Hey /biz/, can you tell me anything about management consulting? I've read a few threads on here from posters saying they've been in the industry, and I'm pretty interested in trying to get an internship through heavy networking since I'm not at a target.
Any tips on trying to make it?
Well, I'm in a slightly more scientific major rather than a generic econ/management/accounting major. I didn't want to end up back in academia for the next 5 years doing a Ph.D or something, so I got interested in it due because it's observing companies and markets and making practical analysis and changes.
I think the ability to learn about real world interaction rather than just doing theories and textbook research is more appealing to me. An internship there is also a really strong piece of experience even though most are only 10-12 weeks. I'm doing an internship working inside sales/marketing at a small consulting firm and want to explore to see if it's something I want to do, and possibly get a MBA afterwards.
Y'know, plus the pay is pretty good and you can actually work up a career ladder, which is rare and somewhat admirable in this day and age.
That's a profound answer, and from what I gather your reasons are the following:
- You're more interested in business and practical application rather than academia and theory
- You want it to boost your resume
- You want to see if MC is for you
- You want a decent compensation
- You want to be able to work your way up
Networking your way in may take a substantial amount of time and effort and may likely be for naught because the competition is brutal, even at target schools.
All your goals apart from perhaps the 3rd one can be satisfied with other options that are less demanding and time-consuming. So the question is still why you want to subject yourself to the nightmare that is getting into MC and then surviving it. And I believe you *do* have a deeper reason for doing it apart from those you mentioned. Only you can really tell what it is though.
Yeah, I expected that response, knowing that they are highly competitive and pretty rigorous, but from what I know it's got a better work-life balance and satisfaction than IB.
Even if I didn't stay, I'd like to do an internship in it, and pursue an MBA afterwards if I wanted to return later.
I don't think it's impossible, and I'm no 3.9 GPA student who captained 3 sports clubs, but I should see no reason why someone can't work their way in through developing business relations and practicing cases, I've started looking over online cases and downloaded Case In Point to get started thinking about it.
If you think those points could be fulfilled easier, what do you suggest Anonymous? I'm curious.
Life and work balance is shit because they don't tell you are going to be on road during the hours outside the clients. Pay is shit for the hours you work since you receive less than a corporate banker and work like an investment baker.
You also won't see anything you do implemented at MBB since the work is done by Accenture, deloitte or pwc. Most of times, getting the slides looking pretty and using buzzwords are more important than doing a good job.
If you have time to enjoy the perks like McKinsey music festival you are probably getting fired because this means you don't have projects.
If you want to have a pretty name in your resume or wants to live in an airplane and brag you do consultant work, by all means go for it. Case in point is not enough to any decent consulting btw
All my experiences are with McKinsey but they are all the same in top 3, despite what recruiters, partners or the internet tell you.
I would much rather work in a startup at silicon valley and have a shot at an ipo than entering consulting right now. The model is dying and firms will have to do monkey work if they want to survive.
I appreciate your honesty, anon. I don't think I could jump into a startup out there being on the East Coast, though.
I doubt I could be a Investment Banker though, the applicants are mostly Ivy's and a touch of incestuous hiring policies. Unless I really, really networked my ass off and found some wealth management internships I'm not sure I could have the experience to back up something like that.
I take it you've either worked for or with McKinsey?
I worked for McKinsey for two years before jumping ship to go into into m&a advisory. If I was going to work like IB, I figured I should earn like one since I don't care for MBAs or working with people from other countries.
Getting into an MBB is harder than going into an startup or even IB because the first has more companies and the second has a bad reputation. If you don't think you can do the former two, start considering that you won't get into consulting either, especially if you aren't in a target school.
Firms care for two kinds of people. One is the classic fit, aka which school you were, previous internships and extracurriculars. They search for ivy leagues, big names like Goldman Sachs, Google, or Microsoft and the football captain and multiple time math Olympic winner, as you mentioned. The other thing is the outliers, the guy who worked two years to build a village in Uganda, the woman who discovered the cure for a disease, was a bartender in Nepal and now works as a submarine pilot, etc. The second kind must really ace the interviews to get hired.
If you aren't one of those, seriously, forget it or try to become one before applying. They say networking is one way in but no one will vouch for you if you aren't one of the two profiles because, if you bomb it, his name is in the line as well and no candidates from him will be considered in the future.
