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Management Consulting Discussion - Page 15

post #211 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by yjeezle View Post
i keep forgetting whether or not this question was answered, but how do you deal with work life balance?

i'm not afraid of long work hours (i work ~60 hours per week... not a lot by any stretch but it's more than your average 8-5er) and I have a steady relationship

but how do you deal with work life when you're going away for quite possibly 65% of your weeks?

i realize that each situation/project is different, but in general, how do most people deal with it?

After a while, you just get used to it. Where I work, we usually do a 4-1 (fly out Monday, fly back in Thursday evenings), and Fridays are pretty much WFH. Depending on the nature of the engagement, you would either be doing crazy hours for short bursts of time (i.e. sprints) or tough but bearable hours for long amounts of time (i.e. marathons).

And of course, that's not including sales trips, conferences, random in-firm consulting to help other projects etc.

What I've found is that typically, the transition from industry to consulting is quite difficult given the hours and the travel, although the transition from other industries (say, banking) is not as difficult since they are used to working crazier hours than we are anyway.
post #212 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlin View Post
After a while, you just get used to it. Where I work, we usually do a 4-1 (fly out Monday, fly back in Thursday evenings), and Fridays are pretty much WFH. Depending on the nature of the engagement, you would either be doing crazy hours for short bursts of time (i.e. sprints) or tough but bearable hours for long amounts of time (i.e. marathons).

And of course, that's not including sales trips, conferences, random in-firm consulting to help other projects etc.

What I've found is that typically, the transition from industry to consulting is quite difficult given the hours and the travel, although the transition from other industries (say, banking) is not as difficult since they are used to working crazier hours than we are anyway.


Agree - after a few years you just get used to it. I probably work 65-70 hours per week on average; am away from home two nights a week; and take something in the region of 100 flights a year. But all things considered, I would say that it is a totally manageable lifestyle. Of course, it was worse when I was more junior (mainly what was frustrating is not having control over your hours, and the unpredictability of crunces), and I couldn't do it without a very supporting wife
post #213 of 502
so what's a more "junior" employee's experience like? so is it fair to assume that after a few years you'll have more manageable hours and, to some extent, be able to deal with the unpredictability of time crunches? a little background on myself: i'm currently working for a global 100 employer in reverse logistics. i'm also planning on getting my mba within a few years. i'm really interested in operations and how to reduce cost and increase value in operations (either repair, manufacturing, etc.). is there a market for type of consultant and how competitive is this industry? what companies should i be looking at? my typical day usually ends up with me coming into the office at ~7AM and leaving sometime ~7PM. Some days we do have conference calls with our overseas subsidiaries, so there are days where we can stay a little bit longer.
post #214 of 502
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yjeezle View Post
so what's a more "junior" employee's experience like? so is it fair to assume that after a few years you'll have more manageable hours and, to some extent, be able to deal with the unpredictability of time crunches?

