Thread List
First Page Previous Page Page 28 / 291 Next Page Last Page
Subject#Latest
2 02.06.14
9 02.06.14
2 02.06.14
1 01.06.14
2 01.06.14
35 28.05.14
24 26.05.14
3 26.05.14
13 25.05.14
8 23.05.14
15 23.05.14
6 22.05.14
6 22.05.14
6 22.05.14
9 19.05.14
10 19.05.14
6 18.05.14
10 17.05.14
7 16.05.14
7 16.05.14
26 15.05.14
2 15.05.14
25 15.05.14
5 15.05.14
5 15.05.14
8 14.05.14
5 13.05.14
2 13.05.14
7 10.05.14
12 09.05.14
6 09.05.14
12 09.05.14
3 09.05.14
1 08.05.14
11 08.05.14
3 08.05.14
7 07.05.14
5 07.05.14
4 05.05.14
6 02.05.14
1 02.05.14
9 01.05.14
2 01.05.14
1 01.05.14
1 01.05.14
1 01.05.14
6 30.04.14
5 30.04.14
9 29.04.14
2 29.04.14
First Page Previous Page Page 28 / 291 Next Page Last Page

Getting into consulting

 
#1 Getting into consulting
07/04/2014 20:17

Albie

Hi everyone!

I was hoping to get into consulting as a career path, I've done my research and it sounds like my dream job! The working hours don't bother me intact its something I would look forward to.

The only problem is I'm not university educated.

I left school when I was 16 (I'm 22 now) and in that time I've become a manager at a reasonably busy branch, and I also became a restaurant manager and head chef at a restaurant in London, with a combined 4 years of experience.

Both jobs involved me doing a lot of business management work, PR, HR and strategy planning as well as finance work.

I know i have the right mind set as well drive to succeed in the consulting world.

My question was how I would get into it. I was looking at taking management consulting courses through http://www.iconsulting.org.uk and hopefully trying to land an internship at a consulting firm after.

Can anyone give me some advice on whether this would be the right way to do things or if there was another route that I should consider?

Many thanks in advance!

Reply  Quote   
 
#2 RE: Getting into consulting
07/04/2014 21:00

Arby the Manager to Albie (#1)

Depends what you're looking for. Consulting is, happily, as broad as it's practitioners... But tough news first. There is absolutely no way, no way at all, that you will get into a top, mid or third tier management consultancy firm with no A level education and no degree. Mathematically the competition will destroy you even before you get to the recruiting barriers. Giving your money to the ICA will benefit only them, not you. It's a Mickey Mouse qualification.

Now the good news - you have achieved a lot at a relatively young age but it can be equated to a Neanderthal being happy he has made fire, as his friends cruise past in their wheeled chariots (stereos blaring) when you talk about relevance to management consulting... But don't be disappointed - making fire is still an art and god knows everyone needs fire! All to say that you should think outside the standard, wheel driven firms and go for smaller, regional companies who need the Fire-starters of this world....

Reply  Quote   
 
#3 RE: Getting into consulting
07/04/2014 21:08

presidentbartlet to Albie (#1)

Hi everyone!

I was hoping to get into consulting as a career path, I've done my research and it sounds like my dream job! The working hours don't bother me intact its something I would look forward to.

The only problem is I'm not university educated.

I left school when I was 16 (I'm 22 now) and in that time I've become a manager at a reasonably busy branch, and I also became a restaurant manager and head chef at a restaurant in London, with a combined 4 years of experience.

Both jobs involved me doing a lot of business management work, PR, HR and strategy planning as well as finance work.

I know i have the right mind set as well drive to succeed in the consulting world.

My question was how I would get into it. I was looking at taking management consulting courses through http://www.iconsulting.org.uk and hopefully trying to land an internship at a consulting firm after.

Can anyone give me some advice on whether this would be the right way to do things or if there was another route that I should consider?

Many thanks in advance!

How about an apprenticeship? There is at least one large IT consultancy that offers them, could be an "in" if you can turn your mind to it in terms of the IT and then move over to other parts of consulting later on?

