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Management Consulting Discussion - Page 7

post #91 of 502
I could imagine that one of the advantages of going into consulting early is that the life style is more easily manageable then.
post #92 of 502
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by level32 View Post
While the idea of gaining expertise and then going to consulting is one that is logical, it wouldn't make sense unless you really only wanted to consult and work in those industries anyway. Going in younger affords you to be not pigeonholed in a specific market (as you're cheaper) and lets you explore more different markets/roles.

I think it is good to go in young and get the skills but I also believe some expertise is essential to good strategy. Some areas that favor expertise like analytics and also some of the more specialized strategy like business dynamics.

Clients need probably both perspectives today. That of a generalist and that of a specialist. A generalist often has a fresh perspective but when paired with a specialist can map out a more informed solution and offer a more detailed road map.
post #93 of 502
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redwoood View Post
I could imagine that one of the advantages of going into consulting early is that the life style is more easily manageable then.

Some truth to that. Long hours and travel are tougher when you are older and possibly also have a family.
post #94 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by level32 View Post
While the idea of gaining expertise and then going to consulting is one that is logical, it wouldn't make sense unless you really only wanted to consult and work in those industries anyway. Going in younger affords you to be not pigeonholed in a specific market (as you're cheaper) and lets you explore more different markets/roles.

I'm thinking of positioning myself for a top MBA in 3-4 years time, however. I know that consultants from MBB do well but the ranks of consultants applying to MBAs is incredibly thick which makes competition fierce since MBA admissions are often about business sector "diversity". In that respect I get the impression that 5-6 years of solid industry experience with (hopefully) a year or so of management experience will position me more favorably than if I did 2 years of SCM and then transitioned to a 2nd tier consulting firm.
post #95 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
Some truth to that. Long hours and travel are tougher when you are older and possibly also have a family.

to a 23 year old who is cool with going a good bit of time between hanging out with friends and who likes new places (even odd places without much tourist potential)...the travel bit sounds awesome.

I even considered a job at the chicago fed that would have had most of the travel be to random little towns in the midwest...
Now that I am in my niche-consulting gig with no travel...I have purchased a cat. This would make the travel a bit annoying since I'd have to hire a service.
post #96 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post
to a 23 year old who is cool with going a good bit of time between hanging out with friends and who likes new places (even odd places without much tourist potential)...the travel bit sounds awesome.

I even considered a job at the chicago fed that would have had most of the travel be to random little towns in the midwest...
Now that I am in my niche-consulting gig with no travel...I have purchased a cat. This would make the travel a bit annoying since I'd have to hire a service.

I travel for work and I mostly dislike it. Usually you aren't in the city enough to do anything and unless it's a city with a good nightlife there's never much to do after your workday is over. My impression of consulting though is that by the time your workday is over, your only option is BED!
post #97 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post
to a 23 year old who is cool with going a good bit of time between hanging out with friends and who likes new places (even odd places without much tourist potential)...the travel bit sounds awesome.
you get over it. I did it for about a year when I was 26, and it was exciting as hell...for the first two months. It was a tiring drag for the rest - although I did spice it up a bit toward the end by refusing to stay in the corporate hotels and crashing in random guest houses in local neighbourhoods. That was pretty fun (and made for some very amusing cash claims when everyone else was claiming back 250 a night Sheraton bills, and I was lodging nine bucks for Mr. Lim's Guesthouse) but at least it forced me to go exploring a bit when I was hungry and so on. Still...ya, glad I've had that experience. No desire to do it again any time soon.
post #98 of 502
I did the Sunday-Friday/Saturday travel on a 6 month assignment. Was excited in the beginning but then felt like I was putting my life on hold.
post #99 of 502
Thread Starter 
I had not done much international travel until McKinsey so the first two years were pretty exciting flying all over the place. Travel has become a much ruder, more challenging aspect since 9/11 though. The TSA does seem to be getting a bit better on my recent travels but the hassle factor is high.
post #100 of 502
Thread Starter 
I think most know the lifestyle and work load of a consultant is hard. It may be worth looking at the benefits of doing this and why I think it was such a great move for me. Here are some top benefits. **You learn to tell a story about what your team can do in a manner that is supported by evidence and a vision for the industry. **You learn how to break down very complex problems in a logical yet creative fashion. This is obviously valuable in all sorts of life areas. **You learn how to communicate with senior business leaders. Invaluable for any career. **You learn how to build frameworks (a specialty of mine) that help communicate a variety of business topics. This helps communicate complex ideas and phenomena to 30K foot view people like executives and helps prioritize what areas of the framework to focus on. **You learn to "drive to the bottom line" which means what is the economic value of doing activity A? **You learn to prioritize activities and create both a personal project plan for your team and an end result (typically) action plan for the client. **You learn to manage difficult situations at a client where identification of key stakeholders and managing different personality types is critical. **You gain a super and dynamic alumni network for life. The contacts I made at McKinsey have opened numerous and amazing doors for me. This is at least true for the Big 3 and probably true for the Top 10 consulting firms. It's a very worthwhile job with very unique elements. If this type of work seems interesting to you, I urge you to strongly consider it for a career or career start.
post #101 of 502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artisan Fan View Post
**You gain a super and dynamic alumni network for life. The contacts I made at McKinsey have opened numerous and amazing doors for me. This is at least true for the Big 3 and probably true for the Top 10 consulting firms.
If this is true, that's great and a huge differentiator with banking. Fellow bankers will work hard to close as many doors as they can, they will never help one another, if there isn't something in there for them.
post #102 of 502
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
If this is true, that's great and a huge differentiator with banking. Fellow bankers will work hard to close as many doors as they can, they will never help one another, if there isn't something in there for them.
It is very true based on my own personal experience. When I was an investment banker I reached out to several senior bankers who I had helped on deals. One helped me quite a bit with an opportunity. The other three just ignored the request. A similar but different situation occurred in consulting. Every single time I reached out to my network I got results and tremendous help. One former BCG partner I knew who became a very successful CEO even scheduled a breakfast with me at our local OK Cafe to catch up and then made several calls on my behalf. He's gone on to provide advice and help from time to time. As a former McKinsey consultant, I can get a call or lunch meeting with just about everyone I worked with there. While there are great exceptions, banking imho is all about personal gain. It is inherently less collaborative and that culture has some obvious downsides.
post #103 of 502
yep

Banking is a very collaborative culture among the lower ranks, but a backstabbing culture in the higher ranks.
post #104 of 502
I would be curious to see some stories in this thread of people who have worked on large consulting projects from the client side.

So far, and understandably so, the content in this thread has been heavily tilted toward the experience of working for an MC firm. I am very curious to see how satisfied the clients who have hired and used MC services are?

I work at a Fortune 500 firm and there are at least two (that I know of) large consulting firms doing work here now.
post #105 of 502
I think there is some of this here http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=206659
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