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Advices for moving to London

 
#1 Advices for moving to London
10/09/2013 09:06

tresmo

Hi everybody,

i'm an italian guy who is finally trying to move to London. I'd just like to have some advices by your experiences and expertises in consultant sector in UK and mainly in London.

I come from 2 years and half of EY in Milan (Italy) but for many reasons i'm finally ready to think about moving to London.

My questions are the following:

1) I don't have any English certification just my english experience (and i know my english is not perfect but i think is not so bad either): can it be, the language, a real big deal considering i have 2 years and half of experience in this sector?

2) Would be easier approaching this new (for me) world avoiding the top consultant companies like BCG, Baine, McKinsey and so on and starting indeed with Big 4 or similar? (any suggestion?)

3) In EY Italy i got 2 promotions in a row and i'm a senior consultant: there is any possibility to confirm the role after my 2years and half of experience? (i have heard in UK the ranks are not working the same as in Italy, for this i made this questions)

4) I know the efforts, in term of long hours, that this kind of job requires: i' d like to know what does that mean in UK?is it rewarded (extra money, free days, any benefit)? (in Italy it means basically that we are working from 9 am to 7-8 pm every day, sometimes even more if the project needs it, and we don't get any extra money or benefits or free days for this)

Those are my main questions cause i'm ready to start in next days sending CVs and i would like to have a clearer vision and not just jumping in it not knowing nothing about. Of course any other informations, advices or whatever you want to say to me will be very appreciated.

Hoping i didn't make any mistakes i wish u all to have a great day and to get soon your answers.

Thanks

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#2 RE: Advices for moving to London
10/09/2013 09:16

CONnedsultant to tresmo (#1)

Bonjourno,

Right quiet a few questions so I will try to go through them

1) Although not an official pre-requisite, it may be advisable to try and undertake an English course, it will give you more confidence if anything, as you may have to navigate a lot of native English speakers who can not speak English properly

2) Given you have 2.5 years in E&Y (without knowing where within) it seems that similar Big 4 could be an option, depends a lot on they skills that you have, and what you want to do

3) Depends, on the contract/alignment within the company, some do have overtime, some don't-generally the consulting industry does not

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#3 RE: Advices for moving to London
10/09/2013 10:16

tresmo to CONnedsultant (#2)

@Connedsultant:

1) Yes you are right i should have taken any certification but unfortunatelly at this moment i can't, because i need to try to get a job quite fast (couple of months, 3 maximum). English certification is one of my goal and as soon as i'm going to move in UK i will take it.

2) Well, i can say that i have quite diversified experiences. I'm still looking for my favourite industry or sector. I have experience in Public sector, a bit in fraud investigation, incident analysis and risk models and finally in pharmaceutical companies (Field Force and deployment at local level). I'm trying to diversify my competencies before to decide which one is the best area for my skills. At this moment i'd say pharmaceutical is the best for what i've seen but i'd like to see and explore more (if there is any possibility of course).

I have to say that i'm also taking consultancy as a field where to learn as much as i can in many different sectors before to focalize to a specific one.

If i can choose i'll apply for pharmaceutical business, but i could be also opened to start from one lower level if that would mean opening a new interesting way for my future (as could be debt restructuring, M&A, finance or strategy).

3) Here is clear, i was just wondering if also in UK you can be a senior consultant after just a couple of years or is the process "longer".

Maybe it seems i'm a bit confused, indeed i would like you readers look at it as a guy that wants to learn the maximum he can to finally start to specialize himself in the best business for his skills.

Thanks

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#4 RE: Advices for moving to London
10/09/2013 12:28

Camster to tresmo (#3)

Have a re-think!

Germany might be a better option. There are loads of opportunities in NRW, plenty of opportunities in Bonn, Duss and Koln.

Why I say this? Unfortunately, I don't rate UK consultants highly.

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#5 RE: Advices for moving to London
10/09/2013 16:23

tresmo to Camster (#4)

Unfortunatelly i don't speak at all German....my only option are Italian and English.

I'd like to make a new question for those who will answer: how does it work the interview for someone who already has experience?

