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  • management consultancy

    Long shot, but I'm interested in this industry and was hoping for some inside information. Do any of you work in this industry?


    - How hard is it to get a job? What are the key skills required?
    - What's the application process for your company like?
    - What's the average profile of a new employee? What kind of grades and experiences are they looking for?
    - Which are the companies you would love to work with and why?
    - what's the job really like? What do you spend most of your time doing?
    - what are your three favourite aspects of your job? What keeps you going?
    - conversely, what are the three aspects of your job you detest? Why and how do you get over them?


    Most of the information can be found on the companies' websites, but I'd like to have a more... honest perspective.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Thank you!!!

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    • #3
      I haven?t worked as a consultant yet, but I?ve worked in the marketing department an IT consultancy. Also recently landed my first graduate job as an executive consultant specialising in International Trade, which I start next week!! I might not be able to give you direct experience yet, but I may be able to give you a little insight into the person and job specification.

      How hard is it to get a job? What are the key skills required?
      To be honest, it's quite hard to get a job in this industry. There's a lot of competition out there, and employers are looking for specific experience more than anything else- so this is a catch 22 situation with graduates! But there are ways of getting in there if you look hard enough, and in the right places! Large international consultancies have an annual graduate intake, so they may be worth investigating if your expected 2:1 or a first in your degree.

      Xue, you are still at uni right? If you haven't graduated yet, your best bet is to get yourself an internship. Mine lasted a year, and although it was in the marketing department of a consultancy, it was what helped me land my graduate job. Even if you got one which lasts a couple of weeks, it'd give you a good idea as to whether or not this industry is for you.

      OK, about the key skills. Obviously, you need to be a good team player, with good communication skills (written & verbal) so that you're able to present your ideas effectively to clients.

      You need to be analytical and to be able to think outside the box, and just be open to other people's ideas. In addition, you need to have strong project management skills, and have the desire to see things through, even when it gets tough.

      You need to have the confidence to work with people at all levels, including senior management. And since you'll be working with clients in a supportive role, their interests do come first, which will mean that you'll get involved with some major ass-kissing from time to time! Though, in general, the consultants I knew really enjoyed working closely with clients

      What's the application process for your company like?
      You'll find that it varies from company to company. Large international companies have a very rigorous selection procedure whereby you'll have to do an assessment centre which will last a day- not fun at all! Smaller companies tend not to be so bad. For my job, I had to do a 20 minute presentation, 40 minute interview and a written test whereby I had to write a short press release in 20 mins.

      what's the job really like?
      As Happybean said, it does pay very well, but the consultants that I came across worked long hours, often weekends, which is probably the downside. You do have to travel quite a bit, and work on projects away from head office, and maybe even overseas if you're lucky. On a plus note, it means that your constantly meeting new people from different business cultures- this was the most appealing factor for me, as sitting in the office doing the same thing in and out is SO tedious! Anyway, if you like diversity in your job, then consultancy is for you!

      The nature of the job means that you may get to work with a range of clients, thus building up your experience across a variety of sectors. This in the long term should increase your employablity.

      Phew! That's all I can think of!! HTHs!

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      • #4
        Thanks so much girls!

        I'm planning to apply for an internship this summer, thinking of:
        PWC
        Deloitte
        BCG
        McKinsey

        These four seem most appealing. But they're also extremely popular. So I'm researching smaller companies as well.

        The selection process is pretty gruelling by all accounts and it's tough competition, so I want to make sure this is really what I want to try. Or else, my relative lack of enthusiasm will probably be spotted and I'll be kicked out soon!

        I'll also need to figure out what type of consulting I'm interested in. IT is definitely out since IT me. Human Resource, strategic, and especially govt services are what interests me.

        Sigh. need to think a lot about this! and soon!

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        • #5
          oh, just wondering: do singaporean firms offer internships too? if so, how do we start applications? will it be just like their overseas counterparts? what happens if an applicant's studying overseas?




          sorry for being so troublesome!

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          • #6
            Yea, it's a good idea to apply for smaller companies too. They can offer you just as much experience

            My only experience to date is IT consultancy- so can't really give you much advice about the other sectors

            do singaporean firms offer internships too? if so, how do we start applications
            Just like their overseas counterparts, some will and some won't.

