Thread List
First Page Previous Page Page 29 / 291 Next Page Last Page
Subject#Latest
11 29.04.14
6 29.04.14
2 29.04.14
1 29.04.14
8 28.04.14
8 28.04.14
4 26.04.14
4 25.04.14
2 25.04.14
7 25.04.14
1 24.04.14
13 24.04.14
9 24.04.14
9 23.04.14
2 22.04.14
9 20.04.14
1 19.04.14
5 19.04.14
3 19.04.14
2 18.04.14
1 17.04.14
7 17.04.14
6 17.04.14
12 17.04.14
6 16.04.14
8 16.04.14
9 16.04.14
23 16.04.14
1 15.04.14
2 15.04.14
3 15.04.14
2 14.04.14
1 14.04.14
3 14.04.14
20 14.04.14
2 13.04.14
8 13.04.14
1 12.04.14
4 11.04.14
13 11.04.14
4 10.04.14
33 10.04.14
3 09.04.14
17 09.04.14
8 09.04.14
2 09.04.14
18 09.04.14
4 08.04.14
18 08.04.14
2 08.04.14
First Page Previous Page Page 29 / 291 Next Page Last Page

Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting

 
#1 Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
03/04/2014 08:38

Richthekeeper

I'm in receipt of an offer from one of the Big 4 to join as a relatively junior consultant. Although i have experience in my field and in outsource/consultancy roles this will be my first foray into management consulting.

As is often the case with these thigns, there is a 4 week lead time for background checks and then specific start dates which are available. the reality is that if i accepted the offer today i'm unlikely to start before June, and it could be as late as September.

i'd appreciate some advice on anything i can do to prepare myself to "hit the ground running" in that interim period. i assume i won't know anything about the client(s) i'm on until i officially join.

obviously i won't hand in my notice at my current position until the last possible moment.

Reply  Quote   
 
#2 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
03/04/2014 09:09

marsday to Richthekeeper (#1)

Not much you can do really, it will be more about being fresh and having the right mind set and energy levels, not about specific technical preparations. On that note if you can afford to do so, try to get a week off between the two roles - perhaps use holiday but if affordable have your end date early enough to give you a short break/rest. A chance to settle your mind and rest up and arrive at Big 4 raring to go will do you more benefit than any amount of prep reading at your level.

Reply  Quote   
 
#3 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
03/04/2014 09:11

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to marsday (#2)

Yes, don't worry about it, just relax in the meantime and rest knowing that you have a good job lined up for you. Well done!

Reply  Quote   
 
#4 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
03/04/2014 09:26

Richthekeeper to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#3)

thanks for the advice guys. i was definitely planning to take at least a few days to recharge my batteries.

:)

Reply  Quote   
 
#5 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
03/04/2014 10:26

Oily to Richthekeeper (#4)

Couple of suggestions:

- Learn the setup of the P&L, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow statement - understand how they are linked

- Learn common financial metrics (e.g. DSO, DPO, Asset turnover)

- Learn the basic principles of corp. finance (e.g. DCFs, NPV, WACC, ROCE, Multiples)

- Learn Excel keyboard shortcuts (no mouse!)

- Google PPTs from your (future) firm - learn how they setup their slides (formatting, colours, no. of bullets per slide etc.)

- Become a jedi master at PowerPoint

- If you know what industry area you will be assigned to - read some BIG 4 / MBB industry perspectives

Reply  Quote   
 
#6 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
03/04/2014 12:02

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Oily (#5)

Heh, yeah and whilst at it make sure you read that "the unbound Prometheus" book from cover to cover as well as that big red "intermediate econometrics" book they use at university which has about 6000 pages

Reply  Quote   
 
#7 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
03/04/2014 12:28

marsday to Oily (#5)

Couple of suggestions:

- Learn the setup of the P&L, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow statement - understand how they are linked

- Learn common financial metrics (e.g. DSO, DPO, Asset turnover)

- Learn the basic principles of corp. finance (e.g. DCFs, NPV, WACC, ROCE, Multiples)

- Learn Excel keyboard shortcuts (no mouse!)

- Google PPTs from your (future) firm - learn how they setup their slides (formatting, colours, no. of bullets per slide etc.)

- Become a jedi master at PowerPoint

- If you know what industry area you will be assigned to - read some BIG 4 / MBB industry perspectives

And when you have done all that prepare a ppt presentation bringing all that together under the theoretical umbrella of 'anti-fragile'.

Don't read MBB/Big 4 industry perspectives. The only people who read those and think they mean much already work as MBB or Big4, and probably wrote the perspective pieces in the first place.