In my experience, yes. The hours will still be rough at times such as when you have "progress reviews" which are essentially early deliverables at a mid-way or so milestone that are presented to the client to make sure there is agreement on direction of the team.
post #215 of 502
(sorry, had not seen this thread when I posted a link elsewhere. This seems an even better place to add this for discussion Highly recommend (McK alum) Yves Smith's post: "the problem with consulting is you are hired by the problem... The most profitable clients are the most diseased. And the corollary, as stated by a former colleague: McKinsey is in the business of propping up diseased managements." http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/...onsulting.html
post #216 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by yjeezle View Post
so what's a more "junior" employee's experience like? so is it fair to assume that after a few years you'll have more manageable hours and, to some extent, be able to deal with the unpredictability of time crunches? a little background on myself: i'm currently working for a global 100 employer in reverse logistics. i'm also planning on getting my mba within a few years. i'm really interested in operations and how to reduce cost and increase value in operations (either repair, manufacturing, etc.). is there a market for type of consultant and how competitive is this industry? what companies should i be looking at? my typical day usually ends up with me coming into the office at ~7AM and leaving sometime ~7PM. Some days we do have conference calls with our overseas subsidiaries, so there are days where we can stay a little bit longer.
I know that Navigant does consulting in logistics. Some of the Big 4's advisory practices (particularly PwC and Deloitte) also do manufacturing logistics, but mostly in Europe and the Middle East. Assuming I've a domestic client, I usually have a 6 am flight on Mondays, so I wake up ~4 AM and get ready and head to the airport. I typically work from 7 am - 8 pm on most days, and on days when I've a major deliverable (or when the partner/client needs something immediately), it could be worse. And then, I take the Thursday late evening flight out back home, and get home around midnight. I usually put 12-15 hours of work Mon-Thu, and my Fridays are usually spent on status calls, sales calls etc. Depending on your level, you will be judged on firm contributions (i.e. intellectual capital, helping with business development, training, recruiting etc). So, I usually spend my Fridays (and the rest of my week -- usually on my flights) working on some of those materials. As far as weekends go, I typically work only a third of my weekends in a year, and it has improved from a couple of years ago when I was more junior, when it was half my weekends. Although, as you get closer to being a partner, it will go up again, because I see Principals as being as overworked as Analysts and Associates.
Quote:
Originally Posted by uNiCoRnPriNcEsSx View Post
if you develop specialized knowledge within an industry, you can work for a vc or startup
+Infinity. At the of the day, most consulting gigs are 70% fluff and 30% substance. Doing your own thing is way more fun.
post #217 of 502
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel_Cairo View Post
(sorry, had not seen this thread when I posted a link elsewhere. This seems an even better place to add this for discussion

Highly recommend (McK alum) Yves Smith's post:

"the problem with consulting is you are hired by the problem... The most profitable clients are the most diseased. And the corollary, as stated by a former colleague: McKinsey is in the business of propping up diseased managements."

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/...onsulting.html

I basically said this on the Gupta thread I started:

Quote:
Not only is the downside considerable, but it also isn't as if these moves would have made a meaningful difference in his lifestyle. He already had status others would kill for. And passing profitable tips to Raj Rajaratnam was never going to be a ticket to Hedgistan levels of wealth.

I do believe that the view that McK is in the "business of propping up diseased managements" is a bit unfair. At the least McKinsey helps many good to great companies perform better as well. In my experience there McKinsey is also fairly selective at working on meaningful projects or they will walk away.
post #218 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlin View Post
I know that Navigant does consulting in logistics. Some of the Big 4's advisory practices (particularly PwC and Deloitte) also do manufacturing logistics, but mostly in Europe and the Middle East.

I usually put 12-15 hours of work Mon-Thu, and my Fridays are usually spent on status calls, sales calls etc. Depending on your level, you will be judged on firm contributions (i.e. intellectual capital, helping with business development, training, recruiting etc). So, I usually spend my Fridays (and the rest of my week -- usually on my flights) working on some of those materials.

As far as weekends go, I typically work only a third of my weekends in a year, and it has improved from a couple of years ago when I was more junior, when it was half my weekends. Although, as you get closer to being a partner, it will go up again, because I see Principals as being as overworked as Analysts and Associates.
Could you clarify what you mean about your Fridays?
post #219 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by yjeezle View Post
Could you clarify what you mean about your Fridays?
Well, my Fridays are usually spent on getting my engagement partners caught up on the details of the work we're doing, new developments and opportunities client relationship development etc. In consulting, your performance is a combination of your role on your engagement as well as your role in helping the firm. For instance, your performance on engagements on an annual basis would be the quality of your deliverables, your utilization (i.e. how much time you spent on the bench vs. at a client), your chargeability/billability etc. Your role in helping the firm would be how much revenue you brought in through new business development and sales, how much intellectual capital you generated through publications and new IC, how much you helped the firm in other intangible ways through your efforts in recruiting, branding etc. So, it is expected that in addition to the work you're doing, you are also helping the firm with other things. In fact, the higher you go, your engagement performance becomes less and less important (i.e. around 50% of your review) and your firm contribution becomes more vital. Or perhaps, your firm contributions become just as important as your engagement performance, if not more. So, my Fridays are pretty much filled with those activities, and less of actual work. It's also a great day to get caught up to other folks within the firm, go to your local office, meet a few partners or principals for lunch, offer to help folks with their engagements and generally network.
post #220 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel_Cairo View Post
(sorry, had not seen this thread when I posted a link elsewhere. This seems an even better place to add this for discussion

