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How to prepare for a first MC job?

#1 How to prepare for a first MC job?
05/11/2013 14:36


I've just finished an MBA and accepted a manager-level role at a Big4 MC firm in their digital marketing transformation practice in London. I have a decent amount of relevant experience but this is my first role with a Big4 or any major consulting co. I should start by Jan 2014 so I have some free time now - how would you recommend I spend the next couple months?

I've been reading through a few of the recommended books on here and other forums, watching Podcasts/videos, and even watched House of Lies (not sure if that was a good idea, but very entertaining;).

What else should I do to really prepare for the MC world? Attend conferences? practice Excel/PowerPoint? Take a holiday before my free time implodes? All suggestions are welcomed. Thanks!

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#2 RE: How to prepare for a first MC job?
05/11/2013 14:57

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to LaxLdner (#1)

Try relaxing

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#3 RE: How to prepare for a first MC job?
05/11/2013 22:08

Arby the Manager to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#2)

Attend as MANY conferences as possible - I cannot overstate the importance of this. Tattoo the new company's logo onto your chest whilst reverse engineering Microsoft PowerPoint down to machine code. Ask the firm you are joining if you can come and "hang out" for a couple of months - and try to get a good desk with a nice view of a pretty lady (or gentleman, the world is diverse now). Finally get ANOTHER tattoo of the company's logo on your lower back, re-engineer PowerPoint as a German Shepherd dog called Alan, get a mug saying "Worlds Greatest Boss" and a selection of dubiously festive ties.....

....alternatively, realize what a lucky son-of-a-gun you are that you can enjoy the festive period work-free, go get drunk, spend time with your family, travel, write a book, get drunk again...

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#4 RE: How to prepare for a first MC job?
06/11/2013 13:44

LaxLdner to Arby the Manager (#3)

Brilliant advice Arby! I was just about to re-engineer PowerPoint as a Corgi but the German Shepherd sounds even better... oh wait...

I get it. Relax. Chill. I've just been doing that for a couple weeks already and they have my passport so I can't travel outside the UK. But if there's anything - like a best book or magazine you've ever read for MCs, I'd love to check it out while I'm chilling here in chilly London. Cheers :)

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#5 RE: How to prepare for a first MC job?
06/11/2013 16:22

Arby the Manager to LaxLdner (#4)

I will assume that "they" are the company you are joining and that you're not actually on police bail...

Seriously speaking, there is no book that can teach you how to be an MC.

However the area you are joining (digital transformation) is going to be HUGE. This will be the next big thing on many a C-suite agenda (where it is not already). So the best way you can position yourself is to understand the industry trends around this - give yourself some of the wider picture. What are firms doing to expand their digital reach, what does digital transformation really mean on the bigger agenda and why is it so relevant to your clients. You can get most of this information from the FT, the economist or, if you're a cheap-skate, from the BBC or even from the "tempter" articles on the websites of the major consulting firms.

Enjoy the reading!

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#6 RE: How to prepare for a first MC job?
06/11/2013 22:36

Tony Restell ( to LaxLdner (#1)

Congratulations on finishing the MBA and securing the London opening. Hope it proves to be a great career move for you.

I recall there've been some detailed responses to similar threads in the past. Can I point you to - and also within that post to the others that are linked from there. Think that will provide you with a lot of ideas of things to put in place before you start. And also I'd second the suggestion to relax and make the most of your free time now.

Good luck

Tony Restell

Founder, and

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#7 RE: How to prepare for a first MC job?
08/11/2013 17:15

LaxLdner to Tony Restell ( (#6)

Thanks Arby and Tony! I'm glad to hear you think digital transformation is going to be a huge issue Arby. My company said it's the fastest growing MC department they have. I've just renewed my FT subscription and will keep reading up on the developments - maybe even start a new thread here ;)

And big thanks for those links Tony. They are very helpful and I can see it's a common topic so I feel much more comfortable despite my 'greenness.' This whole forum is a huge help so thanks for curating it so well.

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