We hit 900 subscribers today – thanks everyone! I wanted to take this time to welcome new readers, share a few of my favorite consulting-specific reads from around the web, and answer a few reader questions.
The second part of the live networking podcast with Brian from Mergers and Inqusitions will be coming shortly. While we didn’t get much feedback on the first session, what we did hear from readers and commenters was positive. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me directly!
Favorite recent posts
International Management Consulting 101 – we discuss what it’s like to work in an overseas management consulting office. Everything from recruiting to lifestyle, daily work to client relationships.
Points and Per Se: Management Consulting Perks – discover the non-salary benefits of a life in strategy consulting, including laptops, expense accounts, and Starwood points.
Berkeley undergrad who received Navigant and FTI Consulting offers – our interviewee shares insights on recruiting from a large public university, and his thoughts on the relative merits of Navigant Consulting and FTI Consulting
10 Steps to Sizing and Estimation Questions – an oldie but goodie. From my interview sessions these days, it’s apparent that many of you are uncomfortable with sizing/estimation questions and the assumptions-based arithmetic in tackling these problems. Read closely if you’re interested in breaking in!
Great reads from around the consulting blogosphere
The new Booz & Co to acquire Katzenbach – I distributed this via Twitter several weeks ago. Originally reported in ConsultingMag.com. Pretty big news in the strategy consulting space!
From Consultant Insider – thoughts on why you should go to business school. I think #1 and #2 are particularly high on my list!
From the Killer Consultant – a 2-part series on how you should manage client relationships. Critical reading for new consultants. Part 1 here. Part 2 here.
Mentioned in Marquis’ Weblog – a link to a great post on LinkedIn and how to use it to find jobs. My own guide to doing this is still in the works.
From Steve Shu’s blog – a crash course reading list for new consultants. Rain Making is on my reading list.
A few reader questions
“I’m a recent graduate (have been in industry for 2 years). Is there a bias in recruiting, if I can still do the standard on-campus recruiting, against people who have already graduated as opposed to current students?”
In short, not really. Several years of work experience – assuming you’re comfortable looking for the same analyst/associate-level positions – is generally a plus during the recruiting process.
Recruiters and consultants will wonder two things:
1. Why you wish to do strategy consulting now – what changed your mind over the last several years
2. Did you produce good work in your most recent job – what results did you show, what skills did you develop, what responsibilities did you handle
It can be possible to be pigeonholed as “unsuitable” for consulting if you have extensive work experience in niche/non-relevant areas (eg, accounting), but generally speaking, a few years of work experience post-undergrad will only serve to help you in the campus recruiting process.
“I’ve been in strategy consulting for a West Coast boutique consulting firm for 3 years now, and am contemplating a move into corporate strategy (for a Fortune 500 consumer goods company). Any thoughts on the respective differences between the two?”
This is a great question – something I’d like to write a full post on eventually.
Off the top of my head, here are some key differences:
1. In corporate strategy, you serve one client (the CEO and his/her C-level team). In strategy consulting, you serve multiple clients in multiple industries
2. In corporate strategy, you work with the same team (as is true of most corporate environments). There are pros and cons to rotating teams in strategy consulting, but I really enjoyed that diversity
3. In corporate strategy, you’ll have a thinner talent pool. You may be lucky to work with a strong strategy team, but you can bet that the operating/finance/administrative folks you interface with will be much more variable along the capability scale.
4. In corporate strategy, travel is reduced. There are exceptions, of course – but travel should be no more than 25% of your day-to-day unlike management consulting travel.
5. In corporate strategy, you’ll have more clearly defined daily and long-term responsibilities. This depends on the company and the particulars of your position, but corporate strategy folks are often responsible for both project-based and recurring work (eg, setting benchmarks and doing performance analytics). Strategy consulting work is inherently more variable – each project is a completely new beginning.
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