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consulting positions

 
#1 consulting positions
18/11/2004 21:50

Sara Larson

I am wanting to get started in the Consulting Field, can you suggest to me the best approach to get started and if a specific type of education is required. Thank you very much.

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#2 Re: consulting positions
22/11/2004 11:13

Brian

Sara,

I am just getting started in the consultancy field myself. I may not be best placed to advice you on the 'best' approach, as my experience is limited. However, I can tell you what I have done and the position I am in at the moment. I have degree and MBA qualifications, and 1/2 years work experience. I found the MBA to be very useful for opening doors however as I have not gained this qualification from the more recognised Business Schools I find it limits the firms I can apply to. As one person wrote on the website, 'branding is everything'. However, there is a flip side to this. I found through research that the large firms to be more 'desensitised' regarding the interaction with the customer. You are a little fish in a very big pond. At present I have purposely targeted 'boutique' firms as I feel they better suit my needs. They are smaller, you are given more responsibility quicker, you have more input and impact on the project, you are sent where the projects are so travelling extensively is likely etc. At the moment I have secured one position however, over the weekend another firm has contacted me for initial talks.

In summary, the qualification to have will be a good degree, and than possibility an MBA and PhD. Try to research the different types of consultancy firms - the Big 5, Strategic and Boutique and way up the pro's and con's between them. This will give you (as it did me) some indication as to what will be expected from you and what you are prepared to sacrifice. I hope this helps. If you have any questions please ask!

Brian

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#3 Re: consulting positions
08/12/2004 20:24

Sara Larson

Hi Brian,

Thanks for the advise, I have one other question, I have over 20 years of business management experience plus courses in most areas, but do not have an MBA. What are the chances of businesses taking me serious.

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#4 Re: consulting positions
09/12/2004 12:47

Brian

Sara,

From what I have red on this forum, consultancy firms seem to regard experience higher and more valuable than qualifications i.e. an MBA/PhD. For me the MBA opens doors at a lower level, as my experience is limited. You on the other hand have all the experience you will probably ever need to join a consultancy firm. If you have the knowledge, skills and experience a firm wants then it will stand you in good sted. Although having an MBA is an advantage it is not as necessary as you might think. If you read the discussion on the second page of this forum titled BEWARE CONSULTING COMPANIES LOWERING MBA VALUE by R J Ryder dated 26/11/2004 (number 26), it will give some insight into the qualifications V's experience saga. Nevertheless with over 20 years of management experience (depending on what type of experience, in what industry and how senior) I don’t know why companies won’t take you seriously. I hope this helps. Regards

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#5 Re: consulting positions
10/12/2004 17:45

sara larson

Hi Brian, Thanks for this information, do you know of any particular consultant agencies that are prone to hire consultants with work experience over consultants that have MBA's. One other question is depending on the country you live in, does this have any influence on consultants being hired. I live in Canada, it appears that alot of the opportunities are in the UK. Cheers..Sara

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#6 Re: consulting positions
15/12/2004 13:02

Brian

Sara,

I don't know if there are any particular consultancy firms that take experience over qualifications. It will be the luck of the draw - so to speak. They may be looking for graduates, middle managers or senior managers. Regarding the opportunities I can only comment on the state of the UK and Ireland. There are a lot of possibilities in the UK but I think a section of those will be projects overseas – US, India, Saudi etc!! I suggest finding the main company names on this website and finding the Canadian equivalent. That's what I did for the UK and Ireland. Hope this helps.

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