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Ex military looking to transition into consulting

 
#1 Ex military looking to transition into consulting
31/08/2011 15:36

davidrelph

I am looking to start in management consulting after a first career in Defence (British Army). I have decent strategy experience in London as well as the more traditional leadership roles - my CV is full of good stuff about leadership, strategy and innovation with strong evidence to back it up. I have a 2:1 economics degree and two masters qualifications including an MBA from Cranfield.

I am after advice about the following:

1. In what sort of consulting are my skills lilely to be most transferable? Which areas are better for generalists or those with a good strategy and leadership background?

2. Are there any firms who traditionally look kindly on experienced hires from outside consulting in general or ex military people specifically?

3. What joining level is realistic?

Thanks in advance,

David Relph

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#2 RE: Ex military looking to transition into consulting
01/09/2011 22:10

GrayArea to davidrelph (#1)

The answer, I suspect is: "it depends".

What did you do in the British Army, what was your rank on leaving and what business skills have you used or being exposed to?

I know of ex-military people who have gone into the top strategy houses. Leadership skills and innovative thinking are greatly prized. But the people I know went to top MBA Business Schools (LBS/Harvard/Insead).

Your chances are as good or as bad as anyone else, though your leadership skills and your network within the MOD (and potentially knowledge of the inner workings) could be greatly prized by Management consultancies

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#3 RE: Ex military looking to transition into consulting
05/09/2011 14:36

davidrelph to GrayArea (#2)

Many thanks for the reply. My experience is a mix of front line leadership roles in the field army and policy/strategy work in London. I was part of the team that wrote the MOD corporate plan and then looked after the performance management at Board level. So in terms of business skills my experience is in strategy development, risk and performance management. I left as a major just prior to the point at which I would have been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

Thanks again - any more advice gratefully received....

DR

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#4 RE: Ex military looking to transition into consulting
05/09/2011 17:06

GrayArea to davidrelph (#3)

Possible action plan:

- meet some recruitment agencies and have frank honest discussions with them;

- research on which consultancy firms advise the likes of BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, and other companies that supply the defence industry (assuming you still want to work in that sector)

- look for boutique firms that have more experienced staff;

- look for consultancies that advise PE firms that have medium sized defence or Govt suppliers in their portfolio; and

- network like crazy!!!

Best of luck...

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#5 RE: Ex military looking to transition into consulting
05/09/2011 17:22

GrayArea to GrayArea (#4)

Sorry, I know I haven't answered your questions directly...

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#6 RE: Ex military looking to transition into consulting
05/09/2011 17:47

davidrelph to GrayArea (#5)

Thanks - I have done the first two and have been making an effort on the networking. The other two ideas are pretty helpful as I hadn't considered these.

I have looked at PA, PWC, EY and Deloitte who all have a defence team. I am conscious that my transferrable experience is defence related, but I dont want to stay in defence long term - my aspiration is to end up doing more general strategy work or (much more developmental) energy work.

Any top tips regarding boutique firms? I have a copy of 'the definitive guide to UK consulting firms' and am slowly working my way through it - but if you know any firms who like the general skill that I could offer it would be great to get a steer.

Thanks again,

DR

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