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Consulting route dilemma

 
#1 Consulting route dilemma
25/01/2013 04:29

zak

Hi guys,

Very new to this, i finished my undergrad with a 2:2 3 years back, obviously devastated and took on a diploma in international business and got a distinction in that, after that I am currently taking on a masters degree in international Business management and on route to a distinction as well, hopefully. Prior to all of this I have worked for 2 years with an African firm doing business development whist doing my undergrad hence the 2:2. I quit the job and i am now jobless. What hope to i have to get into consulting and what route would you advise i go thu guys.

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#2 RE: Consulting route dilemma
25/01/2013 08:53

marsday to zak (#1)

None.

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#3 RE: Consulting route dilemma
25/01/2013 09:28

baykus to zak (#1)

Agreed. No firm will take you with a 2:2. Look to another career path.

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#4 RE: Consulting route dilemma
25/01/2013 09:56

arthurandersen to zak (#1)

Agreed. Consulting is out with a 2:2. A quick Google search reveals this though: http://www.dur.ac.uk/careers/s/emp/jobs/scheme/22/ That may give you some ideas of industry companies you can apply to.

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#5 RE: Consulting route dilemma
25/01/2013 10:09

DiamondSea to arthurandersen (#4)

Uhm, there is a chance that the Masters might make the recruitment team turn a blind eye on the 2:2. Where A-levels good?

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#6 RE: Consulting route dilemma
25/01/2013 11:48

zak to DiamondSea (#5)

yea 2 A's and a B

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#7 RE: Consulting route dilemma
25/01/2013 11:50

zak to baykus (#3)

like? At the moment it looks like most firms are stuck dead on a 2:1 or above

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#8 RE: Consulting route dilemma
25/01/2013 11:58

zak to marsday (#2)

love your bluntness, what do you suggest I should do

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#9 RE: Consulting route dilemma
25/01/2013 12:00

Anon MCs to arthurandersen (#4)

I think the link provided here for you is a great starting point.

I'm sorry to say that I was one of the internal "CV reviewers" for my firm and to be honest with you, any CVs with 2:2s didn't even reach my desk as they would have not got through the funnel that occurs before me... There are simply way too many great candidates who also have a 2:1 for the big consulting firms to even need to look at 2:2s

I'm sorry because you have very good A Levels, hence what you'll need to do is to try and get yourself into them in the future as an "experienced hire", that way your 2:2 may be overlooked

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#10 RE: Consulting route dilemma
25/01/2013 13:52

Mr Cool to deleted (#0)

If you are attracted to consulting because of:

- working on projects

- working on change/transformation

- moving to new things every few months

...then the only practical thing I can recommend is to apply to less "academically snobbish" large companies such as Oil & Gas, banks, telecoms, etc who all have internal change/project departments who effectively do what a lot of consultancy firms do.

Beware - the money is a little lower and although they are less rigid about 2;2's you will still be competing with an army of people with 2;1's or better.

25 years ago I got a 2:2 and still got into consultancy through industry. Now they can't pay me enough to go back! Similar story - by the time I left uni I had 2 years of full on commercial experience and was about 5K in pocket (rather than debt), but freely admit that it meant taking my eye off the ball academically.

To be honest - I'd recommend dumping consultancy (internal or otherwise) and going into sales.

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#11 RE: Consulting route dilemma
25/01/2013 14:26

Anon MCs to Mr Cool (#10)

Hey Mr Coolio,

Hopefully he will take heart from your post and realise that actually its not all doom and gloom.

One of the other guys provided links to perfectly good companies (ok, not Big 4s etc but they all represent good experience) and you getting 2:2 but still doing well shows that its not all just about grades. Its just that some companies are v picky due to the sheer amount of high grades applicants they are getting at the moment.

I would emphasise your high grade A Levels on the CV and ensure you get the Distinctions on the Masters. Get yourself into one of those companies with a good training scheme, work your @rse off and once you have a couple of high performance year grades and examples behind you, go for it at the places you really. You can go in as an experienced hire.

I am at the opposite end, I don't have good A Levels but ensured I got a good Degree from ok Uni and then straight into a v good Masters at a top 10 Uni (including a distinction). Fortunately this worked for me to get into a good Grad scheme all those years ago but it looks like for you the 2:2 will be a short term issue, that's all.

Best of luck on the applications.

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#12 RE: Consulting route dilemma
25/01/2013 16:00

zak to Anon MCs (#11)

Hey Mr Anon MCs and Mr Cools

I honestly appreciate you guys taking time to look into this case for me i would definitely take your suggestions on board and have a crack at it. I saw that Mr cools wasn't too keen on consulting, why is this?

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#13 RE: Consulting route dilemma
25/01/2013 17:08

Mr Cool to zak (#12)

Zak, on the contrary, consulting CAN be a fantastic career. As a 25 year old-singleton I found myself staying in 4 star hotels all over Europe, sitting in on board meetings, bag-carrying for top-of-the-class Harvard MBA geniuses, etc etc. All fantastic ways of learning.

It also didn't hurt that to this day I'm still about the best damn salary negotiator I've ever met, so I was creaming a six figure salary before I was thirty and that was fifteen years ago.

However there are three major "clever exit" points from consultancy (2-3 years in, just after Manager/Senior Manager promotion, or just before the partner death march). typically when you take one of those, you can keep most of your earning level but massively improve your work/life balance. Having left, few go back.