Reply  Quote   
 
#4 RE: Getting into consulting
08/04/2014 09:06

noctilucus to presidentbartlet (#3)

Further to Arby's point, such a "management consulting course" is indeed a waste of your time.

An internship could provide a good angle for you. The hard part will indeed be to get people to look past your education so your CV will need to explain very clearly the skills you've built and how they will apply in consulting as well as a good motivation why you want to change your career and did not go for consulting in the first place.

I would not go for IT consulting but rather the smaller boutique firms that put a strong focus on soft skills such as change management... Advantages are that you'll probably adapt quicker and the theoretical degrees people obtained through their education are less relevant here.

Reply  Quote   
 
#5 RE: Getting into consulting
08/04/2014 09:39

MAK. to Albie (#1)

Forget Consulting. No degree. So no 'decent' consulting firm will take you.

Reply  Quote   
 
#6 RE: Getting into consulting
08/04/2014 12:37

Mr Cool to MAK. (#5)

Yup, if by consultancy you mean mainstream mgmt consultancy, you may as well ask, how can I become a doctor without having a medical degree.

Reply  Quote   
 
#7 RE: Getting into consulting
08/04/2014 13:11

Albie to Albie (#1)

Update:

I have spoken to the Open University and have found out that I can do an MBA as long as I do a professional management certificate with them first, the certificate is a lvl 3 and takes a year to complete.

I have 4 years of managerial experience in business so there is no issue there.

So it looks like this is the way to go!

Reply  Quote   
 
#8 RE: Getting into consulting
08/04/2014 15:05

Dan! Dan! Dan! to Albie (#7)

Albie, do a small bit of research yourself and listen to what people on here are telling you. No degree + open university will NOT help you get a job as a mgt consultant. You may aswell try become a pilot with a provisional motorbike license.

Also, don't go down the path of fooling yourself that a few years running a small business somehow equips you to become a consultant. Your work as a junior consultant will not look like an episode of Mary Queen of Shops. You'll be given huge swathes of data and asked to crunch it, run correlation analyses, segment it, find optimal levels of this, that and the other, etc, or given sketches on pieces of paper and asked to turn them into professional PowerPoint slides.

If I were to take a stab at your best possible chance of becoming a consultant (if you're not going to do a degree), I'd guess:

  • Join a small accounting/audit practice and get a CIMA/ACCA qualification (many firms don't demand degrees for trainee accountants)
  • Work hard and build solid skills during the three years (min) it will likely take you to obtain the qualification
  • See if you can join a slightly larger practice that does occasional consultancy-type stuff, and try get involved in some of that

Other consulting 'qualifications', just like any MBA that's not from a prestigious school, will be worth no more than the paper they're written on to consulting firms.

Reply  Quote   
 
#9 RE: Getting into consulting
08/04/2014 15:14

marsday to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#8)

+ 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Reply  Quote   
 
#10 RE: Getting into consulting
08/04/2014 17:22

Mr Cool to marsday (#9)

Mars answer squared.

Albie, it is technically possible for you to get into consultancy.

- do a one year open entry pre-University qualification in order to get into Uni - (80% chance of completing this)

- do a four year Uni course in business management, or even better a tech degree (50% chance of completing this)

- on graduation, struggle to join a third rate IT system integrator that pretends to be a management consultancy (10% chance of attaining this)

- spend 3-5 years there and be absolutely the single top employee in the firm (1% chance of achieving this)

- continuously apply to join a second rate system integrator, until they finally offer you an interview because they are massively short of low level techies to work on their worst ever project (1% chance of this happening)

- work at there for 5 years while constantly applying to a tech consultancy firm like Cap Gemini, each year again being the absolutely top employee (0.01 % of achieving this)

- get a similar offer from Cap Gemini on a day where they are absolutely desperate for cannon fodder (0.001% chance of this happening)

So... it can be done, in the same way that I could retrain to be a surgeon, and qualify just in time to retire.

Reply  Quote   
 
#11 RE: Getting into consulting
09/04/2014 01:39

Albie to Mr Cool (#10)

Thanks to all the answer guys!

Im getting a rough idea as to how hard it can be to get into consulting.

