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A New Beginning...

 
#1 A New Beginning...
30/01/2016 12:18

Wolfy93

TL:DR By choosing operational management, full cima qualification, am i closing doors before opening them with regards to financial services (banking/investment)? & what exactly will i be doing anyways?!

As of ~October 2016, i'll be starting my career as a Graduate Management Consultant at KPMG. My background is in science and law, and i'll be honest, part of me has absolutely no idea as to what to expect come October.

Of course i've done extensive research and i'm interested, but like most advisory jobs, you don't know what it's going to be like until you've got the client. I'm not working in the city so i don't expect to be working the high profile cases, but my location is seeing clients move from the city to them due to HS2, who can guess where i am?!

The other day i received an email to choose which sector i'd prefer to work within. "Operational Transformation", "People & Change" or "Financial Management". Although the email contained information on each, let's face it, it was a broad overview at best with no indication of actual day to day work.

Unfortunately my location meant financial management was a no go, so my first choice was operational management followed by people and change. So far we aren't guaranteed to get our first preference as it "depends on the businesses needs", but i feel confident that i stood out during the application process and hopefully will land my first preference.

I'd just like to know as to whether or not i'll be closing doors before i even open them? Will my chosen sector give me broad experience for both progression and into industry, can i go into finance later in life? What are my opportunities for alternative careers should i decide i want a change?

I apologise for the many questions and lengthy post!

Also, any tips for someone just about to dip their toes into the management consultancy industry (particularly within the big 4) would be very appreciated!

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#2 RE: A New Beginning...
30/01/2016 12:46

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Wolfy93 (#1)

I don't understand this

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#3 RE: A New Beginning...
30/01/2016 16:33

Richthekeeper to Wolfy93 (#1)

my employer doesn't require its graduates to make this decision until they have been working for some time so I can only go on what you've said.

there's no straight answer to your question. however if you want to get into financial management then you should choose that sector. surely this is obvious? if your location doesn't allow it, move. Birmingham is a bit crap anyway isn't it.

can you go into finance in later life? well, possibly, but it's less likely. I'm in operations and I wouldn't know the first thing about the FS practice.

tips for budding management consultants? leave your ego at the door and be prepared to not be the brightest guy in the room. don't worry, that won't make you any less effective.

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#4 RE: A New Beginning...
30/01/2016 17:26

Ronin to Wolfy93 (#1)

First - You should drop your 'TL:DR' attitude immediately, as consulting is one of the professions where you will have to read constantly, and sometimes they are "TL"

Second - There is a confusion between 'Financial Management' and 'Financial Services'.

You can easily specialise in Operations (the function) and work in Financial Services (the industry), yet it does not lead to work on activities related to financial management. Unless you are dying to work on Transaction Services, Corporate Finance or M&A (which are all functions), you are fine. Operations is quite a versatile alignment and I have seen numerous people come and join into FS from other industries later in their life. Yet I can not find where you specified your industry alignment.

Third - To a new starter, my suggestions would be: Try to learn as much as you can, find out what you would like to do/work on, act pro-actively to align yourself to things you like. You should not forget that it is competitive in Big4 and usually the caliber of hires are high, so you need to demonstrate how good you are for endorsement.

This is a profession where you do not get trained in a school, and what you will learn in early part of your career will depend on which project you land on and with whom you will work with (managers and stakeholders). Usually keeping calm and making most of it helps better than fretting about it. Also, always try to plan for the next steps, as your ambitious colleagues will be doing.

Forth - Try to write in better structure or Bushy's comments will haunt you.

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#5 RE: A New Beginning...
31/01/2016 12:29

Consultant1 to Wolfy93 (#1)

Hi Wolfy

I would recommend taking your first two years to learn as much as possible not only about the function you work in (Operations, Finance, etc) but also about the various sectors (Financial Services, Consumer Products, Oil&Gas, etc).

After a year or two, you should have a better idea of what everything is and what you want to do (it took me approx 5 years). You will most likely be able to shuffle around the firm, if you're a good performer and have built up a network.

As Ronin pointed out, you should practise keeping notes / e-mails short and snappy. Senior Managers (and above) won't read messages of the length and structure as the one you posted therefore you'll not get a helpful response.

Best of luck.

C

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#6 RE: A New Beginning...
01/02/2016 13:01

marsday to Wolfy93 (#1)

TL:DR - don't send it then. Why you have to start a request for advice by (effectively) denouncing responsibility for what you have written is beyond me.

Change your writing style with immediate effect. Drop this 'feel' and 'hopefully' from your vocabulary, it will make you seem uncertain, unclear, and lacking in any sense of inherent self worth (and instead reliant on external sources).

