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Consulting to entrepreneurship?? (ideally big 4)

#1 Consulting to entrepreneurship?? (ideally big 4)
05/05/2014 15:23


Hi guys,

I'm a 3rd year undergrad at a relatively top tier business school in Canada (target in terms of recruiting, 4/5 top bschools for undergrad). I've focused on accounting for the first 2 years in my program but have had a change of heart and made a jump to the finance program as I feared getting pigeonholed in public audit (as that was the path I was on prior to switching).

To date my experiences include working at the CRA (which I believe is similar to the HMRC in the UK, the equivalent of a tax regulator) and currently landed an internship with GE's financial mgmt program (FMP). The reason I'm posting this thread (with such a long backstory, sorry for that!) is that I'm trying to figure out if I should consider a career in consulting.

My goal in lifes to start my own business (not a consulting/advisory firm, something tangible) and venture out as an entrepreneur/small business owner and for those reasons consulting stood out to me for a while. I haven't pursued it primarily because I had this misconception that getting into audit at the big 4 meant you could do anything in the world, including consulting right off the bat. Right or wrong I decided to stray away from that (audit) path and am now wondering if I should consider getting into consulting to aid with my long term goal. I am currently planning on writing my cfa (lvl 1) next month and didnt realize that it wasn't too useful for consulting until I found this website.

My question is whether I should consider getting into consulting for the sole reason of entrepreneurship, and if so, whether should I focus on it right away? I'm also not sure if I made the right choice straying away from the cpa to the cfa in terms of a career in this industry (not to say im not willing to consider both). Im not opposed to grad school if that helps (and am confident I could get it after 2 years at GE). Furthermore, I'd much rather big 4 over mbb for consulting primarily due to work life balance differences ive heard* of (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). Also, I should mention that I value work life balance quite a bit for personal reasons, I don't mind travel as long as it doesn't imply that I live in another country for months on end. With regards to my grades, theyre not the greatest (75 to 82% cgpa) but I have a decent bit of extracurriculars to make up for it.

Sorry for the long post, look forward to any feedback. Cheers!

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#2 RE: Consulting to entrepreneurship?? (ideally big 4)
06/05/2014 11:21

marsday to cv93 (#1)

1. if you want to be an entrepreneur, consulting wont add anything to getting there - not specifically anyway, no more than any other job and life experience

2. to be a successful entrepreneur you need an idea which can generate customers and revenues. Simply wanting to be one isn't a starting point.

3. forget work/life balance if you want to be an entrepreneur - you will work harder than you ever thought possible, for longer than you ever thought you would without the reinforcement of a pay check.

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#3 RE: Consulting to entrepreneurship?? (ideally big 4)
08/05/2014 15:15

chameleon to marsday (#2)


Consulting has no distinct advantage to prepare you for entrepreneurship.

Going it alone means having an almost insane passion for what you do which can see you through the darker times.

From your post it seems as if you are looking at a lot of choices, if you are going to do your own thing , make sure all other choices are well and truly discardd and you're comfortable with that. There will be no time for looking back at 'what ifs'.

Work life balance - no such thing if you do it on your own. There is only life balance - how much you chose to fill it with work is up to you - but it will be a significant percentage if you want to make it on your own. That old saying about doing what you believe in and it won't feel like work is cliched but true.

Good luck!

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