I woulds still recommend it, but it is not by a million miles the only way to make it in life and it is NOT (in my humble opinion) worth swimming against the tide when you can just as easily cycle downhill.

Have a good weekend...

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#14 RE: Consulting route dilemma
26/01/2013 23:31

Coolcat to zak (#1)

Hi. I would not give up just yet on yourself. I know the Big4 have taken on individuals with a 2:2 degree through the route of an experienced hire. Your CV must reflect what you have done as opposed to what you've been involved in and also reflect areas of your true strengths. If the organisation have an area in which they see you fitting into your chances of employment will be high.

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#15 RE: Consulting route dilemma
28/01/2013 16:04

Anon MCs to Mr Cool (#13)

Ohhh Mr Coolio, I was working out where I was as a 25yr old and can confirm that similar to you, I was doing a bit of Europe too...

I was then working on a programme that was located in the bastion of the international scene... Jersey!!!

Ahhh yes good old Jersey, taking me a whole of 5 minutes to walk the town centre when looking for a bit of lunch and don't even get me to started on my after work runs which were hilarious considering how small the whole island is!

Plus it really did feel like everyone knew everybody else.

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#16 RE: Consulting route dilemma
28/01/2013 19:27

zak to Coolcat (#14)

Hi coolcat,

Thanks for your imput, please could you advise me on any professional courses that could help me.

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#17 RE: Consulting route dilemma
28/01/2013 22:18

Coolcat to zak (#16)

Hi I don't think there's any professional courses that I could recommend. What you need is the experience to back you. I've always got the job I've wanted by researching like on here and even just shadowing someone who does the job I want. I've then looked at the gap and put a plan in how I could achieve that role/job. Sometimes it's being in the right place at the right time. Other times it been making the opportunity happen by making it known what I want with my employers at the time and also pushing the boundaries. This though I've only found happens in smaller organisations.

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#18 RE: Consulting route dilemma
31/01/2013 14:47

Enguerran to Coolcat (#17)

For what it is worth, I have seen a candidate with a few years work experience interviewing with McKinsey and BCG with a 2.2 (from Oxbridge) this year. So it is not completely impossible. She did not put the class degree on her CV though.

Enguerran

www.innersquare.co.uk

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#19 RE: Consulting route dilemma
31/01/2013 15:02

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Enguerran (#18)

I've seen instances where a candidate will be given glorious treatment just because HR and the interviewing managers aren't quite sure whether they have any "connections" within the firm. For instance (and these are just TOTALLY MADE UP EXAMPLES WITH NO BEARING IN REALITY WHATSOEVER to illustrate the concept), "Dave McKinsey" interviewing to join McKinsey might find that the interviewers there are super-polite to him and that his CV gets a second glance rather than going direct to the trash can. Or "Tony Booz" might find doors suddenly opening when he sends his CV to another of our MBB friends. Likewise for "Johnny Bain" or whoever else.

In these desperate times, I'm surprised people don't change their surnames just to get a foot in the door. Maybe I should start calling myself "Bob Goldman" or something and send off a CV to GS? LOL.

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#20 RE: Consulting route dilemma
01/02/2013 14:02

tassellconsulting to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#19)

My advice: go to as many networking/career events as possible - try to go to events where there will be no graduates apart from yourself. Then boldly network towards a Senior Manager/Director and say that you've networked the entire night to speak to him directly, to show you have good client/people skills. Say you did this because of your 2.2 and you felt it was the only way in and at the end, 'do you feel this has demonstrated enough to put me through to a 1st interview with your business - I expect to be treated like every other 1st interviewee'

See what he/she says.

If he says no, go to another event.

Not just events but friends, friends of friends, network on LinkedIn - and think of creative ways to attract interest.

Cheers,

Jon

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#21 RE: Consulting route dilemma
01/02/2013 16:14

marsday to tassellconsulting (#20)

My advice: go to as many networking/career events as possible - try to go to events where there will be no graduates apart from yourself.

Short of disguising yourself as waiting staff I fail to see how that suggestion would even be possible.

Zak don't fall victim to false hope and waste an enormous amount of time and effort. A 2.2 rules out consulting - it's just a fact. They won't and can't just 'turn a blind eye' to it. If they start doing that where does it stop? Clients pay for people they feel are more capable than they have in-house and consultants need to underpin that. A 2.2 simply doesnt wash.

There will always be exceptions such as the 2.2 interviewing at McKinsey and BCG cited here, but reality is either she slipped through the net and that 2.2 will be picked up on anyway, or there is something else entirely at play. You could go sleep with a Partner at MBB and get an interview, but that Partner isnt going to get you hired.

Abandon chasing after consulting and look at other careers before you waste any more time pursuing either consulting or amassing yet more pieces of paper in 'international business'.

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#22 RE: Consulting route dilemma
01/02/2013 16:24

Mr Cool to tassellconsulting (#20)

Then boldly network towards a Senior Manager/Director

Please let me be in the room when you do this! I will pay good money to see someone "boldly networking towards someone"

Is it a bit like aggressive mincing?

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#23 RE: Consulting route dilemma
01/02/2013 17:16

marsday to Mr Cool (#22)

Maybe it's something like this...

'Hello (insert name of person here) I want..no I demand that you introduce me to (insert name)! Now man! There is no time to lose! NIKE!'

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