Thanks for all of your responses and for not just calling me ungrateful (typical parents!) :)
I agree with a lot of what you are saying, and I truly appreciate how lucky I am to even have a job straight out of uni so I've been careful about making too much noise about my dissatisfaction within work. I will definitely take on board your suggestions and talk to my buddy/ manager about this though.
As for the questions:
1. What were you expecting a career in consulting to offer at graduate entry level that it isn't delivering on?
I understood that I would be doing a lot of basic work for the first few months, learning the ropes etc, but I expected to be at least participating in things like helping to write reports, dealing with clients etc. Right now I literally go in everyday and manually search the internet for things like annual reports for company turnover to then put into an excel file. Sometimes I also do QA checks on other people's work. I have never had to deal with clients and it seems like you need to be there for 5 or 6 years before you're trusted to do anything that comes with any real responsibility. I guess the problem is that I've worked all through uni in 'proper' jobs which came with some responsibility for writing proposals etc, so I just expected similar.
2. Is there something specifically about consulting that you can't stand?
I don't like that everyone seems stuck in their ways about doing things. When I suggest new ways to make things quicker with Powerpoint etc, I'm just told by my managers to do it manually so it will come out okay. Re consulting, I'm just not really sure what consulting even is! I've been here 2 months and I still can't answer that question.
3. Why not be proactive in remedying this?
In my monthly review, I informed my manager that I found the work completely different to what I had expected and that I was surprised to be getting paid for what I was doing! However, I didn't really stress hard enough how much I hate the mundane tasks I have to do everyday. I mean, if there was a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of knowing that interesting work would eventually be forthcoming, I'd happily stick out the basic work I'm doing now but I don't plan on sticking around for 6 years to find out. Even if 20% of the work was interesting/ challenging, I'd be happy, but managers seem to presume all graduates are idiots and give us work to match :(
Apologies for sounding so negative. I know this is your career and most of you love it and you are certainly all a lot more intelligent than me to be able to stick out mundane tasks and, of course, get to where you are (see study re: genius kids amusing themselves, stupid kids needing to be entertained). It seems the internet has heaped upon me expectations of being constantly challenged or entertained and I've now turned into one of those 'job jumpers' I claim to hate!