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Advice for making good impression

 
#1 Advice for making good impression
09/09/2011 08:36

James

Hi,

I've recently received an offer to join a strategy house as an Experienced Hire, where I will join at the 'Associate' level (rather than the "Business Analyst" level).

I don't know anyone currently working in consulting, so I thought that this forum would be a great place to get advice.

My background is working for a consumer goods firm in marketing roles.

I would be grateful for any tips on how best to transition from working in industry to working in consulting.

In particular, would like any high level advice on

a) What I can do to prepare before I join my new firm

b) Advice on how best to get a good reputation

c) Advice on how best to get staffed on suitable projects (keen to try other sectors as well as completing consumer goods projects)

Thanks very much,

James

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#2 RE: Advice for making good impression
09/09/2011 10:10

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to James (#1)

James - firstly I'd recommend you take a look at the following thread, as there was lots of sound advice provided on this topic just recently:

http://forum.top-consultant.com/UK/74577/8/How-To-Impress/

The advice to an associate and an analyst wouldn't differ greatly, so all the points made in the above should be highly relevant to you.

In terms of your specific questions:

a) What I can do to prepare before I join my new firm

The main advice I would give is to "stock up" and "automate your life" as much as possible. Once you find yourself on a project - particularly early on in your consulting career when you're trying to establish a strong reputation - you want to be able to focus as much as possible on exceeding client (and team) expectations and not having mundane things distracting you from this goal.

So in terms of automation, go through all your bills and credit cards and try to set everything up to be automatically paid each month (ie. direct debit) so that you can forget about needing to do these things each month. Then I'd also suggest contacting your bank / credit card company to have your overdraft and card limits increased. By which I'm not recommending a profligate lifestyle, but when you're away on project work you just don't need the worry of whether or not you have enough funds available to cover your expenses, etc.

Similarly, "stock up" on everything you might need if sent away on a lengthy overseas project. You want to have enough suits, shirts, ties, etc. that you're not in the position of needing to go out and get new ones mid-way through a project overseas. Similarly running low on deodorant and razors isn't cool when travelling either!

I guess I'm basically saying invest the time and money now to make your life as stress-free as possible over the next year or two, so you can focus your attention as much as possible on excelling at work.

b) Advice on how best to get a good reputation

I think this is covered very well by the above link I provided - and the thing I would reiterate is make sure you always deliver on what you've promised by the date you've promised it. If tasks you are assigned are always delivered smoothly and without any nasty surprises then that's the surest way of building up an army of advocates both with the firm and your clients, which is the number one thing you need to progress your consulting career and have an interesting array of projects to work on.

c) Advice on how best to get staffed on suitable projects (keen to try other sectors as well as completing consumer goods projects)

Do two things - work on a couple of consumer goods projects first, where you are best placed to deliver stellar work. Do a great job and get yourself a really good reputation within the firm. Once you have this then the willingness of other practice managers to take you onto their projects will rocket. Then also network with people from other practice areas and with the resourcing managers that help with assigning staff to projects. The more people you have that know of your interest in working in other sectors - and who have their ear to the ground for you for potential project openings - the more likely this is to happen for you.

Hope this helps James and good luck with the move to consulting

Tony Restell

Top-Consultant.com

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#3 RE: Advice for making good impression
09/09/2011 11:00

James to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#2)

Thank you very much Tony, this is all incredibly helpful

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