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Yeah right

#1 Yeah right
09/03/2011 18:53



I have BA from Oxbridge, 2.1, postgrad. in business from one of the London unis belonging to the so-called Golden Triangle - hence top uni names, two years experience in industry (marketing for top international consumer brand). Applied to at least 10 MCs, only interviewed for one, didn't go further then the interview. Speak french and conversational in Italian - any thoughts?!?! :)

I mean I don't care now, since I got a job that I think I will really enjoy, it will look good on my CV and the pay is good - but MCs - mystery to me!!! :)

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#2 RE: Yeah right
09/03/2011 19:51

someguy to Diddy (#1)

Diddy... What is the question, exactly?

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#3 RE: Yeah right
09/03/2011 20:19

anon to someguy (#2)

You marketed yourself poorly.

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#4 RE: Yeah right
09/03/2011 21:40

Diddy to someguy (#2)

I marketed my self poorly???!!!??? :):)

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#5 RE: Yeah right
10/03/2011 09:42

Tony Restell ( to Diddy (#1)

Going on the limited info available here, I'd make the following observations:

- Consulting firms tend to like to hire fresh graduates with no work experience and then mould them into "one of them" through heavy investment in staff training and immersion in the firm's values and cultures.

- Those with a couple of years experience looking to join at the graduate entry level are usually not viewed that favourably when stacked alongside the alternative of fresh graduates. Those couple of years experience mean you've got salary expectations, work habits, ways of approaching things, etc. that are somewhat ingrained - and that's often not viewed as a positive.

- After entry level roles, firms' next hiring point would usually be bringing in experienced hires with 3-4+ years' experience where some significant sector expertise is being brought to the firm, or a track record of consulting with another leading brand is being acquired. Someone with a couple of years' exeprience (even for a top consumer brand) isn't necessarily that attractive if their expertise isn't yet great enough that clients would be prepared to pay a premium for it. I suspect you are caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of being too experienced to go for graduate entry roles, but not yet experienced enough in terms of sector expertise to be a first choice experienced hire for these firms.

Get another couple of years experience under your belt and I suspect you'll find the picture is quite different.

Tony Restell

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#6 RE: Yeah right
10/03/2011 10:29

Dan to Tony Restell ( (#5)

"didn't go further then the interview"

"I marketed my self poorly"

MCs like people who can spell, you obviously can't spell

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#7 RE: Yeah right
10/03/2011 10:59

Diddy to Dan (#6)


Thanks, mister. :) What you say makes a lot of sense. I only wish I thought of it that way before I spent hundreds of hours filling in those stupid application forms for MCs :)

I guess I was hung up on those stories of Oxbridge and Golden Triangle gradates doing exceptionally well at MCs recruitment.

I don't care anymore as I am looking forward to starting my new job but it was a time waste for sure. Feeling sort of revealed as well - wasn't really sure about those long hours and constant traveling.

Thanks. :)

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#8 RE: Yeah right
10/03/2011 23:23

Z to Diddy (#7)

Consultants HATE those bloody smiley faces, too. Cut those out.

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#9 RE: Yeah right
11/03/2011 13:04

ABC to Z (#8)

hahaha. LOL! Was just gonna say the same ;-) The mix of poor grammar and spelling, with smileys everywhere, makes for terrible reading ;-) I hope you didn't put them on your cover letter ;-P

... I despair!

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#10 RE: Yeah right
11/03/2011 13:55

Patricia to ABC (#9)

Hey Z - speak for yourself. Some of us actually like smileys, OK?

Diddy, you probably played too much on your Oxbridge and fancy university name card in your CV or your cover letters - undermining your actual skills and abilities to adjust to new working environments. I agree with Tony and his reflections on recruitment policies among top MCs, but I know of examples where people with similar background to yours successfully entered top MC players. It does surprise me that with Oxbridge undergrad and what I presume is LSE or Imperial postgrad. you failed at securing first round interviews - this year is exceptionally competitive for both analyst and associate entries at London's top MCs though.

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#11 RE: Yeah right
11/03/2011 14:17

geeza to Patricia (#10)

Z - would you be happier with the use of Harvey balls as proxy consulting emoticons ?

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#12 RE: Yeah right
11/03/2011 14:35

Harvey the clown to geeza (#11)

oi ! Leave havey balls out of it my rear is better (_|_).

Oh well time for a =====~

Harvey the *<):O)

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#13 RE: Yeah right
15/03/2011 15:26

Sebastian to Harvey the clown (#12)

Diddy, you relied way too much on your fancy university degrees. MCs love Oxbridge candidates, but they also expect a lot from you. If you failed to meet their expectations of what and who an Oxbridge, or LSE, alumni is - you missed your chance. Anyway, I think you will be better of working elsewhere. :)

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#14 RE: Yeah right
15/03/2011 16:00

Who knows to Sebastian (#13)

There are qualities that are more important than just being academic-such as interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, time managment, leadership, flexibility...

With consulting, before you apply you need to first identify what the core skills are that the company is looking for, and then prove through your academic/work experience how you meet these skills. Maybe that didnt come accross in your application...

Also, maybe you failed to explain why you wanted to leave your current career to go into consulting. Maybe they felt you did not give a compelling enough argument...things you could have said is that you didnt feel challenged enough in your current job and that your skills are not being utilised enough, also that you want to work in a constant ever changing environment where you are always learning..etc.etc

Who knows, its not the be all and end all...I hope you find success in your new job. All the best!

ps ignore any of the negative comments on this thread-just take it with a pinch of salt.

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#15 RE: Yeah right
16/03/2011 09:41

Anon66 to Who knows (#14)

Background: similar 2.1 Oxbridge, now analyst at a top strategy firm.


- Unfortunately, Cambridge alone has 18k students many of whom have foreign languages. Top strat houses have 100s of consultants and just dozens of junior recruits a year.

- Therefore, whilst many of my colleagues are Oxbridge, given that we have so many Oxbridge applicants for any one place, being Oxbridge is not enough. Also, we get applications from top international schools (e.g. Harvard, Yales, etc...)

- I do not know anything about your application, but...

- Did you emphasise extracurrcicular activities? Passion for consulting? Commitment to lifelong development? Peer leadership? These may seem like buzz words but, given that so many CVs have the 'Oxbridge' title, something needs to set your CV apart

- Even something as small as a mistake in your CV or cover letter, or a misunderstanding about our work could get your application rejected. Reading thousands of applications is no fun.

- To be totally frank, the last few years have not been great in consulting! You may have been up against a larger field than normal

- Finally, as a counterweight to rationalising this, you may have just been unlucky. Amongst my friends plenty of people were accepted for McKinsey and rejected from Oliver Wyman and vice-versa. There is no objective standard and quite a bit of 'gut feel' in recruitment - particularly when picking from 1000s of identical CVs. I cannot imagine that a few people do not slip through the process each year

Hope this helps.

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#16 RE: Yeah right
16/03/2011 20:47

Patricia to Anon66 (#15)

Anon66, I agree with most of what you said, but you also seem to suggest that with so many people from Oxbridge applying and being favored my top MCs, graduates from other universities don't even stand a chance. I beg to differ - lot of people come from other top universities and business schools. Oxbridge degree does not guarantee one a job, and in Diddy's example, not even an interview - getting an interview at a top consultancy is dependent on far too many variables to bring them into discussion now.

Diddy, you say you are happy with the job you got, so forget about MCs - you'd be out of there in two years anyway, most people are. :) :)

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