It is I'm not i'm.

And what's this 'dip your toes' nonsense - if you are going to do this, commit to it. If you go into KPMG thinking you'l give it a go, you'll fail. And they will decide that before you do.

Smarten up, focus on what you are doing, and drop this wishy-washy undergraduate style of presentation. Then you'll be ok.

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#7 RE: A New Beginning...
01/02/2016 16:33

Mr Cool to marsday (#6)

I'm just hoping English is his third language!

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#8 RE: A New Beginning...
01/02/2016 18:02

Frio to Mr Cool (#7)

I very much doubt that you will have a different status that anyone else on your intake, even if you are correct and stood out during the application process.

Join with a level head, keep your eye out for opportunities, never be late in delivering your work (or if you are, then warn someone in sufficient time that it's not a problem), proof read your communications several times before sending, review an early straw-man of your deliverables with your manager and you should do fine.

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#9 RE: A New Beginning...
02/02/2016 05:03

Camster to Mr Cool (#7)

I'm just hoping English is his third language!

It's my fifth. Maybe 6th.

Oh Cam, you're such a show off.

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#10 RE: A New Beginning...
02/02/2016 07:32

Frio to Camster (#9)

You really are! English is my first language but I speak 2 others to a very good standard and a 1 more to a reasonable conversational standard.

I do however really really struggle to switch between languages. If I've been speaking Spanish all day then need to switch to French then I constantly keep finding Spanish words. Any tips?

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#11 RE: A New Beginning...
02/02/2016 10:38

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Frio (#10)

so impressive, i can only speak english

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#12 RE: A New Beginning...
02/02/2016 10:49

Camster to Frio (#10)

French? Isn't that a Girls Aloud song? It seems that Cheryl might be single again. Wait a minute! So am I! :)

Hmmm... don't know how to advise. Being a mongrel, one side of the family made sure we could speak Latin languages. However, my old man made sure we had an excellent command of English. I remember... from an early age, had to go through books like Angus McIver's First Aid in English. LOL. Parts of speech. "A verb is a 'doing' word or a word of action".

I myself mix up things like certamente/ciertamente, latte/leche, etc. Is it a mix-up like this? E.g. monde/mundo? Or more like searching for words?

It might simply be usage. I don't have any opportunity to speak Italian these days. Saying that, I go on Italian websites, etc. Yes, they do have pics of good-looking girls, but I promise, I do read the articles :)

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#13 RE: A New Beginning...
02/02/2016 11:41

Frio to Camster (#12)

I myself mix up things like certamente/ciertamente, latte/leche, etc. Is it a mix-up like this? E.g. monde/mundo? Or more like searching for words?

Yeah, pretty much like this - however it's probably not a massive problem for the listener because although the word is slightly different the sentence as a whole is understandable.

I traveled to Argentina for the first time earlier this year, now that's a different kettle of fish!

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#14 RE: A New Beginning...
03/02/2016 03:20

Camster to Frio (#13)

I traveled to Argentina for the first time earlier this year, now that's a different kettle of fish!

Language? Or the women? :) I think language, no? 'Cos surely you are not referring to Argentinian women as fish? :p (joking!)

Anyway... it's about time I got myself into gear. Need to get myself a role I guess. A new beginning, like the title of this thread. I think I am healthy enough.

Mars, if you can offer advice, I'm all ears.

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#15 RE: A New Beginning...
03/02/2016 08:11

marsday to Camster (#14)

What's your background/situation Camster?

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#16 RE: A New Beginning...
03/02/2016 08:12

Frio to marsday (#15)

International man of mystery?

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#17 RE: A New Beginning...
03/02/2016 21:17

Mr Cool to Frio (#16)

Camster,

Surely you are already back in work. I distinctly saw that the new Milk Tray Man had been chosen...

"Sliding down a rope ladder from a helicopter directly into the bedroom of an Italian Contessa. Me. Surely not...."

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#18 RE: A New Beginning...
04/02/2016 02:38

Camster to marsday (#15)

What's your background/situation Camster?

Mars,

Spent a decade in industry (telecoms/TMT). Then, consulting. Last role before illness was with the biggest mobile group in LatAm, doing strategy.

Thought of a 2016 start, but market turmoil and negative sentiment meant no headcount sign-off for a couple of interesting roles.

I feel like I am OK to get back to work, health-wise. I don't know if I am mentally ready.

P.S. Qualifications. Engineering first degree from a Russell Group uni. Chartered accountant, where I focussed on Tax. Good at telecoms due diligence and M&A.

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