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Moving from Tech to Strat?

 
#1 Moving from Tech to Strat?
01/03/2011 22:41

The_Non_Tech

Hi all

I currently work for a Big 4, in the technology consulting arm. I joined as a grad just under 2 years ago. My intention was never to work in technology consulting - I had always aspired to work in strategy consulting - but at the time, offers were sparse and firms were squeezing grad places.

So I took the job, thinking it would be good for me to gain the knowledge and experience of consulting as a whole (regardless if it was tech). As it turns out, I'm currently doing quite techie hands-on stuff, which is not what I want. Although previously I have had more of a 'management of IT' rather than hands on.

Where does this leave me? If I want to go into to strategy consulting, how can I do this? Would I have to go back to the beginning and re-apply for grad positions? Or could I join another firm slightly above this stage?

Moving within the firm is massively frowned upon and I don't see this is a viable option. I have done generic consulting work (workshops, presentations, modelling, managing teams, etc), so I should think my transferable skills count for something. Just I don't have straight up strategy experience (have done some IT Strategy, but wouldn't think this counted). Are other firms quite picky about this? Also interested to gage which firms you think would be suitable?

Advice on how I can take my career away from Technology consulting towards Strategy consulting?

Any help appreciated.

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#2 RE: Moving from Tech to Strat?
02/03/2011 03:27

anon to The_Non_Tech (#1)

Two questions lie at the heart of your problem. Answer these and you'll be well on your way.

First question: why do you want to move into strategy consulting?

Second question: what do you understand by strategy consulting?

Typically there's a strong argument that grads and those with only a couple of years experience fetishise "strategy" and turn it into a goal in itself, despite having little real idea what that goal looks like as a career. Indeed, my personal experience suggests that a sizeable majority of those leaving strategy consulting after two years have little better idea what "strategy" actually is or how strategy consulting works.

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#3 RE: Moving from Tech to Strat?
05/03/2011 08:49

non tech 2 to The_Non_Tech (#1)

I'm in the same boat - its a bit of a conundrum to be honest.

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#4 RE: Moving from Tech to Strat?
22/03/2011 19:07

The_Non_Tech to anon (#2)

Thanks for your response.

Well, I have an interest in areas such as new market entry, product and customer strategy - my degree was based around maximising profits, revenues, growth, consumer incentives (etc) and I am always finding myself figuring out how certain companies can expand, increase customer base, profits, revenue and so on. Albeit figuring it out in my head or in passing conversation with friends/colleagues.

My understanding of strategy consulting is helping clients with strategic objectives (i.e. long term goals to achieve overall mission statement) such as potentially expanding operations to another country, bringing out certain products, retaining or attracting customers etc. Is this something which a strategy consultancy would help clients with? This is my understanding, but if I am completely/partially wrong, please point me in the right direction.

Specifically, I could not tell you which area I want to specialise in, if any, at this moment in time. As I said, I have not done strategy before, so would like to try it and see if this is something I would like to pursue.

Also, I am in my low 20s, so even if I decide strategy or even consulting is not for me, it's not exactly like I have 'wasted' many of my early career years. Hopefully by the time I have figured out exactly what I want I'd have the transferable skills and knowledge to apply to my next career choice. Maybe I will find a specific area of strategy consulting and a specific industry I am truly interested in? Can't really say right now.

Based on this then, is strategy something you think I should pursue? If the answer is yes (or close enough to that), I'd appreciate if I could have any advice on questions posed in the initial post.

Many thanks in advance.

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