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Management Consulting Discussion

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Artisan Fan, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Rocco Finisher

    Rocco Finisher Member

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    Well to be fair, they could be changing some things now. From.my contacts still there, doesn't sound like it...but I'm not there anymore. Also Deloitte was purely a bean counter set up for a while, then got into management and IT consulting and what I feel a large part of their problem was at least in Fed was buying g out of Bearing Points Federal practice. This created some issues for various reasons.

    To someone who mentioned Fed consulting and seeing tax dollars being wasted, I can say this is partially true. In my past as a consultant, I was fortunate enough to be on some very cool projects dealing with federal, state and local govt as well as some interesting strategy with BAH...of course there were a few Fed dept's that were just terrible wastes of time and money as well.
     

  2. zerostyle

    zerostyle Senior Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm at a point in my career where I'm a bit of a middle-manager, but feel I am lacking heavily on the business strategy and research side of things. (I've been much more on the software product/development side of things and more in the weeds).
    I have no masters degree, or an MBA in particular.

    What I'd like to achieve is learning some of the recommended business frameworks or strategies so I can feel more competent when discussing the landscape of the market, competition, etc.

    If you wanted to get someone caught up with the most useful knowledge in the least amount of time, where would you start?

    Maybe some specific questions to start:
    1. In researching the viability of a product/market, what are the core things you look at?
    2. Where do you get most of your data for research? (Estimating market size, competition, etc). Hopefully free sources.
    3. Which frameworks are still modern and actually practical/useful?

    Any other tips? Maybe I should make this a separate post in this forum, but the consulting thread seemed like a good place to start.

    Thanks!
     

  3. MSchapiro

    MSchapiro Distinguished Member

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    Hmm, some interesting questions.

    I'd recommend Lords of Strategy to read to understand how the industry emerged and got to where it is today. There is another, if very dry, book called Strategy Safari that explains where the schools of strategy are today.

    Data wise there are a lot of major and niche data providers depending on the industry.

    Really at a middle management level a lot of it would come down to the case practice you would do in your MBA. If you can find a friend to share those cases with you then you'd be golden.
     

  4. Rocco Finisher

    Rocco Finisher Member

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    Why not just get your PMP for now? I am in no way comparing a PMP to an MBA, however I am suggesting that just might not need all of the bells and whistles of an MBA depending on where you are in your career and where you want to go.

    True story - Ex colleague of mine from Booz Allen days, went on to get his MBA from Johns Hopkins. He was interviewing around before finally ending up at PWC, but on 2 occasions back to back, he was asked if he had a PMP. He answered "No but I have a Masters from Johns Hopkins..." didn't matter. I do not know if they didn't like the assumed salary increase, or that maybe he simply was overly qualified, but I do know the 2 places he interviewed for were his first 2 choices and they simply didn't want him without the PMP.

    Moral of the story - depending on the field you're in, it may not be worth spending that 40-60k (average) or the 100k (top tier) to get that degree.

    My personal take - no doubt an MBA is beneficial in the long run, depending on your goal. Is it needed? In my honest opinion, its needed in some industries, but as you see resume's flooded with MBA's that are just online junk, more and more people skim past them. Obviously people in the big 4 commercial consulting firms will want to consider MBA track eventually, but some of you in different industries might just save your money.. A strong bachelor + work experience (meaning you hustle) and maybe a basic management cert would get you a lot further than you might imagine.
     

  5. horndog

    horndog Distinguished Member

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    ^ Agree that any sort of project management work in the Fed space prefers PMP to MBA.
     

  6. memon

    memon New Member

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    If you truly care about doing actual strategy, go join a small start-up, get paid a smallerish base to survive on, get some equity, rinse, repeat

    roll the dice a few times, you will end up 1) happier because your strategy stuff will actually matter 2) you *might* hit the jackpot with a small firm and can retire early 3) you will have time to enjoy your life
     

  7. brokencycle

    brokencycle Stylish Dinosaur Moderator

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    Do any of you have any experience getting into MBB as an "experienced hire"? I am very interested in doing management consulting. I finished my MBA a year ago (part-time), and I am now working as a marketing/product manager, but I want to do work on larger, more strategic projects. I would also love the travel aspect.

    When I talked to a VP I know at Deloitte, they told me I need to be outside my MBA graduation date at least a year. Are the other firms the same? Anything I can do to help my chances?
     

  8. orlais

    orlais Well-Known Member

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    Anyone here have any insights to share in regards to exiting the industry after working in MC as a graduate? Ideally down the road I would like to start my own small business but I'd like some experience working in industry - if possible, in apparel/fashion. What are the prospects like? Do people value your skills?
     

  9. pnlfr

    pnlfr New Member

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    I started the transition in 2012 from MC to my own small business. I joined MC as a graduate and had exactly the same plan as you: grow, get the knowledge and start my own business. I spent 15 years in consulting, by the time I thought the time has come :)

    So let me summarize my key learnings for you:

    - Consulting is a fantastic profession, because you do your work in a high speed, intellectually challenging environment. This means continuous learning. You build skills all the time, be it market knowledge, industry skills, business/functional or technical, people, you name it. This learning and your MC experience will be your vital assets.