Thanks everybody

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#6 RE: Advices for moving to London
15/09/2013 19:32

GreySkyThinker to tresmo (#5)

I'd like to make a new question for those who will answer: how does it work the interview for someone who already has experience?

I should warn you that any non-UK experience will be viewed quite suspiciously and is usually discounted (although few will admit to that).

Is there any way you could ask for an internal transfer to the London office? That's assuming that your skills and capabilities are in demand in the UK, but that would be a much easier route than cold calling firms.

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#7 RE: Advices for moving to London
17/09/2013 12:46

Camster to tresmo (#5)

Was in Germany for a few years. Went there only knowing the word "achtung" from Achtung Baby, that U2 album. You can pick it up. Also, unlike other countries, in DE, they mostly speak English in the office. Or try Brazil and LatAm?

Seriously, don't concentrate too much on the UK market. It's saturated, which is why a number of my good friends have gone overseas.

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#8 RE: Advices for moving to London
22/09/2013 18:26

tresmo to GreySkyThinker (#6)

Why any other non UK experience will be viewed as suspicious? I'm working in EY and i think is very easy to verify that, i really don't understand why they should not consider my experience in a big 4.

Well i'd really like if there would be any internal opportunity. The point is that from Italy there is quite strong resistance to let people move away to an other venue of the same firm.... I'm working in EY and for all colleagues i have asked about this topic it seems nobody have never seen any succesfull action by anybody.

Some just suggested me to try getting some contacts "on the other side" for the specific area i would like to work, and ask them if they need someone. But really it seems like impossible use an internal process, we are like in the jail in Italy....

About Germany i'm still not sure at all, my first shot would be England even if i'll not find a way i will think something else like Germany or Holland or Switzerland too...

If anybody could help me giving me contact or anything in pharmaceutical area would be really appreciated

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#9 RE: Advices for moving to London
23/09/2013 11:01

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to tresmo (#8)

I think the reason people are often suspicious of non-UK experience and non-UK qualifications is because of how often we see situations where an "honest mistake" means that very important points of detail become "accidentally distorted in translation".

So suddenly, a degree from Spain's equivalent of some unheard of UK polytechnic becomes "MBA from Spain's top university".

Or a grade B- in a diploma (or "431 EU-GRBA points" or something like that) suddenly becomes "Equivalent to a First in a Master's".

Equally, experience can get distorted. Suddenly "Senior Analyst" becomes "Senior Engagement Lead" or something like that.

I think an internal transfer within a big firm is the way to go. Then, when you're in the UK, everybody knows what you mean when you say you're a senior manager at KPMG or whatever. It's probably easier for you to arrange, too.

Don't forget how bad the weather is here, though. :)

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#10 RE: Advices for moving to London
23/09/2013 12:05

tresmo to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#9)

BEP thank you so much for your explanation. Well sometimes i believe that's true about the the comparison of degrees around Europe and UK one's. Of course, at least for me, i looked around on the web to choose which should be the right "translation" of my titles in UK.

But i think also that for those who has already experience in the field should be a bit different. I mean the CV and past experiences speaks for me and for my university i guess (but maybe this is how it works in Italy and in UK there is a different conception about it, i can't know that).

I know weather is not the most auspicable but the city, at least in my mind, it is. I really would like to have this experience in my life and then in case i can always move somewhere else, but London experience i think is unique in Europe. Anyway I'll try to move through my company but i'm already sending CV in autunomy.

Thanks everybody and any other kind of suggestions, also about some specific company i didn't consider is really appreciated.

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#11 RE: Advices for moving to London
23/09/2013 17:57

Camster to tresmo (#10)

@BEP #9,

Yeah, but in Italy (and other countries in the continent), it takes ages to get a degree. In the UK, it's 3 years. Also, not that there are far more dodgy unis in the UK than, say, Spain.

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#12 RE: Advices for moving to London
24/09/2013 08:51

Smithy to Camster (#11)

I think BEP means that it's easier for UK recruiters to fathom out UK fibs than EU ones.

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