I'm trying to wrap my head around things because I'm being told so many different pieces of information from many different sources and trying to filter the truth from mere sales pitch is proving to be a task in itself.

I just wanted to clear a few things up, again if it seems like I'm asking questions that already have been answered or seem common sense I'm sorry. Being out of education for the past 6-7 years and only concentrating on soul grinding jobs has unfortunately not aided in my understanding in matters such as this.

Correct me if I'm wrong but is an MBA not a higher qualification than a degree? I was doing some research into taking an MBA and it seems to me that a few other universities including Westminster Uni offer an MBA to people without a degree as long as the relevant managerial experience is there and they pass the vetting process.

The MBA at Open University is triple accredited (AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB).

I'm no fool, I'm not expecting a well paid consulting gig from the get go, that would be well...insulting to the industry if I were. However, in a hypothetical world, if I were to be accepted into the MBA programme would it increase my chances of at least landing an internship at a consulting firm? Heck i'll take a cleaning job there if I have to.

My few years running a small business was a McDonalds branch (It wasn't the busiest store around, but we would gross £2m+) after that I joined a family restaurant that was failing and on the brink of closing down (blowing my own horn) but after I joined as restaurant manager and implemented changes, the restaurant is now looking at opening 2 more branches in the North London area.

Reply  Quote   
 
#12 RE: Getting into consulting
09/04/2014 09:05

Mr Cool to Albie (#11)

No - none of the major consultancy firms target recruit from Westminster MBA class.

If you doubt this, ask their careers service how many past MBA graduates have taken up positions with Big4 consultancy firms directly after graduating. If they cannot tell you, then the answer is none.

Then look at London Business School and Insead (France) and look at their career site online. 35% or so of their MBA grads will go not just to consultancy but to the top consultancies.

The compare the entry criteria and fees of London/INSEAD versus Westminster.

The look at this forum for all the "I did an MBA and now I'm back in a tech role" posts. None of them are from London/INSEAD/Harvard. They're all from dodgy "give us you dosh" uni's

Reply  Quote   
 
#13 RE: Getting into consulting
09/04/2014 09:19

Smithy to Albie (#11)

Unfortunately (or fortunately), like the consulting industry itself, MBAs are as much about networking as about doing the work. Westminster Uni MBA will, in all likelihood, provide you with a network of individuals in situations similar to yours. That will not help you.

As the others have mentioned, there's a reason for the price difference....

Reply  Quote   
 
#14 RE: Getting into consulting
09/04/2014 10:38

Dan! Dan! Dan! to Albie (#11)

Albie, beware of the kind of white lies people close to you will tell you to preserve your 'feelings'.

From McDonald's branch manager to business consultant, with the aide of a few courses in leadership skills, given by a guy with a CIMA qualification who runs a garage, is just NOT going to happen. "No.... Eh.... But.... Wha..... Na...... NOT going to happen!"

Furthermore, your entire approach seems entirely misaligned to what would be required to achieve such a goal. Here are three examples:

1. Continuously stressing your irrelevant experience: if you ever were hired as a consultant and staffed on a project, they'd probably tell you never to mention the word McDonablds, for fear of ruining their credibility

2. Taking shortcuts: you appear to be looking for the quickest/easiest way in. i.e. "what kind of cr@ppy MBA programmes might take me quickly with no academic preparation??" If you were serious you would start from absolute scratch and slog, hard! for a long time! (as almost all other consultants have)

3. Desperation: "Heck i'll take a cleaning job there if I have to". That won't impress anyone. Firms want to hire consultants they feel they would be lucky to get. They want you to almost be too good for them. E.g. McKinsey wants the high-flier who would go into Politics, but just about doesn't have what it takes to be Prime Minister. AT Kearney wants the guy who just about can't get into McKinsey. And so on...

Albie, you've missed the boat!

Reply  Quote   
 
#15 RE: Getting into consulting
09/04/2014 10:54

Anon MCs to Albie (#11)

Hi Albie,

Appreciate all the advice given here. However, I have a close friend who was in the same situation as you, below:

He left school with ok A-Levels. Went straight to work. After a decade of working his way up, got stuck in lower middle management. Graduates coming in took jobs above him.