Highly recommend (McK alum) Yves Smith's post:

"the problem with consulting is you are hired by the problem... The most profitable clients are the most diseased. And the corollary, as stated by a former colleague: McKinsey is in the business of propping up diseased managements."

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/...onsulting.html

I find this to be a bit of an unfair article. Having dealt with some management consultants in my job (and I don't work for a "diseased" company, mind you) I think the vast majority of professionals in that industry are as serious about providing tangible results as they are about billing hours and bringing in revenue. Taking on a truly "diseased" client is risky for a MC firm because of they fail it can reflect poorly on their work, rightly or wrongly.
post #221 of 502
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
I find this to be a bit of an unfair article. Having dealt with some management consultants in my job (and I don't work for a "diseased" company, mind you) I think the vast majority of professionals in that industry are as serious about providing tangible results as they are about billing hours and bringing in revenue. Taking on a truly "diseased" client is risky for a MC firm because of they fail it can reflect poorly on their work, rightly or wrongly.

Excellent point.
post #222 of 502
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlin View Post
Well, my Fridays are usually spent on getting my engagement partners caught up on the details of the work we're doing, new developments and opportunities client relationship development etc.

In consulting, your performance is a combination of your role on your engagement as well as your role in helping the firm. For instance, your performance on engagements on an annual basis would be the quality of your deliverables, your utilization (i.e. how much time you spent on the bench vs. at a client), your chargeability/billability etc. Your role in helping the firm would be how much revenue you brought in through new business development and sales, how much intellectual capital you generated through publications and new IC, how much you helped the firm in other intangible ways through your efforts in recruiting, branding etc.

So, it is expected that in addition to the work you're doing, you are also helping the firm with other things. In fact, the higher you go, your engagement performance becomes less and less important (i.e. around 50% of your review) and your firm contribution becomes more vital. Or perhaps, your firm contributions become just as important as your engagement performance, if not more. So, my Fridays are pretty much filled with those activities, and less of actual work.

It's also a great day to get caught up to other folks within the firm, go to your local office, meet a few partners or principals for lunch, offer to help folks with their engagements and generally network.

Excellent replies all around Metlin and this is also right on the money.
post #223 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
Excellent replies all around Metlin and this is also right on the money.

Thanks, L. Great thread!
post #224 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlin View Post

I usually put 12-15 hours of work Mon-Thu, and my Fridays are usually spent on status calls, sales calls etc. Depending on your level, you will be judged on firm contributions (i.e. intellectual capital, helping with business development, training, recruiting etc). So, I usually spend my Fridays (and the rest of my week -- usually on my flights) working on some of those materials.

As far as weekends go, I typically work only a third of my weekends in a year

How is this any better than IB? I think people often underestimate the amount of hours for MC when comparing the two.
post #225 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
I do believe that the view that McK is in the "business of propping up diseased managements" is a bit unfair. At the least McKinsey helps many good to great companies perform better as well. In my experience there McKinsey is also fairly selective at working on meaningful projects or they will walk away.
I liked her observations about the perverse incentives created by the law-firmization of the structure of consultancy and the therapist-ization of the actual service being sold. Makes me wonder if a "just the facts ma'am" business model could even survive anymore.
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