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How do I get into a small management consulting company?

 
#1 How do I get into a small management consulting company?
23/06/2008 16:16

ConfusedOptimist

Hi everyone. I am in need for some serious advice from those who have the answer to my question.

I graduated from Birmingham City University with a Msc. With Distinction in Electronic Commerce and I have Degree from an American University where I obtained a CGPA of 3.73.

Even with such grades, I find it so difficult to get into the small management consultancy companies. The reason I don't want to apply to the big companies is because I don't think I have the skills that the big companies require at the moment and I've been told by individuals working in the top 5 IB's and MC's that unless your are from a top ranking unversity, there is no point in applying to them without any strong and relevant work experience.

I am currently working as a Systems Analyst in Birmingham for the Technology innovation center on a 8 month contract which is due to end soon. I would like to know, how do I get into the small management consulting companies from here. I am preety desperate to be honest at this stage as my contract ends in 4 weeks.

Please advice and sorry for the long message.

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#2 RE: How do I get into a small management consulting company?
23/06/2008 16:23

mac to ConfusedOptimist (#1)

I'm sure other will correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding is that most small consultancies tend to hire those with experience and the ability to bring in sufficient business to cover their own salary (and more!).

For small businesses it's a real risk to take on relatively inexperienced people who have lots of training and development needs.

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#3 RE: How do I get into a small management consulting company?
23/06/2008 17:23

hardhat to mac (#2)

Thats a bit harsh - the thread bearer has done a relevant degree so training is probably one of the things to worry least about.

Its also an oversimplification as more experienced staff command higher salaries so if they cant generate sufficient revenues they might, in some circumstances, be higher risk and undercut by more enthusiastic and well trained folk.

What you probably need to do is convert your relevant academic/training 'currency' into the 'currency' of experience.

As you are most probably aware you need to find the right opportunity and invest sufficient time to do this.

Research your market - which consultancies have strengths in systems, technology and innovation. Its probably a good strategy to target smaller ones (but if you can widen the field that means more people that you can approach). Who are their clients? What skills are they looking for in new hires? How can you demonstrate this from a mixture of your academic knowledge and the experience you do have?

Get a bit lateral. You might be able to explain how you have systems analyst skills from your experience that you could apply to clients in a different commercial sector because your degree has already trained you to use your skills in other commercial sectors. That way you are challenging the notion that:

a) you dont have enough commercial experience

b) that your academic knowledge is not relevant to a future employer

I would really upweight and emphasise the experience you do have if you get interviewed (even if its not very much). Downweight the academic stuff (OK state it) but focus on what might interestthem (explain why you wanted to a commercially orientated MSc). Things like your CGPA score should be just stated in a matter of fact way or just put on CV. Sorry but its unlikely to be a big talking point - they can tell you're switched on by the distinction.

Essentially research your market, visit potential employer websites and keep chasing them until you get hired.

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#4 RE: How do I get into a small management consulting company?
23/06/2008 22:17

Panter to hardhat (#3)

I'd pretty much agree with Hardhat.

I've worked for 3 small consultancies (4 to 60 people), all of which seek out experienced hires with the ability to generate income / bring it with them but also need data analyst grunts to do the work and form the next tier.

At my last place we had a 24-year-old bloke who was at ACN and hated it, so he came to us for experience, stayed 2 years and moved on to Deloiite.

My advice would be to research the market in the physical area you're interested in and hook up with a couple of decent recruitment agencies, given you're in a bit of a hurry.

Personally, I've used BLT twice and found them spot on. I have nothing to gain by recommending them and they seem to have close relationships with quite a few small consultancies and they do their homwework and keep up-to-date.

Good luck.

P

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#5 RE: How do I get into a small management consulting company?
25/06/2008 10:47

recent grad to ConfusedOptimist (#1)

not all small consulting firms look for experienced people, many take grads/analysts.

take a look at Qedis: www.qedis.com by far the best small consulting firm i looked at. unfortunately i didnt make it through the recruitment process but i was really impressed by the people i met, and they do hire grads/junior people

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#6 RE: How do I get into a small management consulting company?
04/07/2008 18:48

ConfusedOptimist to recent grad (#5)

Thank you very much for your replies guys. I truly appreciate it. Thank you very much once again.

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