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Start career at Boutique

 
#1 Start career at Boutique
23/09/2015 17:07

CalcConsultant

Hi guys,

I'm a recent Grad from a good UK University and just got an offer from a small boutique strategy consultancy (around 50 people). I'm wondering if the risks are high starting off at a boutique. Is it relatively impossible to move to bigger firms further down the line (Deloittes/AT Kearneys/etc.)? I have interviews with bigger firms lined up too.

Thanks

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#2 RE: Start career at Boutique
23/09/2015 21:53

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to CalcConsultant (#1)

Bigger does not equal better.

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#3 RE: Start career at Boutique
24/09/2015 08:45

Frio to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#2)

From what I've seen, working at a boutique will not harm your chances of joining the Deloittes of the world.

It's important of course to do your research on the boutique, when joining Deloitte, EY, PWC etc as a grad you know what you will get. It's more difficult to understand that in joining a boutique.

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#4 RE: Start career at Boutique
24/09/2015 14:34

SenorMick to Frio (#3)

I agree. I actually think the bigger risk is joining a big firm and not being able to move in the other direction.

Do your homework on the boutique and the area they're in. Ideally you'd be looking for something quite specialist in a growing market. Specialism could be an industry, but would preferably be a functional area (e.g. pricing, niche marketing etc..).

It doesn't need to be a super prestigious brand but you should do your homework on the leadership and staff to give you confidence they are reputable (good qualifications, some experience in larger firms, repeat clients etc.)

If you progress well and the market for the type of work you do grows (or at least sustains itself if more mature) then you should be in a good position to make moves in the future. Plus you'll probably have an advantage over your potential future peers who have been in the larger firms during that time.

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#5 RE: Start career at Boutique
24/09/2015 16:35

marsday to CalcConsultant (#1)

Depends on who it is and what they do. Niche/specialist can be a major plus, but you need to be confident they really are exceptional at what they do - or moving to this boutique will count against you in due course. Do the leaders come from firms with a best in market reputation for what this boutique does? Where do people go on to from this place (look on linked in - where do people go? If you see lots coming out and going contacting beware, this isnt easy to verify and some could actually be struggling to move on).

Do some basic DD online - can you find anything about how they are funded? External investors or all from profit?

Weigh these points carefully before you sign that offer.

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#6 RE: Start career at Boutique
26/09/2015 11:14

CalcConsultant to marsday (#5)

Mars and SenorMick, thanks. This is basically exactly what I've done.

Generally people leave to go to other smaller consultancies. Leadership is run by people from industry rather than people from reputable consultancies. Generally no link to any consulting firm which I recognise whether it's a past employee joining or an employee leaving to join one.

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#7 RE: Start career at Boutique
26/09/2015 11:54

CalcConsultant to CalcConsultant (#6)

Also I'd like to add that I wouldn't really say they are specialist. They tend to do work within a certain industry but they don't specialise in it. Also they don't really specialise in a certain functional area either.

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#8 RE: Start career at Boutique
28/09/2015 12:55

marsday to CalcConsultant (#7)

Also I'd like to add that I wouldn't really say they are specialist. They tend to do work within a certain industry but they don't specialise in it. Also they don't really specialise in a certain functional area either.

More red flags than a North Korean flag convention held on Chinese New Year.

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#9 RE: Start career at Boutique
28/09/2015 17:24

SenorMick to marsday (#8)

Agree with the flags. Sounds like you may find exit options to bigger consultancies limited.

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#10 RE: Start career at Boutique
29/12/2015 08:53

semon to CalcConsultant (#1)

It's a good career opportunity.

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