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Industry -> MC -> New Industry?

 
#1 Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
19/02/2013 22:44

Dan! Dan! Dan!

Dear forum,

I work in strategy for a globally renowned FMCG company. Having been lucky to be given a chance in this team (with several ex-Tier 1 MCs), I have gone from strength to strength, gaining several promotions in short succession.

I say lucky, as I was a slow starter academically, and although I made up for it subsequently with some excellent qualifications, my CV is not one that would typically make its way in the door of a MBB, based on academic merit.

If I decided I would like to change company/industry in the next few years, it seems a couple of years in Mgt Consulting would be a beneficial next stepping stone, for several reasons:

- flexing myself in preparation for a change (as opposed to having become too 'comfortable' in a familar company/industry): new industries or projects

- added prestige on the top line of my CV (I'd be unlikely to risk breaking my current career trajectory for anything other than MBB equivalents)

- new contacts

- giving myself the chance to try my hand in consulting, in case it's actually something that I enjoy

However, this potential approach also raises several questions for me:

- if my academics would not normally make the grade at MBBB, could a career demonstrating the ability to excel in strategy and amongst MBBB-calibre peers make up for this?

- if I were to leave my current role at strategy manager/director level, given that I wouldn't be bringing a long potential client list, would I only be valuable to a MC firm as an industry specialist?

- are there any other flaws in the above approach that I have missed?

I've considered the 'you'd go from being a senior member of your org to reporting to a 27-yr old with an MBA' dilemma, and think I'd be ok with it. I'm 30.

Any input on the above questions would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

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#2 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 08:36

marsday to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#1)

Dear forum,

I - if my academics would not normally make the grade at MBBB, could a career demonstrating the ability to excel in strategy and amongst MBBB-calibre peers make up for this?

- if I were to leave my current role at strategy manager/director level, given that I wouldn't be bringing a long potential client list, would I only be valuable to a MC firm as an industry specialist?

- are there any other flaws in the above approach that I have missed?

!

Your academics won't make the grade at MBB - or equivalent firms. Don't be misled by references to 'tier 2' strat firms like OC&C, LEK, Roland Berger etc - they are as competitive and rigorous as MBB. They are tier 2 largely for historic brand reasons, but the standard of their people are interchangeable. They will make hires without the usual academic requirements, but these are typically senior hires with extensive industry contacts and knowledge and thats what they are being hired for. I'm talking about Director/Partner level.

Your value - initially - would be as an industry specialist for any consulting firm.

Frankly I think you would be crazy to jump out of what looks to be a steep trajectory to go to MC, only to wind up wanting to move back in the medium term - and probably coming back only marginally further ahead than where you are.

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#3 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 08:39

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#1)

Let's see:

  • Over-confident? Check.

  • Inflated sense of self-worth ("I have gone from strength to strength")? Check.

  • Level of self-esteem that is so high as to really irritate people? Check.

  • Considers himself to be an expert on "strategy"? Check.

  • Sense of entitlement? Check.

  • Exaggerated and contradictory achievements? Check.

  • Inadequate qualifications for intended career path? Check.

I think we've got a live one here. The only thing that seems to be missing are the grammatical errors, such as asking for "advise" or "advices". It would also help if you were to mention "I have considered a move to Strategy Consulting for some time now, and consider myself ideally suited to it. This is not a hasty decision I have made".

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#4 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 09:06

Camster to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#3)

Dear BEP,

Thank you for the early morning laugh. You've made my day - and it's only 6am here!

I can now drag myself out of bed for my Insanity workout session.

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#5 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 10:16

Dan! Dan! Dan! to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#3)

BEP... hmmm, let's see:

Lack of ability to understand and correctly interpret text (please point out what parts of my message depict over-confidence, claimed expertise or entitlement... I would have assumed the 'I accept I probably have little chance, but want to get some industry opinions' approach would be better decribed as humble by anyone intelligent) - CHECK!

