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Beginner Consultant

 
#1 Beginner Consultant
10/04/2013 15:26

saege23

Hi

I am new to this forum but I have about 3 years of internal consulting experience with an MBA and PRINCE 2 (foundation). I am thinking of moving in as an external consultant. I am confused on where to begin? I have tried applying to the Big 4 and somehow have not found favour. I am thinking of working my up in the consulting world if it helps to build my career.

Can someone suggest on where I should begin? Should I start looking into full-time roles or gather some experience on a series on interim or project based consultancy contracts? Would be nice to learn about the early steps on MC's in this forum.

Thanks in advance guys.

Saege

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#2 RE: Beginner Consultant
10/04/2013 16:02

marsday to saege23 (#1)

You should be applying for positions within the major consulting firms - and perhaps niche/boutiques depending on your internal consulting experience (ie industry and function). Contracting/interim will not build credibiity for a future permanent consultancy position, and will raise further questions about the quality and depth of your methodologies and client management/stakeholder skills. Going contracting after an extensive perm stint is a different matter altogether.

Dont be disheartened if you were declined by Big 4 - make sure you are applying to the right practices there, and cast your net wider. You should be applying to all the relevant consultancy practices which could use your experience. The only issue is what entry point as you are too far out from grad scheme, so you will be looking at C level entry and not all MCs will hire direct at that point.

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#3 RE: Beginner Consultant
10/04/2013 17:34

saege23 to marsday (#2)

Thanks Marsday,

In this confusing industry it would be nice to have a mentor or mentor club to guide beginners around.

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#4 RE: Beginner Consultant
10/04/2013 20:00

GreySkyThinker to marsday (#2)

The only issue is what entry point as you are too far out from grad scheme, so you will be looking at C level entry and not all MCs will hire direct at that point.

This will be your main obstacle. I'm currently in the same situation (sans the MBA).

The very sobering advice in TC's Definitive Guide to UK Consulting Firms (http://news.top-consultant.com/guide_to_consulting_firms.aspx) is that there are two routes into management consulting: either through a consulting graduate scheme or later when you've amassed around 5 years of experience and you have skills which happen to be in demand at the time you're applying.

In this confusing industry it would be nice to have a mentor or mentor club to guide beginners around.

The beginners in MC are the analysts on the graduate programmes, not those trying to come in at Consultant level. Keep that in mind.

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#5 RE: Beginner Consultant
10/04/2013 20:11

GreySkyThinker to saege23 (#1)

One other thing.

Plan your application strategy carefully.

If you apply directly for a role and you get rejected, don't assume that you can just turn to a recruitment agency and expect them to help you secure a different role with the same firm. (Agencies aren't paid for candidates already known to a firm.)

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#6 RE: Beginner Consultant
10/04/2013 21:07

pistolyaddern to GreySkyThinker (#4)

Disagree that big 4 won't take C level hires. I know from personal experience that they do. I joined with 3 years experience and referred 3 others at same grade. The numbers are hugely in favour of grads but don't rule out C level entry.

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#7 RE: Beginner Consultant
10/04/2013 21:35

GreySkyThinker to pistolyaddern (#6)

What was your background, if you don't mind my asking? Were you in a grad scheme before, perhaps at a non-MC?

I would also think that applying for IT Advisory vs. the more traditional MC functions (if this were the case) would also make a difference in this situation.

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#8 RE: Beginner Consultant
10/04/2013 22:33

saege23 to GreySkyThinker (#5)

Thanks for the reply.

What are your strategies or workarounds when the application gets rejected? How do you find what element in the resume might have be the toxic element? Most often than not the companies respond with a standard rejection letter with no indication of why it was rejected in the first place.

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#9 RE: Beginner Consultant
11/04/2013 08:06

marsday to pistolyaddern (#6)

Disagree that big 4 won't take C level hires. I know from personal experience that they do. I joined with 3 years experience and referred 3 others at same grade. The numbers are hugely in favour of grads but don't rule out C level entry.

Pistol no one is saying C lebel entry can't happen, but that it is rarer - not least because the larger MCs like their entry points, but moving in at C grade can be done. Best approach for that would be to network in through making some contacts in the target firm.

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