On top of having kids and a wife and a long hours job, did his degree part time. A couple of years ago graduated with a 1:1 (sensibly he realised that as his degree was from an ok Uni, he needed a top grade for it to count. He was right)

Thereafter he got promotion within a year with more money. He quit his job later, for another promotion and more money in another firm. He now travels worldwide (no joke, literally every week everywhere) as an xxx (sorry may give away who I am if I say what he does). He is loving it, extra money, now verging on Senior mangt role for the company he is in.

What did he do that you are not is what I'm thinking? I chatted with him:

1) Sadly, a Degree is key. He does not feel anymore knowledgeable, but it has OPENED DOORS that were previously well and truly shut. Within a couple of years he has a far more Senior job earning way more money with responsibility that used to be his boss's boss

2) He got a degree linked to his 10 years experience, then got promotions related to that experience and degree

Point number 2 is where I think you may be going slightly wrong. You are good in the food industry, how about a degree focused on Food Technology etc or MBA with your dissertation on Food etc, then going off to get a job as say specialised in Food Auditor Consultancy (horse scandal helped this one) or such?

This may be your best "in". A degree or MBA where you become an Expert on a particular area of Food Technology and go from there.

I'm afraid that Coolio and others are correct, MCs have sooooooooooo much choice of applicants, there will be nothing that stands out from your CV, I'm sorry. However, being a specialist in your area may be best

Reply  Quote   
 
#16 RE: Getting into consulting
09/04/2014 15:08

Arby the Manager to Anon MCs (#15)

I'm even seriously wondering if the OP is trolling here... It's almost too naive to be believable... Comments like "I managed McDonalds, it wasn't the biggest one around, but still...."

All in all - the brutal truth is that you are simply so under-educated and you have missed out on so many formative years in an environment which trains you to think critically, ask tough questions and interact with driven, ambitious people with serious visions on success - that you are simply so ill equipped that you need a BETTER education rather than looking to cut corners with Mickey Mouse courses....

However - seriously, your "life skills" could be great at something entrepreneurial. Most of the best educated people around usually miss the blindingly obvious or stunningly simply solutions. Why not look to use your skills at running your own business? Why not start your own line of burgers, why not look to develop a range of McDonald's franchises. I'm not being flippant (no burger pun intended) - honestly - but why have a cr@p career in business on the margins, being ridiculed by all and sundried-tomatos, when you can have a relish having a flipping great career in burgers, meating all your eggspectations. Lettuce not get bogged down in ham-fisted comments around Consultancy....

Reply  Quote   
 
#17 RE: Getting into consulting
09/04/2014 15:16

marsday to Arby the Manager (#16)

I'm even seriously wondering if the OP is trolling here... It's almost too naive to be believable... Comments like "I managed McDonalds, it wasn't the biggest one around, but still...."

All in all - the brutal truth is that you are simply so under-educated and you have missed out on so many formative years in an environment which trains you to think critically, ask tough questions and interact with driven, ambitious people with serious visions on success - that you are simply so ill equipped that you need a BETTER education rather than looking to cut corners with Mickey Mouse courses....

However - seriously, your "life skills" could be great at something entrepreneurial. Most of the best educated people around usually miss the blindingly obvious or stunningly simply solutions. Why not look to use your skills at running your own business? Why not start your own line of burgers, why not look to develop a range of McDonald's franchises. I'm not being flippant (no burger pun intended) - honestly - but why have a cr@p career in business on the margins, being ridiculed by all and sundried-tomatos, when you can have a relish having a flipping great career in burgers, meating all your eggspectations. Lettuce not get bogged down in ham-fisted comments around Consultancy....

Arby that was - without a doubt - post of the day. Maybe even post of the last 48 hours.

Reply  Quote   
 
#18 RE: Getting into consulting
09/04/2014 21:56

Mr Cool to marsday (#17)

Buns are the lowest form of wit...

Reply  Quote   
 
#19 RE: Getting into consulting
22/04/2014 16:20

Albie to Albie (#1)

I just wanted to thank everyone for their input and helping me understand the consulting world.

