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ATK vs. Accenture Strategy?

#1 ATK vs. Accenture Strategy?
05/07/2011 13:26


I have two final round interviews coming up for Associate / Consultant level at ATK / Accenture (London Offices).

Money differences aside I was wondering what the differences are between the two firms, especially in their Oil & Gas Practices? Plus, which one would look best on my CV and open up new opportunities?

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#2 RE: ATK vs. Accenture Strategy?
05/07/2011 14:34

baykus to TheBloke2885 (#1)

In terms of appearance ATK is in a different league - they're a tier 2 strat house, while ACN is a tier 3 integrator.

ACN is huge in Oil & Gas - not too sure about ATK. They're a great company, but given the choice ATK would be a no-brainer for most people.

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#3 RE: ATK vs. Accenture Strategy?
05/07/2011 15:53

Tony Restell ( to TheBloke2885 (#1)

An interesting question. A decade ago A.T.Kearney really was a top top strategy brand in most people's eyes. Just below MBB but right there with the likes of OC&C, Marakon (as was), Monitor, Arthur D Little, etc.

In the intervening years there was a lengthy period where ATK was part of EDS and that inevitably took some of the gloss off the brand; they just struggled to break with the stigma of "how can you be providing independent strategic advice when you have EDS services that you must be under pressure to sell into your clients?"

Now they're independent again and working to regain lost ground; my impression is that you'll find the quality of projects to be top tier there, it'll just take a while for the brand to regain its former sheen.

As regards Accenture, the strategy team there are highly regarded and I believe have entry criteria akin to a top tier strategy firm. Those in positions of importance (to your career) at both corporates and with recruitment firms would certainly look favourably on someone who's done a stint in strategy at Accenture. Personally I know a couple of people who've been through that route; one's gone on to be successful in investment banking and the other to be similarly successful at one of the world's most prestigious internet companies. Neither of which is a shabby outcome and pays testimony to how strategy at Accenture is viewed by those who matter (to your career).

I guess whilst not coming down in favour of either one, I'm saying that you'll not be dropping a clanger by joining either of these practices. So I'd base your decision on the interactions you actually have with the firms, how much you warm to the people and the pipeline of work / client list they currently have in your practice area.

I can't comment specifically on strength in Oil & Gas, but hope the above is helpful.

Best of luck in your interviews.

Tony Restell

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#4 RE: ATK vs. Accenture Strategy?
06/07/2011 09:29

TheBloke2885 to Tony Restell ( (#3)

Thanks Tony & baykus.

I do get the impression that ATK is viewed more positively than Accenture from a Strategy perspective, although thanks for pointing out that doing either would not be a clanger CV wise.

I guess it comes down to a) the offer and b) what the partners I meet in those final interviews are like.

I guess my major concern with ATK is that they seem to be highly supply chain focused - how much real Strategy / MA work do they actually do?

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#5 RE: ATK vs. Accenture Strategy?
06/07/2011 11:42

Chipzilla to TheBloke2885 (#4)

Plenty. I'd say the scope of strategy work at ATK should be broader as they will be more active in PE/M&A. Accenture Strategy is quite strong in operational strategy as well as growth strategy so they're similair in that regard, but obviously ATK is further in their development of client relations. The offer at ATK is likely to be higher as well though I'm not sure about how that is in the UK, some post-MBA salaries indicate crazy accenture strat salaries.

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