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1 Months work experience

#1 1 Months work experience
23/02/2011 00:01



I finish university in a few months graduating with a degree in Economics from a top university. I have recently decided that i would prefer to pursue a career in consulting as opposed to financial services. Therefore I feel i need to get some work experience in the sector for about a month in the summer before i make applications for graduate positions later in the year. The problem i find is that most management consultancy firms offer just graduate positions or internships aimed at those in their penultimate year, whereas I am seeking just a months worth of unpaid work experience to broaden my cv. If anyone could inform me of how I should go about getting such experience It would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

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#2 RE: 1 Months work experience
23/02/2011 00:21

Rich to fnetapf (#1)

I know this is not the answer to your question - but my advice is this. Forget the work experience if the only motivation is what's on your CV. Get yourself out into the world and do a month's travelling, building wells in distant villages, climbing mist-covered peaks. Not only will this count for something on your CV, but it will also be one of the last times in your career where you can do this...

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#3 RE: 1 Months work experience
23/02/2011 12:21

Mr Cool to Rich (#2)

Agree with the above post. You may see it as workign for free, but the firms will see it as havign to wet-nurse a brand new grad who will then work somewhere else! Why would they want you?

Go do something worthwhile while you can - show your passion, show your get-up-and-go. Much more fulfilling and ironically better for your CV as well.

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#4 RE: 1 Months work experience
23/02/2011 14:25

Bob to fnetapf (#1)

Quite ironic really. Client asks consultant a question: "how do achieve x?".

Consultant comes back with: "you don't want to do x. You want to do y".

And we wonder why consultants get such a bad rap.


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#5 RE: 1 Months work experience
23/02/2011 14:29

Bob to Bob (#4)

Oh, and to suggest one option for actually achieving x:

Go and stand on London Bridge in morning rush-hour with a sandwich-board around your neck proclaiming: "Grad looking for work - Will work for free for first month".

Won't be original, but might work.

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#6 RE: 1 Months work experience
23/02/2011 17:48

Mr Cool to Bob (#4)


I disagree. Client expressed a desire to achieve a goal (attain job in MC).

Client expressed opinion as to how chances of achieving this could be improved (one month unpaid work).

Extremely smart consultants focussed on attinment of the goal and ignored or corrected the red herring of the incorrect tactic for achieving this.

We did not change the goal.

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#7 RE: 1 Months work experience
26/02/2011 00:26

fnetapf to Mr Cool (#6)

Thank you Rich for your input. Bob and Mr Cool, you honestly could not be less helpful. Yes i know its not in the firm's best interest in hiring me for a month, hence why i'm asking for advice on how to find such experience. To go off topic with your replies is neither funny nor 'Cool'.

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#8 RE: 1 Months work experience
26/02/2011 00:27

fnetapf to fnetapf (#7)

*more helpful*

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#9 RE: 1 Months work experience
26/02/2011 10:43

Mark to fnetapf (#8)

This is good advice. When I'm interviewing for grad scheme I'd much rather someone can answer question 1 with example of project managing the building of a new orphanage in Romania, question 2 explaining how they overcame sudden challenge of a storm when climbing kilomanjaro, question 3 by showing they'd improved their Comms skills teaching English for 6 months in Cambodia.

I don't see you learning anything valuable working in consulting for one month. Doing the things above will make you more hirable.

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#10 RE: 1 Months work experience
26/02/2011 21:46

Mr Nice to Mark (#9)


Download the 'Top Consultant Guide to consulting Firms' from this website.

Then check out the names/telephone numbers of all the consulting companies that interest you. Remember you need to have some skills (through your education or otherwise) which could be immediately useful to the consulting firms in your targeted segment.

The next is a very easy step. Get a one month standard mobile connection with 1200/1500 minutes talktime (one month charges are approx 30-35 pounds in UK, assuming you are in UK), and then start calling these consultancy firms and make a sales pitch.

However please note the following :

1. Be flexible to work in non consulting wing of the firm (mailrooom/reception/ best if you could work as a Assistant to a Consultant and help him/her in their presentations / research on internet / lining up appointments for them / help consultants with their Powerpoint ppts (sounds silly but you get to know the business case/problem and the offered solution). There are many mundane jobs which consultants hate to you and you could help them with that (eg speel checks in the proposals, simple things but then you get to read the solution offered ! )

2. You should have some skills (IT realted /Accountancy/Law realted / Research experience etc etc) which could be put to use immediately by your targeted companies.

And if you get a break in consulting space for one month, make your learning objectives very clear from day one. You need to be clear and realistic as to what you want to and what you can learn in one month. E.g, the companies wont train you to use financial modelling in the first month, but then you can learn where do the consultants get their data for in their financial models !

Hope it helps.

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#11 RE: 1 Months work experience
26/02/2011 21:59

Mr Nice to Mr Nice (#10)

One sales pitch you might use is :

1 month = 22 working days = 22*8 = 176 hrs.

Imagine a senior consultant and their hourly fees. Now try to sell the point that the senior consultant can save 176 hours of his/her time working on 'quality thinking' and 'client facing time', rather than working on doing other mundane tasks (tweaking the ppt/spell checks/filing for transportaion claims etc). Here, I guess, you might add value and you can learn quite a few things by just interacting/supporting this consultant. So plan these 176 hrs well.

All the best !

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#12 RE: 1 Months work experience
28/02/2011 09:59

Mr Cool to fnetapf (#7)


Off topic? OK in that case…. One thing you should definitely do is practice answering case studies. These are often used in interviews at MC firms (even for short term internships), usually to judge a candidates ability to apply logic, common sense, rigorous analytical reasoning, etc. Have a little practice with the following examples – consider what you would advise:

1) There is a girl at work that I really fancy. I’ve decide that the best way to attract her is to have my eyes surgically removed and replaced with huge rubies. The trouble is rubies large enough to fit my eye sockets are expensive. What would you recommend I do to make my eye sockets smaller?

2) I am the CEO of a telco firm. My competitor has brought out a very good smart-phone. I recognise that the best way to claw back competitive advantage is to kill their Head of R&D (who is brilliant but underpaid). Trouble is, I don’t have the personal skills to do this. Can you recommend how best to source a contract killer?

If you can see what the two examples above have in common, you may be able to extrapolate it to your own situation. Maybe not. Either way, knock yourself out, kiddo.

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#13 RE: 1 Months work experience
28/02/2011 10:02

Dave to Mr Cool (#12)

About this girl at work that you really fancy, Mr Cool.... tell us more. Be detailed and descriptive. We sense that there is more to this than it just being a random example you have plucked out of the air.

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#14 RE: 1 Months work experience
28/02/2011 10:17

Mr Cool - but warming to Dave (#13)

Dave – you see right through me.

She’s an ACN PMO on secondment to my portfolio. Crisp dark suit, heels that go clip-clip across the office – I’m starting to RAG milestones as red just so she’ll come harass me for an impact mitigation strategy.

And the things she can do with an excel macro – phew.

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