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Fast Stream to consulting?

#1 Fast Stream to consulting?
22/06/2016 22:24



I graduated from Oxbridge with a law degree and worked for a year at a university abroad before joining the Civil Service Fast Stream. At the moment I'm rotating between strategy teams in different government departments every 6 months in the first 2 years of the scheme. I earn £27k and will earn £47k+ in 3-4 years at the end of the scheme.

My colleagues are intelligent, the work is really interesting and the hours reasonably (9:30-6:30 on average), but I'm interested in moving to consultancy to get some proper corporate experience and better pay.

I don't see my career in government or London in the long-term. I would like to work in management in industry, ideally in a European city. I speak 2 European languages.

Should I twist now? What are my options?

Or should I wait until I've finished my 6 month rotations and then move?

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#2 RE: Fast Stream to consulting?
23/06/2016 17:02

Mr Cool to elgee (#1)

Apply to join one of the international banks (HSBC, citi, stand chartered, etc) and get on their expat rota. You'll get 40k today and be shipped out to an international posting ( Hong Kong, Europe, Singapore, Africa, Middle East) all with local expenses thrown in...

Oil companies, mining firms and commodity (tea, coffee, cocoa, rubber, textiles) firms also have similar schemes...

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#3 RE: Fast Stream to consulting?
23/06/2016 22:24

Camster to Mr Cool (#2)

You have stated that you enjoy the current work, it is really interesting and the hours are reasonable. I believe you know what you want.

You added that you want to work in industry, ideally in the continent.

I would suggest this. Finish the rotations. Once this is done, apply to do your MBA, preferably at INSEAD. You will then have options upon graduating... which is always a good thing.

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#4 RE: Fast Stream to consulting?
23/06/2016 23:43

Don Leslie to Camster (#3)


Finish the programme and get promoted to G7/Principal - or whatever the equivalent is in your Department.

You could start off in Government consulting with the likes of PA Consulting or the Big Four and move across to other market sectors, as many Fast Streamers have done since the 1980s.

A better bet would be - if you are good enough - to join a strat house. McKinsey or BCG (Bain much less likely to look at civil servants). McKinsey particularly is fond of Fast Streamers.

Mr Cool's suggestion to apply now for a blue chip corporate is valid, although your attractiveness to them may depend on the relevance of your Departmental experience to the organisation concerned.

Camster's advice to go for an MBA at INSEAD (I'd also suggest IMD and LBS) also makes sense. In the days when I used to hire civil servants into consultancy, there were Civil Service schemes to sponsor Fast Streamers at Business School, with rather weak fee clawback terms. Worth checking whether these are still offered.

Finally, if you can get a Private Office and an EU rotation posting, these are the most prestigious - in the eyes of the consultancies and blue-chips - Civil Service appointments.

Whatever you decide, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. You have a strong foundation on which to build.

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