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Milk round

#1 Milk round
27/10/2009 08:26

career guidance?

I'm a student at a decent uni, predicted high 2.1 in Econ, going through the milk round. So I get management consultancy (a bit).... but what do i do after? every time I ask this i seem to get wooly answers...'go into industry'. what? where? Specific strat teams? a regular job? What do man cons do when they decide to get a life?. Or do I just bite the bullet and do my ACA instead.

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#2 RE: Milk round
27/10/2009 08:49

sm to career guidance? (#1)

Good question - but I'm amazed it's still being asked.

When I left school for uni (1990) 'industry' was one of the possible career paths, it seems it's still not being marketed well and still has the impression of big chimneys spewing out smoke. In reality it's everything that's not public sector ie cars, food, bog roll, you name it...

Can be some great jobs in there if you look beyond the chimneys.

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#3 RE: Milk round
28/10/2009 18:50

Purple Pig to sm (#2)

Glad to see someone else has the same concerns I had. However, I’m now 3 years post-uni and the answer is not as straight forward as you would probably like. As I see it, there are two questions in your post.

Moving into industry: a lot would depend on the kind of projects you’d work on as a consultant. Or even more so, if you’d specialised in one sector (in my opinion, being a generalist for too long will make it harder to go into industry). Further a lot would depend on what sector of industry you joined. For example: Nokia is renowned for its logistics efficiency, if you’d been on a project aligned with that department and had a clear understanding of these processes, then that would be a route into an industry role. Logistics, project management, operations, commerce, some financial roles (management, operational, commercial, strategic), obviously IT, etc are all possible options – different companies will have different structures.

Your second question, doing the ACA. Well, eventually this was the route I went down. I preferred it for the credibility element and rigour, learning a lot about business and finance – it is a lot more business orientated than most people think. It is however hard work, long hours (often after work), etc. Obviously I’d aim for big4 – avoid audit roles and go for corporate finance, recovery, DD (if you can find any!), etc.

Bottom line. Don’t start a career as a stepping stone, unless it’s clear what it leads to, otherwise you’ll become disillusioned very quickly and hate it. There are some fantastic industry grad schemes which I’d almost recommend rather than any of the above (albeit doing CIMA or ACCA for financial roles). You’ll enjoy them a lot more, work with normal people and have a social life.

Hope that helps!

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#4 RE: Milk round
29/10/2009 17:14

anon to career guidance? (#1)

I have worked as a consultant for 6 years now. Finding a job in 'industry' as such depends on your focus while you work as a consultant. If you consistently work on projects with particular types of business (e.g. manufacturing, government or media) then it should be feasible to move across to those industries when you decide the time is right.

Alternatively you can build up a specific set of skills across a breadth of industries - often companies can benefit from the consulting skill set being applied in their organisation for the cost of a regular employee. This one is harder to achieve but can be done - in particular keep track of your business networks as you progress in your career.

Good luck.

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