Unable to reach fair conclusions (you claim I've exagerrated, though you don't know what achievements/qualifications I have... interesting) - CHECK!

Poor use of vocabulary (do you know what the word 'intended' means?) - CHECK!

A life of apparent low utility, demonstrated by spending valuable minutes of it adding zero value and writing pure tripe on an online forum? - CHECK!

Probably the kind of dweeb that wouldn't dare confront someone in such a way in real life, so vents some anger behind an online alias - It would be unfair of me to reach a conclusion on this!

If you're gonna try to use intelect as a tool for banter, try to find some first. In the meantime, get a life mate!

Marsday, thanks for your useful comments.

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#6 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 10:33

Dan! Dan! Dan! to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#5)

PS: the decription of my qualifications may be a bit misleading.

I have a 1:1 business degree (from a pretty low-tier University) and one of the world's top ranked master's in management from a leading business school. Plus I'm an ACA. So I'm more than a qualified a carpinter, but the lack of oxbridge-level undergraduate education is what I suspect would hold me back.

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#7 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 10:50

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#6)

LOL, I rest my case.

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#8 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 11:02

marsday to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#6)

I have a 1:1 business degree (from a pretty low-tier University) and one of the world's top ranked master's in management from a leading business school. Plus I'm an ACA. So I'm more than a qualified a carpinter, but the lack of oxbridge-level undergraduate education is what I suspect would hold me back.

It's not just your lack of a top tier education. A 1st Class in Business is frankly less relevant or interesting to the likes of MBB than a degree in a classical subject with a strong quantitative or analytics component with lateral breadth. There is a good reason Oxbridge PPE is the preferred benchmark. Add to this a low tier University and it's a no-go.

I should add that your communication skills just aren't at the standard that would be expected in any MC based on how you write on this forum.

I'm not trying to be rude, just frank with you Dan - so you can avoid a costly mistake pursuing something which will just never happen.

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#9 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 11:04

baykus to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#6)

PS: the decription of my qualifications may be a bit misleading.

I have a 1:1 business degree (from a pretty low-tier University) and one of the world's top ranked master's in management from a leading business school. Plus I'm an ACA. So I'm more than a qualified a carpinter, but the lack of oxbridge-level undergraduate education is what I suspect would hold me back.

You're 30, with a master's which suggests you've been working for 7-8 years. At this point your undergrad has pretty much nothing to do with you landing the job you want. Having "one of the world's top ranked master's in management from a leading business school" would be much more of a red-flag; what I'm reading is pretty much a useless degree (it's not an MBA!) from a tier-3 school, meaning you had no idea what you were doing.

But realistically if you've had a stellar career with plenty of achievements since then that's what people will be looking at.

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#10 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 11:36

Arby the Manager to baykus (#9)

Last time I heard the world "Dweeb" was in Saved by the Bell...

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#11 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 12:02

Dan! Dan! Dan! to marsday (#8)

Thanks Marsday, I appreciate your candid feedback. I take little offense in the 'comunication skills' comment. I chose not to re-read and structure the synthax of my sentences for the sake of an anonymous forum.

BEP, another great contribution; you're on fire today!

Baykus, you're entirely right. I had no idea what I was doing when I was 16/17. That may rule me out forever, and I won't cry if it does. I'm just trying to find out. Perhaps the best firms simply have no trouble getting both academic and professional success.

Arby, what can I say? Sometimes those baggy pants-wearing dudes really nailed their descriptions of people. Interestingly, last time I saw LOL was in a text message from my 12 year old cousin.

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#12 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 12:21

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#11)

This buttplug really is going "from strength to strength"! LOL

But, we can now tick off one of the remaining points on our checklist:

  • Mixing up spelling of words such as "advice" with "advise"? - Check ("offense").

We now wait for him to confirm that he has been considering this move for some time and is not making a hasty decision. Then, we will have a full house!

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#13 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 12:30

Arby the Manager to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#12)

These are s3x people BEP!!!