I'v decided to do an Access to Higher Education course which will get me into university.

I have spoken to LBS and they have told me that as long as I ace my AHE I would be considered for a scholarship.

I was looking at doing a degree in International Business or Business Law followed by an MBA.

Thanks again for the help everyone!

Reply  Quote   
 
#20 RE: Getting into consulting
22/04/2014 17:19

Happy to Albie (#19)

Which "LBS" have you spoken to?

The one that you should have spoken to does not offer any undergraduate courses, it is purely a postgrad institution, therefore I fear you may be talking to the wrong school...

Reply  Quote   
 
#21 RE: Getting into consulting
22/04/2014 20:34

GrayArea to Happy (#20)

Perhaps he means London School of Business and Finance (LSBF).

A very close sounding name but a very very very very different institution!!

Please note going to LSBF if very unlikely to lead into a consulting role at the more prestigious consulting firms.

Reply  Quote   
 
#22 RE: Getting into consulting
23/04/2014 13:07

Mr Cool to GrayArea (#21)

Llandudno Business School?

Cut the guy some slack. He's come on here with completely erroneous but deeply held beliefs, ignored advice from experts, found his own dubious source of corroborating information, and formed a final conclusion based on his initial sales pitch.

He'll make a great consultant!

Reply  Quote   
 
#23 RE: Getting into consulting
24/04/2014 01:26

Albie to Albie (#1)

I completely understand what everyone is saying. I should forget about starting my career in the big 4 without a top class uni degree.

But I'm clingy onto the belief that I can end up there through other means. That's where the decision to go to uni came in (literally thanks to this forum I made that decision).

I mean iv spent the last 7-9 years trying to figure out what my passion is and what it is that I'm going to do in life and honestly, I can't imagine myself being happier in anything else other than consulting.

I went to a really good school in London, my parents ended up forking over a lot of money (some would say wasted, I disagree, I learnt valuable skills). But I did make wrong decisions, a lot of wrong decisions in fact, but i wouldn't change any of it because if learnt so much. I have friends coming out of uni who have no real life experience, who cannot get a job with whatever degree it is they took.

None of you know me and none of you know what I'm capable of. I may not have an enormous portfolio of success stories, but I'm bloody proud of what iv managed to accomplish to date. I'm not only a fast learner (only found that out in the last couple years) but extremely dedicated, to what some would say is an unhealthy level.

That's why I cling to the hope that good old fashioned elbow grease and working above and beyond the call of duty (and a uni degree) will eventually put in the right path to get to the big 4.

Sorry for ranting, I'v had a crappy day! I had a job interview which turned out to be for that ridiculous "Cobra Group scam", honestly how they are still operating is beyond me.

Reply  Quote   
 
#24 RE: Getting into consulting
24/04/2014 07:53

marsday to Albie (#23)

I'm not only a fast learner (only found that out in the last couple years)

;)

Reply  Quote   
 
#25 RE: Getting into consulting
24/04/2014 08:39

Arby the Manager to marsday (#24)

Well (if you are actually a serious poster) I say go for it. It's entirely up to you if you want to run up 9 grand a year at a noddy University, end up as Big 4 application fodder where, and I guarantee you, 95% of the applicants will be younger and better qualified. You'll then be rejected by the top companies, the mid tiers and you'll end up one some sort of "Co-Op Future Leaders Progam in IT Support" where you'll while away your 30s, 40s and 50s.

We've given you the benefit of our experience, we've suggested more successful ways you can achieve the type of working environment you want to achieve, and you are ignoring it all. So please, keep us informed, as I for one would like to see how this one turns out...

Reply  Quote   
 
#26 RE: Getting into consulting
24/04/2014 08:42

Arby the Manager to Albie (#23)

I've had a crappy day! I had a job interview which turned out to be for that ridiculous "Cobra Group scam", honestly how they are still operating is beyond me.

And I think that honestly should tell you everything you need to know about your business / common sense....

Reply  Quote   
 
#27 RE: Getting into consulting
25/04/2014 09:48

Anon MCs to Arby the Manager (#26)

Come on guys, I agree with Coolio - cut him some slack.