Don't be an earnest oik who needs to try and master everything before you join. If you were on top of everything already you would have been hired in at a more senior grade (unless its Deloitte in which it would be a more senior grade but then discounted to produce a more junior grade, but matched to the market...resulting in the grade you have already accepted).

Reply  Quote   
 
#8 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
03/04/2014 17:19

Dan! Dan! Dan! to marsday (#7)

While I think Oily went a bit too far, I believe there is quite an interesting chunk of truth hidden in that post.

I also think you should kick back and enjoy your time off. However, I think Oily's point is, if you've categorically decided you're somehow going to prep yourself, then there is a relatively short list of very concrete things that would actually help you.

I've often thought of how I would reinvest my years of Uni, if I could go back knowing what I know now about how the whole consulting/strategy thing works, and had the freedom to craft my own curriculum. First on my list, as suggested by Oily, would be:

- Excel: its shortcuts, modelling conventions, etc (the time this will save you is untold - the problem is it's hard to sit down and teach yourself with a book; you need coaching and real life stuff to work through)

- PowerPoint (the brownie points gained for making a deck look pristine, or the scoldings saved by NOT making it look like "my first presentation", are also considerable)

- Financial concepts/techniques: there are only a handful you're expected to know (but you really are expected to know them); the rest is for the specialists and show-offs

- Maybe something on the principles of structured problem solving, what it means for things to be MECE, learning to think in frameworks (one day of reading on this topic can help hugely when sitting down to think about your first workstream)

Once I had all the above nailed I'd probably spend the rest of my time in the pub.

Reply  Quote   
 
#9 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
03/04/2014 20:03

JGJ to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#8)

You could do worse than to reqd Managing the Professional Service Firm by Maister.

I've never had much time for soft management science topics but there were some interesting ideas in that I thought.

Other than that I'd second the stuff on Excel, Powerpoint and basic financial concepts (although it will depend to an extent on what area you're joining what mix of these three you'll need).

Reply  Quote   
 
#10 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
03/04/2014 20:42

Arby the Manager to JGJ (#9)

Your best preparation for the human flesh-mill that is Consulting is to damn well sit back and enjoy ANY time off / relaxation you can get before joining. Why on earth, when you have potentially between 10 and 20 years of pumelling ahead of you, would you want to "prepare"? This is not a 2 hour exam you're going into - it's a long slog where hard work, flexibility and, above all, political dexterity and nouse will get you ahead.

The guys that are telling you to revise Excel modelling are, frankly, bullsh1tting you. Take it from me, I've loved and hated this game for years - don't resign yourself to "having to revise"... It's like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. Your ship is sunk - play the damn Waltz!!

Reply  Quote   
 
#11 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
04/04/2014 07:46

marsday to Arby the Manager (#10)

The only essential prep would be to read Cool's book 'Biting the Pillow - Taking One for the Team'

Reply  Quote   
 
#12 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
04/04/2014 16:01

TheConsultingCoach to Richthekeeper (#1)

Congratulations!

I'd honestly recommend spending the time relaxing and going on a long holiday. There's very little you can meaningfully do before you join that will help you when you start.

If you feel you MUST do something, spend a bit of time with Excel and Powerpoint making sure you understand keyboard shortcuts, Pivot tables and how to make a PPT look nice.

Reply  Quote   
 
#13 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
04/04/2014 20:57

DCF to TheConsultingCoach (#12)

On the other hand I have had a moderately successful career without knowing a single Excel keyboard shortcut. I doubt that's the missing element which, had I had, would have seen me propelled to Partner by now.

Reply  Quote   
 
#14 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
05/04/2014 10:38

Dan! Dan! Dan! to DCF (#13)

Hugh Lawrie has made a very successful acting career for himself without being particularly attractive. That isolated point, however, does not mean that being attractive is not an objectively useful asset in trying to launch a successful acting career.

Reply  Quote   
 
#15 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
09/04/2014 17:27

Richthekeeper to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#14)

update - negotiation was successful and formal offer is forthcoming.

i'm starting to sh*t myself about whether i've made the right choice though - i turned down an in house mid-manager role with a global org for this.

i'll be 29 by the time i start, and reading some of the things other people have said about spending all your time trawling through millions of lines of excel data is giving me cold feet!

Reply  Quote   
 
#16 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
09/04/2014 20:28

Arby the Manager to Richthekeeper (#15)

...

Reply  Quote   
 
#17 RE: Preparing to start - Big 4 consulting
09/04/2014 22:56

TheGraduate to Richthekeeper (#15)

I'm sorry to ask but why?

Reply  Quote   

Top of Page

ThreadID: 85979

Advertise
Your Jobs!