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#14 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 14:07

baykus to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#11)

Thanks Marsday, I appreciate your candid feedback. I take little offense in the 'comunication skills' comment. I chose not to re-read and structure the synthax of my sentences for the sake of an anonymous forum.

BEP, another great contribution; you're on fire today!

Baykus, you're entirely right. I had no idea what I was doing when I was 16/17. That may rule me out forever, and I won't cry if it does. I'm just trying to find out. Perhaps the best firms simply have no trouble getting both academic and professional success.

Mate, despite having a BA and MA under your belt plus years of professional experience you need to expend significant effort in order to write well-structured and correctly spelled sentences. Think about that.

Your reading comprehension is also questionable. My comment was on your poorly chosen masters, which is not a decision made when you were 16.

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#15 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 14:10

Dan! Dan! Dan! to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#12)

Maybe I don't know the difference, or maybe I know it well enough to know that both are accepted. Again, another stellar contribution. Bet you're feeling smug.

And now you're quoting me? Come on mate, it was all a bit banterous before; now you're really cutting me down.

It's a wonder your high-flying career and the valuable role you play in society afford you the time to help us all out so much on here.

Appreciate the attempted Partridge quote Arby, but surely there's enough material to find something relevant... sh1t-chat comes to mind.

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#16 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 14:25

Dan! Dan! Dan! to baykus (#14)

Thanks Baykus, but then you made your point poorly. I had previously said my master's was top-ranked (globally) from a world-leading business school. Your Tier-3 Uni comment suggested you were talking about my undergrad (to which it correctly applies). So don't throw stones..... and all that.

Anyway, I mistakenly thought I could get some contructive candid feedback on here, without an inexplicable barrage of hateful rubbish.

I'll leave you guys to your spelling competitions and stylistic critiques.

Best regards.

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#17 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 14:32

baykus to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#16)

Thanks Baykus, but then you made your point poorly. I had previously said my master's was top-ranked (globally) from a world-leading business school. Your Tier-3 Uni comment suggested you were talking about my undergrad (to which it correctly applies). So don't throw stones..... and all that.

BS. What business school is it then? People only use phrases like "world-leading business school" when they are trying to hide the fact that it's tier 2/3.

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#18 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 14:42

Dan! Dan! Dan! to baykus (#17)

Top three in the below:

http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/european-business-school-rankings-2012

And why would I try to hide anything other than my identity on a forum like this? What could I possibly stand to gain from that?

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#19 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 15:21

Management_Ignored to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#18)

Frankly I think some of the replies in this have been absolutely horrendous, a lack of any form of constructive crticis or feedback, just an outright attack.

This forum is being used more frequently, which is good as it certainly quietened down after the registration was put in place, but recently it seems ot have turned into a ridiculou boys membership club of attacking anyone who dares to ask a question that isn't fully thought out and researched and just risks driving away potential new users of the forum. If I had seen the responses on this thread as a non-user, I can be pretty bloody sure I wouldn't come here asking for advice.

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#20 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 15:48

Zorba to Management_Ignored (#19)

wow.

And I thought this forum is for constructive guidance.

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#21 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 17:21

Dan! Dan! Dan! to Zorba (#20)

Having looked back over the thread (wondering how I managed to be so offensive to certain people), it's actually quite incredible.

Here's my situation, let me try to describe the relevant aspects. I've a few concerns. Any advice welcome.

Answer (#3): You're a tw@t, you're a fool, you're a d1ckhead!

Only someone very insecure, with a low sense of self worth (and apparently not very bright), would try to ridicule a complete stranger in such an unsolicited way. Trying to make yourself seem more valuable/knowledgeable? - who knows...

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#22 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 17:55

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#21)

I merely pointed out, correctly it would appear, that your post seemed full of arrogance despite the apparent poor match between your qualifications and your intentions. It would seem that other experienced consultants and recruiters thought the same about your post, too.