It is great to see someone with sooo much enthusiasm. It bought me a smile reading his last few posts.

Albie - best of luck.

HOWEVER Please please at least consider "Food Technology" or whatever its name is. You could do very well joining an auditing firm or specialist consultancy firm in the Food Industry after your degree. Use your work background to your advantage.

Nonetheless, if consultancy big 4 really is your thing, then go for it. Like a hopeful actor joining the masses to Los Angeles confident that they will make it, it won't hurt for you to at least try. I wish you well.

Reply  Quote   
 
#28 RE: Getting into consulting
05/05/2014 12:35

BMGIIndia to Anon MCs (#27)

Getting into consultancy is a good choice for career development. But I would suggest to make it strategic. Some global management companies offer strategic consultancy trainings to unlock the potential to deliver the results. Some more information can be had: http://www.bmgindia.com/bmg-strategy/strategy-overview

Reply  Quote   
 
#29 RE: Getting into consulting
24/05/2014 15:27

CJ to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#8)

cj

Reply  Quote   
 
#30 RE: Getting into consulting
24/05/2014 15:28

CJ to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#8)

Albie, do a small bit of research yourself and listen to what people on here are telling you. No degree + open university will NOT help you get a job as a mgt consultant. You may aswell try become a pilot with a provisional motorbike license.

Also, don't go down the path of fooling yourself that a few years running a small business somehow equips you to become a consultant. Your work as a junior consultant will not look like an episode of Mary Queen of Shops. You'll be given huge swathes of data and asked to crunch it, run correlation analyses, segment it, find optimal levels of this, that and the other, etc, or given sketches on pieces of paper and asked to turn them into professional PowerPoint slides.

If I were to take a stab at your best possible chance of becoming a consultant (if you're not going to do a degree), I'd guess:

  • Join a small accounting/audit practice and get a CIMA/ACCA qualification (many firms don't demand degrees for trainee accountants)
  • Work hard and build solid skills during the three years (min) it will likely take you to obtain the qualification
  • See if you can join a slightly larger practice that does occasional consultancy-type stuff, and try get involved in some of that

Other consulting 'qualifications', just like any MBA that's not from a prestigious school, will be worth no more than the paper they're written on to consulting firms.

I think you will find that the Financial Times review of MBAs ranks the OU MBA 13th in the World and it is one of the few triple credited MBAs.

Reply  Quote   
 
#31 RE: Getting into consulting
24/05/2014 16:07

agentsmith to Albie (#23)

Albie,

Entirely possible - although you'd need to rule some places out (elite MBB type places).

My educational background is non typical, I did an access course then a degree later in life and joined a blue chip grad scheme in my mid to late 20's. Now, 7 years on, working at Accenture about a year or so away from senior manager level.

It's possible, the knock on impact is that they'll be some younger people at the same level, who've started in Consulting aged 21, but so what? Typically I get on with clients better due to industry and world experience.

The road is long, but good luck!

ASmith

Reply  Quote   
 
#32 RE: Getting into consulting
26/05/2014 02:52

PatrickMcIntyre to agentsmith (#31)

The road is long

With many a winding turn.

Reply  Quote   
 
#33 RE: Getting into consulting
27/05/2014 07:25

presidentbartlet to agentsmith (#31)

My educational background is non typical, I did an access course then a degree later in life and joined a blue chip grad scheme in my mid to late 20's. Now, 7 years on, working at Accenture about a year or so away from senior manager level.

You're presupposing they actually do some SM promotions in the next year!

Reply  Quote   
 
#34 RE: Getting into consulting
28/05/2014 06:32

agentsmith to presidentbartlet (#33)

If there's another round of no / low promotions at manager level I'd be interested to see the affect on attrition. I really think the business model starts to fall apart without a constant flow of people between all levels. Performance management doesn't work without a carrot.

Reply  Quote   
 
#35 RE: Getting into consulting
28/05/2014 16:13

Smithy to agentsmith (#34)

It's all about incentives, but one has to get the incentives right....

Reply  Quote   

Top of Page

ThreadID: 86046

Advertise
Your Jobs!