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Industry -> Strategy Consulting

#1 Industry -> Strategy Consulting
12/01/2011 20:47


There's a lot on here about moves the other way, but I have a specific question relating to moving from Industry to a strong strategy firm.

Is there a point in one's career where it becomes too late for a 1st-time move into consulting?

Some context for my question:

I am working in Strategy & Planning for one of the world's most admired companies, and would like to build a career here for a few yrs.

I've always been drawn to the challenge of spending some time in a top strategy firm (MBB, Booz, ATK, Monitor), but so far haven't found a good enough reason to make the jump.

If I were to try make this move in a few yrs, with approx. 10 yrs experience, for example, where would I fit in? I surely won't wanna go from an in-house Manager role to Associate in some firm. But I can't see why I would be hired at higher levels, with no experience leading consulting projects, no client contacts, etc. I got to thinking there probably just comes a time where one has missed the boat.

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#2 RE: Industry -> Strategy Consulting
13/01/2011 10:15

former ATK to Indie (#1)


i've made a move from ATK to an inhouse team some time ago

with 10yrs in inhouse startegy & planning you would be offered Associate role at any of the mentioned firms

if you move when times are good and you've worked in a key industry for the firm you're aiming, you could possibly negotiate a manager's role within a practice

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#3 RE: Industry -> Strategy Consulting
14/01/2011 03:28

Indie to former ATK (#2)

Thx. But I doubt there's any way in hell that I, or anyone else working in a Mgr role in Industry for that matter, would move to an Assoc role in a strat consulting firm to work twice as hard for less than half the money.

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#4 RE: Industry -> Strategy Consulting
14/01/2011 07:29

AM/PM to Indie (#3)

Don't think anyone's trying to convince you otherwise, mate. It's the cost of career change, unfortunately.

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#5 RE: Industry -> Strategy Consulting
14/01/2011 13:15

Mars A Day to Indie (#1)

Moving across at Manager grade is quite feasible, depending of course on what you do. You need to break down what you have done eg line management, internal projects, QA etc so that it becomes transparent to the MC where the fit is. A Prince2 or similar would help close the gap on consulting project management methods (although you'll never actually use it). You won't move across to MBB now - not unless you are a real rainmaker in an area of special interest for them, but Big 4, the systems integrators, or niche firms in your area are all very feasible targets to move to.

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#6 RE: Industry -> Strategy Consulting
14/01/2011 13:41

Recruiter too to Indie (#1)

I think you’ve missed the point: if you are that happy in-house stay there. If you want to get into a strategy firm (sorry, I can’t be bothered to sell this innumerable plus sides and don’t need to list the downsides as you seem to have a good handle on them) then you are going to have to compromise and tone down the arrogance. Why would they bring you in as a Manager when you know nothing about working for a consultancy firm? How would you feel if you were an Associate and had been at the firm for a few years and they brought in someone who knows nothing about running consulting projects, working with clients, winning work etc above you? As a “manager” in industry you will find joining as Associate quite enough of a challenge and a learning curve. Mars is quite right except that you are specifically asking about strategy firms: you talk about making the move “in a few years” at which point you will have “10 years experience”. Your only chance is to move soon and/or consider the MBA route. It goes without saying you need a genuinely top tier academic background (and no a 2.1 at Leeds doesn’t qualify) but I assume you have that.

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#7 RE: Industry -> Strategy Consulting
14/01/2011 14:59

anon to Recruiter too (#6)

If someone had proved their professional worth during 10 yrs in a world-leading company (demonstrated by career progression), what difference would it make if that person got a 1st at Oxford or a 2:1 at Leeds?

I understand the clear filter value at Analyst level. Can't see the relevance if recruiting seasoned professionals.

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#8 RE: Industry -> Strategy Consulting
14/01/2011 16:42

S to anon (#7)

isnt a clear flitter - moved from industry(!) to consulting with a II.ii (still have the cert proudly on my wall!), but did have 6yrs good exp & a newly minted MBA - and made into a good firm

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