Work in your resume, do some impressive shit and consider trying outside of the United States, like offices in South America, middle east or East Europe where the competition is less fierce.
Remember that consulting don't sell the work done. They sell their names and signatures so their employees having good resumes is vital.
Also consider when I said the business model is dying and it is not a good moment. Why monitor failed and booz got sold? I only got in because I made a spot on statement and analysis on the industry and impressed the partner with the bullshit I rehearsed about breaking paradigms inside the firm. If you want an MBB, don't be disappointed when you learn the winners in the industry will be the low tier consulting with audits as parent.
Thanks for the info, anon. Harsh, but needed. From what it seems, I'd be better off doing the internship at most if even possible, and then leveraging that into something else afterwards.
I dunno man. I'm a senior in college with little actual capital and looking to plan ahead instead of trying to slide into a job 5 months out of school like a poor, dumb chump.
Can I ask what you did before MK and how you got into M&A afterwards? I'd work that hard for that pay too if I could, would love to do HBS's MBA but doubt I have the raw credentials without some noteworthy work experience under my belt.
Those companies are hire by other companies to take the blame for something company B did wrong in their executive management decisions. You just pick up shit from the company mistakes. Also these companies are filled with kids whose parents or friends got them a job. So you're going to be dealing with a bunch of unqualified brats. The nerds with all the big awards is rare in those companies. Its mainly bros with money or captains of big D1 sport teams
I was from a target school and, frankly, I got lucky. I have internships at big banks in the front office and I work like a madman so my former bosses loved me. They knew people inside McKinsey and called on my behalf after I landed an interview through one of my colleagues who was at a summer internship during his MBA. I have extracurriculars like being the leader of my school boat modeling team and part of the rowing team.
They knew that in the very least I would get shit done because they have worked with me side by side before. I also had a very good gmat and solid case interviews since I practiced months in advance. The thing with the partner was what made me stood out when the job was between me and two other candidates.
After I got fed up, I contacted a headhunter and asked about m&a industry. She got me this interview and I got the job.
I worked in six projects in the two years I was there. Two in utilities companies, one in a agribusiness, one in tourism, one public sector and one in a chemical plant.
When I was in a project, working 12+ hours a day wasn't rare and I traveled a lot. Both going to clients and moving around during a project. There were people who stayed there 12 hours, partied all night and went in the next day hungover and useless for the whole day, most the sluts that are hired because they are beautiful.
The client would also not see 95% of the work we did because they only cared to the final presentation and it needed to be "client friendly". Aka simple and intuitive.
There was not much backstabbing in my level because we got no bonuses and we're still far from partner so people were friendly and many had different backgrounds so they were interesting.
You grow quickly there, but it is most for show and increased responsibilities since your pay would only get good as a partner.
My opinion is that in the future we will be left with one or two of the MMBs and the rest will be low tier consulting like Accenture, deloitte, ey, pwc.
Because they use the same business model from 20 years ago, don't deliver the implementation and the landscape shifts much quicker now. It is harder and harder to justify their fees since what they do does not yields something you can measure quantitatively. Solutions that would last for 5 years now are only good for one semester before the situations changes
Most firms are blind to this because they still attract clients with their reputation and pretend their fees and margins are not going down and other firms are not going under or sold.
McKinsey tried to sell low tier work along with the regular but the people who were assigned did it poorly since they had no experience actually getting shit done and complained a lot since that was not a McKinsey like job.
The good parts are the alumni network you have access and that people who left are still there and will help if you ask, all my expenses were covered so I stayed in nice hotels, moved by taxi every day and ate at good restaurants and that most people are fun.
I would look for a promising tech company in whatever field you are specialized in that has been around for less than 10 years and has 50 employees or less.
Startups like those generally have a strong meritocratic culture where you can work your way up. Being among the first 100 employees will also give you easier access to stock options.
The boost to your resume probably won't compare to the McKinsey network though.
The reason I urge caution to people considering consulting is because I believe most people simply want to do it because it is considered prestigious. The companies have definitely done a great job at marketing themselves as exclusive clubs where only the best and brightest may enter. But their popularity comes at a great cost to both the individual and the society at large, as the most talented young people waste their potential salvaging and optimizing dysfunctional organizations rather than creating something new to advance our civilization. And most of it solely for the sake of vanity.