    - Leaving consulting is not easy before you climb the career ladder. I found it very tempting that continuous promotions give me the opportunity to learn and try myself in more complex, more sizable and more challenging projects. I always thought, ok let me learn this too, it will make me smarter and stronger. Even though I developed my own business ideas all the time, this is why I only moved after 15 years.

    - Skill building on the other hand is pretty tricky. I spent more than 10 years in CRM, working with telco clients from marketing, sales and customer service. I just realized only when I started my own business, that despite the numerous engagements in planning and execution, marketing is really hard to crack if I am in charge of the whole thing myself. Therefore I think it would have been a good idea if I experimented more with marketing during my work years as a side project only for experience's sake.

    - I can name a couple of areas, where experience or routine is life saving. Sales and marketing, the way you work with people and negotiation experience. You can not really build these skills in schools the right way, in these areas you'd better feel the pain and fight your way through when you are still in an MC environment.

    - MC companies have a great mentoring culture, I always had a good mentor. When I felt that my mentoring was not as I wanted, I simply looked for a new mentor. I am very grateful for this.

    - Finance should be an everyday habit, like a background process running all the time. This usually comes only after your executive promotion. Understanding, planning and executing against strong P&L should come as a reflex. This is again something you learn by doing.

    - Another benefit of being an executive in consulting is that you are expected to run the business as if it was your own. Ideal learning environment, people will look after you and help before you make an expensive mistake.

    Overall building the businessman mindset from a graduate/junior mindset is where a consulting career path can be very useful. Your skills will save you a lot of pain, money and time.

    Hope this helps.
     

  10. ramuman

    ramuman Distinguished Member

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    Yeah, not really an obstacle, but it'll definitely depend on their hiring needs - you really need a decent length of work experience though to start off beyond the entry level positions for a degree. I graduated from my PhD, applied to McKinsey, final round, no beuno. I was hired at BCG and stayed there for two years. About a semester later, another person in my grad research group applies to BCG, no bueno. Applies to McKinsey and he's in.

    Then someone was hired at BCG as a partner, having never been at a previous firm.

    I did like my time there and was just at our office's 20th anniversary mixer last friday. Lot's of people that I thought were on partner track left and others, vice-versa. Two of the principals I thought would make partner went to a startup and another to corporate finance.

    I had a ton of fun and left on good terms. The day I had to turn in my laptop (after the severance period) and hug everyone was melancholy.

    Looking back on it, you can make what you want of it. You can do PMOs the entire time locally and end up home by 7 with minimal or you can do DDs all the time, sleep and shower in the office or only be home for a full day on Sat. and work on 4 hours sleep.

    I mostly choose the later just to learn a lot, but I also didn't have a wife/GF then. There was a time when we did a DD for a leading electrical connector company over 3 weeks - literally 140 hour weeks - and not checking Facebook and lunch, breakfast, and dinner ordered in. We all signed up voluntarily knowing what we were in for. Pushed insanely hard - but I learned a lot. End of case, great dinner for us from the partners. When we all met at the reunion, we could only laugh about that particular case.

    It is what you want to make of it. I knew I was two and done before I joined. My grad school friend is still there and is an EM.

    /sentimentality
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015

  11. otc

    otc Stylish Dinosaur

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    What is a DD and why does it sound way shittier than a PMO?
     

  12. ramuman

    ramuman Distinguished Member

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    DD is a due diligence - usually a complete evaluation of a company before a buyout/going public, etc.

    PMO is project management office - basically holding the hands of a bunch of low-level people and getting them to implement the senior management's.

    A PMO (at least in my experience) is like a ~60-80 hour weeks and a DD is ~120-140. I'd take a DD any day of the week though. A PMO is about as mentally dull as they come. Pure strategy cases are fun too, and about 80 hours. But it was always fun to toss around the white board marker to someone else to add to the storyboard.

    For a PMO and a strategy case, you typically have breakfast/lunch/dinner outside (and I'm including that time in the hours). DD is basically everything is catered in.

    A PMO could be multiple years, a strategy case could be 2 months or so and a DD typically is never over 3-4 weeks.

    Bear in mind, I'm a data point of one and other guys that worked at the MBB firms might weigh in a bit differently.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015

  13. netseeker09

    netseeker09 Well-Known Member

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  14. orlais

    orlais Well-Known Member

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    Surprised the guy only worked ~55 hour weeks. I do roughly that and I work at a boutique. Everyone I know at Bain and BCG (don't know anyone at McKinsey personally) do a lot more, but they could just be exaggerating.
     

  15. StayImpeccable

    StayImpeccable New Member

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    Depends on the office and the project entirely; when I was at an MBB I probably averaged around 50 as a pre-MBA. If you factor in all my beach time, probably even less - I got super lucky (or unlucky if you really like working) and avoided a ton of staffing. Other friends in the same office probably averaged 60+ over the year.
     

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