I mean, what would you make of a post where the poster:

  • Talks about himself with phrases such as "I have gone from strength to strength"? (even if it's true, using self-congratulatory phrases like that will at best just annoy people)
  • Considers himself MBBB-calibre despite acknowledging that he has poor academic qualifications?
  • Lacks any sort of obvious focus or commitment, to the extent that he would simply like to "try my hand in consulting" and, at best, use it as a "stepping stone"?
  • Thinks that, because there are a few ex-MBBBers where he works, he himself is therefore of a similar calibre and equally desirable by prospective employers (despite the points above)?

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#23 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 17:55

marsday to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#21)

Dan this forum went through a very dry spell right after registration was introduced, and it's only recently that we have seen the return of the (often quite ascerbic) humour, but also the constructive advice. The two tend to go hand in hand here.

Calling Bushy names isn't really acceptable - no one here has insulted you. If you read more widely on this forum (and we all hope you will) you'll see his teasing was really directed less at you as an individual and more at the tone of your query and the query itself. Apart from the HHs on here (like myself) you do have to expect a certain amount of the 'well, DUH!' response from experienced MCs. Once they have beasted you a little, especially if you can see the humour, you'll find you will get a lot of advice on here. From those very same experienced MCs. Camster picked up the tone immediately (and it got him out of bed at 6am!) If you had responded with a bit more humour and accepted you were being called out for the hubris in your original post, all would have been well. Unfortunately you fell foul of some in-jokes (advice/advise etc). Bear in mind 'how do I get into MBB from x' is a very popular question on here, and one which is usually a bit misguided.

At some point everyone gets or has had a beasting on here - including me. But when the chips have been down I've had tremendous support and advice from the guys on here - people I may or may not have met in the real world (makes me wonder...).

Compare this and the thread from Tony Restell 'My Son and Best Friend'. And then tell me this forum drives people away. A better example of community you would be hard pressed to find.

Management Ignored and Dan - both need to take a step back, realise when you are being teased rotten but not insulted, and get involved - we need contributors on this forum, from both MC and industry. Even the recruitment industry sometimes.

We have been promised a Top Consultant Xmas Party where we all turn up in different venues to preserve anonymity. We hope to see you there.

And DCF's shoes are still going over the wall.

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#24 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 18:05

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to marsday (#23)

Agree completely with Mars here. We'll give constructive advice - but think you might benefit from changing the way you word things. Communication skills are important in consultancy, and there really was something about your original post that was immediately detectable and, to be honest with you, not very likeable...

In response to your specific questions:

- if my academics would not normally make the grade at MBBB, could a career demonstrating the ability to excel in strategy and amongst MBBB-calibre peers make up for this?

Probably not, unless you have been working at a very senior level. Most strategy firms have their own 'house style' and many might be put off by you potentially being stuck in your ways with some other way of doing things (which, in their view, probably won't be as good a way as they themselves do it). Plus, they need to sell you on projects to clients, and clients look for good CVs (including the obligatory Ivy league MBA and the like).

- if I were to leave my current role at strategy manager/director level, given that I wouldn't be bringing a long potential client list, would I only be valuable to a MC firm as an industry specialist?

Correct. And even then, in strategy firms, industry specialisms are really only valued if you go in at a senior level. Mostly, they prefer raw intellectual horsepower as evidenced by qualifications and other credentials.

- are there any other flaws in the above approach that I have missed?

Yes. For instance, although the benefits to YOU are clear, it's not clear what the benefits would be to a prospective MBBB type employer - particularly given that they tend to have a lot of choice from a broad pool of very well qualified applicants.

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#25 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 18:58

Arby the Manager to Zorba (#20)

Well as I have said in previous posts, I believe BEP to be a particularly bushy eyebrowed woman - so I'm not so sure this is specifically a boy's club.

Honestly speaking, I have seen enough solid replies on this forum not to dismiss its general output as useless. I do think you have to come to this forum without a hint of pretension, you have to be so down to earth to be almost underground. And above all you have to be ready to have some fun...

Back of the net....!

