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getting into consultancy

 
#1 getting into consultancy
24/02/2005 11:05

Jenily

Hi everyone

Can any one give me advice on how to get in the industry. i am 29 and former teacher. I did the Leicester MBA and the Post Grad Dip from CIM. Which firms firms would be interested in that kind of background. Thanks lots.

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#2 Re: getting into consultancy
24/02/2005 15:52

mn

noting the responses you have had to date, I am concerned that you may not be getting the kind of reply you thought. If you want to consider using all of your experience including that of teaching, firms like Tribal and Bentley Jennison have active eductation sector consulting teams. If not, you already have the answer, as has been said, by getting to this web site. Hope it helps

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#3 Re: getting into consultancy
24/02/2005 15:54

mn

Mmm, I actually like someone who is prepared to ask. Agree with some of your MBA comments though

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#4 Re: getting into consultancy
25/02/2005 23:38

J Streiff

While consultants have to be proactive and observant, my experience both as a consultant and hiring manager has taught me to be initially circumspect. I am still reminded of a Big 4 consultant who had to be spoon-fed every detail with 'examples' of everything he was asked to do. While the industry has its 'stars', juniors must rise to become stars. Expecting everyone to be at the same level day one is quite unrealistic. Thankfully all consultancies are not created equal, both for the clients and the consultants themselves. Hence, there is a place in the industry for almost anyone with relevant experience. Best of luck!

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#5 Re: getting into consultancy
28/02/2005 07:32

Jenily

Hi everyone,

Thanks to the people who were willing to actually give advice. I was not asking to be spoonfed as suggested but rather to have some additional ideas to the avenues which I am already exploring.

If I did not think that I had the potential to be an extremely proactive and effective consultant I would consider such a career path.

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#6 Re: getting into consultancy
02/03/2005 18:46

Rodger

I understand all the points of view above....This exchange reflects, for me, a simple communication problem - If all of us wanting help fully describe the parameters/context of our request, the interpretation margin of the target audience will be narrowed down .... This will avoid creating the perception that we expect others to think for us....

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#7 Re: getting into consultancy
03/03/2005 12:50

Answering the obvious

Hi Jenily

Welcome to the world of consulting, the land of interesting work, long hours and occasionally meeting people with entries in the Guinness Book Of Records for having the worst social skills in the world. On the bright side, they don't last long.

To actually attempt to answer your question, you're not too late to become a consultant and the MBA is probably the minimum entry requirement given your non commercial background.

What I would suggest you do now is research the companies with a particularly strong public sector focus and steer clear of "systems houses"; you've never built an IT system so you'll have to market yourself slightly differently.

As an initial list I'd have a think about Hedra, PA, Atos, CGEY and the like. There are regular recruiting events advertised on Top Consultant, you need to go to one of these and actually talk to people - don't rely on online adverts and don't rely on posting your CV because frankly recruiting departments get thousands a year and if there's an obvious reason not to talk to someone (e.g. not having consulting experience) it'll go in the bin. Find a couple of agencies, no more than that, and physically go and see them too - again, in your position you need to be able to get face time with people and not just send CVs around. I'd suggest Prism, Huntswood and outfits like that.

Think carefully before you go to the recruiting fairs about what your own personal elevator pitch is - if I was recruiting, I'd be asking myself what an ex-teacher with an MBA can bring. There's a very good answer (comms skills, analytics, MBA etc etc) but you need to work it out for yourself. You also need to have a think about what package you're looking for - I recently recruited someone for 30k who'd previously been on 20k at Qinetiq because she had no obvious experience but was clearly very good and motivated; she's doing a great job, is worth every penny and I have every confidence will progress up the ranks at a sensible rate. Keeping it virtual does not play to your strengths - good consulting is heavily dependent on having good communication skills (see earlier in this thread for a particularly poor example of why!!!) and as a 29 year old teacher you should be able to bring those along with a bit of maturity.

Don't expect this to be easy and don't get discouraged when you inevitably get knockbacks - fact is, you're not going to get into McKinsey but then neither could most of the 100,000 people at Accenture and they're all doing very well for themselves.

Good luck, and feel free to ask any other questions. We're not all complete clowns around here.

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#8 Re: getting into consultancy
03/03/2005 17:18

Jenily

Hi answering the obvious. Thank you for redeeming the consulting profession. It's nice to see someone who is able to give sound and intelligent advice. Strangely enough I recently applied to Hedra speculatively but there were no available posts. I made a contact at PA that needs some following up, but I don't know much about CGEY, I'll look that one up.

Its interesting that everyone seems to be extremely preoccupied in trying to get in the big4 for obvious reasons I suppose. I was invited to the accenture open evening a few months ago. There were about 400 potential candidates there. This was only from the first of 2 sessions being run that evening. But it was great to speak to people who are in the business already and able to give some insight on other consultancies.

So thank you very much for all the tips and I'll keep hunting!

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#9 Re: getting into consultancy
16/03/2005 16:14

Hes

Hi,

I am currently having a tough time trying to get into consultancy myself.

One would say that there must be companies interested in post-grad candidates that are learning their 5th language and that have a strong FMCG (marketing+sales) experience and study job experience as a research analyst in the automotive industry.

It seems though that it is so much harder with no management consultancy experience.

Where to apply seems to be a reasonable question to ask Jenily.

Any additional constructive tips (yes I am doing the networking as well, no I am not targeting the Big 4, and few agencies are willing to work with candidates who look for a change of career)?

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#10 Re: getting into consultancy
21/03/2005 11:25

Jenily

Hi Hes,

At least there is someone with the same dilema. I have exhausted some many strategies and I am not sure what I should try next. I am looking for suggestions as well. Maybe Tony can help? Its hard getting into the big4 but the medium sized consultancies I have targeted do require consulting experience.

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#11 Re: getting into consultancy
29/03/2005 14:00

Hes

Jenily,

I am targeting middle and small-sized firms. Still many firms to try, but I am just amazed that my valuable experience and my personality fit are underestimated by the 'need-to-have-experience-in-consulting' requirement.

Let me know how you are getting on.

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#12 Re: getting into consultancy
31/03/2005 12:26

Jenily

Hi Hes,

I am having the same experience targeting these firms. I am not sure how which strategies to employ. I called a couple of recommended agencies who said they only deal with experienced hire. I think we should try to tackle agencies who ar willing to take on mature people changing careers. Any suggestions?

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