            For the large companies e.g. PWC, contact the HR directly and ask if they offer internships and how to apply.

            With smaller companies, they may not offer internships, but you might be able to create an opportunity for youself by sending a speculative application and following this up with a telephone call. Before doing so, find out the most relevant person to contact in the right department.

            If you have any contacts which work in the industry, they're the best people to take advantage of

            what happens if an applicant's studying overseas?
            Are you asking about applying for internships in the UK, but as a foreign student?

            Not sure if that points you in the right direction, but anyway, good luck with it!

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            • #7
              Thanks so much sweetie! You've been ever so helpful! I hope your new job goes well.

              I've got an attachment lined up from late July to late August, which means I won't be able to fit into the traditional internship programmes in London. Hoping to find a shorter alternative in Singapore. However I'll be in London until June! Would I still be able to apply for an internship in Singapore for Sept like that? :huh:

              Will go research for companies within Singapore. Thanks sweetie!!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh, that's a complicated one...

                There's obviously going to be a problems if they called you for an interview. Some companies are going to be more flexible in fitting you in, and others won't be- they all vary so much!

                With big companies such as PWC, their application procedure is much more 'black and white' and they often have specific recruitment deadlines to adhere to. I'd speak to HR directly before applying and explain your situation. They'll be your best source of advice.

                With smaller companies, who dont offically have internships programmes, I'd still send off that speculative application. If they do wish to interview you, let them know of your situation, and see how flexible they are. Perhaps they might settle for a telephone interview or they even might be willing to wait untill you are back from the UK?

                I'm not sure if I've given the best advice, but that's the approach I'd take if I was in your situation. It's good that you're researching now, as the earlier you start applying, the better.

                Good luck!

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                • #9
                  Thanks so much sweetie! Great advice as usual.

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                  • #10
                    Hey girl,

                    I haven't started work out there yet, but I can probably help a little in the internship area. Did mine at Deloitte, and according to the HR staff there, they do accept 'cold calls' (meaning you approach the company directly without any intermediaries), they will most likely ask you to send over your resume and decide upon interviewing you from there. My friend did the same at PWC, JPmorgan and the likes too.

                    As for applying from overseas, as long as you are able to confirm that you would be in Singapore for the due period of the attachment, just explain to them and that would be absolutely fine.

                    Hope that helps a little!



                    Edited to add: Oh yes, as for interviews, I got mine through a telephone interview cos I was studying in Canada at that point in time. Shouldn't be a problem, but company policies vary. Deloitte was nice about it while Goldman Sachs refused to have a telephone interview.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks so much sweetie!!

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                      • #12
                        am interested to know more about consulting, so up-ing the thread!

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                        • #13
                          hi cotters,

                          i'm interested in interning in a management consulting company.. i'll be cold calling them and so far i only know of 2 smaller mgmt consulting firms-synesi and sirius. any more company names to input? i somehow prefer smaller companies.. tried goggle-ing and i get a lot of HR consulting firms. no luck regarding management ones..

                          much thanks if anyone could help!

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                          • #14
                            Wow i am pushing up the thread after like a yr plus..haha..basically i am a sim-uol student in my final year pursuing a banking and finance degree.i have done a 3 month internship in a foreign bank during my summer break this yr..the experience in terms of working atmosphere was gd,but i found it a very admin based internship,very desk bound..
                            I am not so sure if i am going to be interested in a 100% desk bound kinda job,because from what i observed during my internship people were checking emails and responding to them and making some calls like the whole day..i personally found it abit boring,but then again it was my first time interning at a bank and i am just not used to it..
                            Ok i will cut my long grandma story short..i am contemplating a career around this management consultancy line and would like to know:
                            1)How i as a fresh graduate can find internship opportunities in a consulting firm?
                            2)What are the opportunities like to further oneself etc in this field?
                            3)If it is a stable enough industry(i understand stability is not a guarantee these days but would like to know how stable this field is in times of recession etc)
                            4)If it involves lots of travelling and ''hard talk''?Personally i do like talking to people,generally a friendly and pleasant person but not highly outgoing..i would count being diplomatic and having good listening skills with the other party as my strengths..will this field be suitable for someone like me?

                            Thanks so much i would love to hear from ppl who are working in this line and gain some valuable interesting perspectives

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