templates in order to make your life easier when it comes time to actually crunch the data.

- Probably takes 40% of your total engagement time

2. Spreadsheet analysis/modeling

- Involves your usual monte carlo simulations, pivot tables, what-ifs, etc.

- Probably takes 40% of your overall engagement time

3. Deck writing

- Involves many iterations

- Spread throughout the engagement, as there are steering/executive committee meetings requiring regular updates

- Probably takes 20% of of your total engagement time

4. Do whatever your superiors ask you to do

- Everything short of bending forward and taking it up the a-- (although there are days when that actually seems preferable)

- A popular example is helping an EM or Partner write a proposal or pitch deck

- Takes up another 20% of your total time

There is no "typical" day. Some days will involve 100% customer interviews. Some days will involve 100% number crunching. Some days will involve 100% deck writing.

It's not an easy job, involving 10-15 hrs of daily grind. and I do NOT look back to my ass. days with much fondness.

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