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#26 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
20/02/2013 19:28

Dan! Dan! Dan! to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#24)

Thanks to marsday and BEP for the last couple of posts, particularly the last response from BEP. I (honestly) appreciate the time and consideration taken for both.

I normally hate when people incessantly defend themselves, so I'm letting myself down now. Maybe I persist because it seems people might be jumped on in here before due consideration has been given to whether it's warranted or not (based on what you've said, maybe it has become the precedent/expectation to do so).

Talks about himself with phrases such as "I have gone from strength to strength"

If it is true, and a relevant element of my question (my academics won't make the cut, but I've reason to believe my demonstrated professional progression might), then I'm sorry for the use of idioms. Isn't it better to cut to the chase in a context like this?

Thinks that, because there are a few ex-MBBBers where he works, he himself is therefore of a similar calibre

The central point of my question was to get other opinions as to whether MBB could EVER view me as their calibre, not a supposition that I am. Plus this is a misreading of what I said. I don't simply work with them, I've been promoted ahead of them, but let's not go there again

Lacks any sort of obvious focus or commitment

How does anybody find out whether they enjoy something or not, before they try it? One of the main reasons the many consultants I've spoken to (including at the boutique strategy firm I did an internship in) got into the gig was 'opening doors', 'career trampoline', etc. I find it strange to hear you bash these (minor) motivations

Marsday, as for name calling, I was careful not to do so (if you re-read my post you'll see this). I did, however, want to remark on the feeling I was getting. If post #3, out-of-the-blue, and before my morning coffee, should not be taken as an insult, then I dread to think what else goes on in here.

Regarding the other post you reference, I don't doubt there is some great stuff on here. It does seem like a weak defence though. It reminds me of the analogy of the accused rapist who says "but I also give my father a present every year on his birthday".

Anyway, my question (while perhaps long-winded, and apparently poorly written) was essentially whether a slow start academically rules someone out of a stint at MBB forever, despite demonstrated professional success in strategy, at a high level. It seems clear the answer is about 90% yes.

That's all I wanted. Again, thank you.

PS: nobody enjoys a good ribbing and a bit of banter more than I do, but you can't expect a newcomer to this site to know what goes on here. I'm not sensitive, but post #3 completely threw me. You've got to ease the newbies in gently. Lube them up a bit.

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#27 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
21/02/2013 07:56

marsday to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#26)

welcome the topconsultant Dan.

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#28 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
21/02/2013 13:20

Norbert to marsday (#27)

I haven't laughed so hard in a while

- New kid gets ribbed by big kids

- teachers step in to scold the big kids

- big kids say sorry (sort of)

- new kid says sorry (sort of)

- sage advice begins to flow

When did the forum become like a Disney movie?

Dan - if chat like this gets your back up, then you're going to have to man-up if you want to make it anywhere in consulting.

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#29 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
21/02/2013 13:57

Dan! Dan! Dan! to Norbert (#28)

I absolutely love the idea that you see your industry as something you need to be ‘manly’ and tough for.

How was your day at the office today, honey?

It was a tough one babe: I got a real ribbing from two MEng grads from Oxford - I tried to wear a Windsor knot in my tie and got it completely wrong. I looked like an idiot.

I work with consultants all the time. Extremely nice (and often introverted) people for the most part.

If you think manning-up = sitting back while someone launches and unfounded and unsolicited personal attack on you, then I wish you a happy life of bending over, macho man.

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#30 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
21/02/2013 14:19

Norbert to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#29)

Get hold of a copy of Mr Cool's new book, it'll help

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#31 RE: Industry -> MC -> New Industry?
21/02/2013 16:28

Mr Cool to Norbert (#30)

Hey chapter 1 available soon on kindle! Deals with the thorny issue of whether you should take your own lube to an interview. Does it show insight and readiness? Or is it just a bit too willing?

It's set in a large bureaucratic management consultancy where the partners control the consultant plebs through a endless fragmented and ultimately meaningless promotions. It's called "fifty grades of shame"

Great read...

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