AMA: Consulting > F500 > bschool/startups

Status_Quo's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,188

Hey all - been part of the community for several years now. Figured it was my time to lead one of these. Background: worked several years in management consulting before transitioning to a strategy position at a F500 company.

Also recently accepted to a number of M7 business schools.

Happy to answer any questions on how to do well in consulting, the transition from professional services to industry, etc.

Thanks

ps Working on a side project called AYA - http://ayainsight.co/.

It curates the best advice for 20somethings and makes it actionable. Every week you'll get one piece of wisdom/advice and an accompanying day-by-day action plan (meant to take only 10 minutes a day) that will help you rapidly act on that advice. Would welcome any thoughts.

Comments (19)

May 12, 2015

Love the concept, just signed up.

Couple of questions:

1) What type of firm did do you your consulting stint in? Why did you decide to move to industry?

2) What was the day-to-day like in your F500 strategy role?

3) What are your plans after bschool? By the looks of it I'm thinking you're interested in entrepreneurship.

Thanks for doing this.

May 14, 2015

Started off at a strategy consulting firm focusing on the consumer tech practice, and made the move after a few years because I wanted to get some operating experience. I was interested in moving beyond the standard 3-6 month cycle of being parachuted in, solving some interesting problems, and then moving on. In my industry role I've gotten a much deeper view of how the company sets and operationalizes its strategy, how new teams/functions are built, and how people navigate the political environment of a company.

On top of that "experience diversification" element, I made the jump because the industry/work was industry was interesting, my manager was phenomenal, etc.

In terms of actual activities, the day-to-day isn't too different from consulting (though I'd say industry life overindexes on attending/running meetings). This is my own experience, but expect to spend 30% of your time driving some sort of analysis, 50% of the time making and presenting decks, and 20% of your time in miscellaneous meetings.

I'm looking to kick off a few entrepreneurial projects before/during/after bschool.

Manks:

Love the concept, just signed up.

Couple of questions:

1) What type of firm did do you your consulting stint in? Why did you decide to move to industry?

2) What was the day-to-day like in your F500 strategy role?

3) What are your plans after bschool? By the looks of it I'm thinking you're interested in entrepreneurship.

Thanks for doing this.

    • 1
May 13, 2015

What was your percentage salary increase from MC to F500? And how did you go about achieving the industry job you wanted.

May 14, 2015

My situation may be different as I was a DTA (Direct to Associate) promote. ~10% bump. Not sure if this is standard - in fact, would be interested in other consultants' views.

As far as how I got the job - my current employer was a former client. Not an atypical path for a lot of consultants.

red_barge:

What was your percentage salary increase from MC to F500? And how did you go about achieving the industry job you wanted.

    • 1
May 14, 2015

Double post

May 14, 2015

what advice would you give to someone planning to transition into MC after an MBA
(post MBA associate) things to know? books to read? etc..

Best Response
May 14, 2015

Good question. Mainly because it reminds me of exactly the type of question I would always ask my consultant friends, people on the forum, etc. :)

I'm a pretty avid reader. Have a couple hundred books in my apartment right now that I've picked up over the years (optimistically, I've gone through 60% of them).

Here are a couple good starters:

The Minto Pyramid Principle - Minto
The consultant bible for written and verbal communications.

The Goal - Goldratt
A business text about operational excellence and improvement masquerading as a story.

Managing the Prof Services Firm - Maister
Great to learn about how consulting firms are actually run.

The Trusted Advis. - Maister
Consulting (and business more broadly) is all about relationships - this teaches you how to manage and elevate your consultant-client relationships.

Say it with Charts - Zelazny
Good introduction to basic data visualization.

The McKinsey Way. - Rasiel
High level intro to management consulting and how consultants approach/engage with problems.

wilhug:

what advice would you give to someone planning to transition into MC after an MBA
(post MBA associate) things to know? books to read? etc..

    • 3
May 14, 2015

thanks man!

May 15, 2015
wilhug:

what advice would you give to someone planning to transition into MC after an MBA
(post MBA associate) things to know? books to read? etc..

Another piece of advice since I focused on the book recommendations in my previous answer:

  • For a vast majority of people, case interviewing does not come easily
  • However, your ability to crack cases rises exponentially with experience
  • Therefore, it's beneficial for you to start case prep as soon as possible

To illustrate the little syllogism I've outlined above, I remember my first couple of cases going horridly. Then, after a few weeks of practice, I hit a point where everything seemed to click - from creating frameworks on the fly to asking the right questions to relaxing enough where I could come up with innovative recommendations.

The key is to not get discouraged by the cases that go really poorly. I saw a lot of peers give up and settle for the first job that came their way after a couple of failed cases. I kept practicing and ended up with several offers by the end of recruiting season.

My rough guideline would be to take on about 20-25 cases. I'd allocate ~4 weeks to this so you have time to absorb learnings between practice cases.

    • 2
May 14, 2015

Thanks for doing. Interested to hear about your b school process - why b school, what your application profile/stats were like, whether you used an admissions consultant etc.

May 14, 2015

keen to know this as well!

May 15, 2015
notthehospitalER:

Thanks for doing. Interested to hear about your b school process - why b school, what your application profile/stats were like, whether you used an admissions consultant etc.

Damn you have a lot of bananas.

I wanted to go to bschool for a couple of reasons.

+Optionality. Gives me an opportunity to experiment with a couple of ideas on the side while in school, while also giving me a valuable credential. No one's going to say I completely wasted 2 years of my life when I come out with an MBA. (Conversely, that security can be a bad thing because it alleviates the social/psychic pressure of looking really bad if your side venture fails - but that's a topic for another post)

+Experience. Making memories over great trips with amazing friends. The stuff that you can't quantify or even know before going in. But almost all my friends who have gone the process have had great things to say about this aspect of bschool.

+Knowledge. Even though I have a pretty extensive professional background in business, I still think it can be valuable to strengthen my foundation in accounting, corporate finance, statistics, marketing, and operations. On top of that, I can take specialized classes in areas like negotiations, entrepreneurship, etc. taught by world-class practitioners and theorists.

+Network. Pretty self explanatory. Students, alumni, professors, visiting speakers, and so on.

+Credibility. Not a big one but it helps at senior levels in certain industries. Also, I just wanted to round out my list with 5 items.

As for my profile - good work experience (Direct to Associate consulting promote), solid extracurricular involvement, above average GPA/GMAT (relative to the average for top schools).

I used a consultant and I would not recommend it. I drove a pretty thorough vetting process and even then, the advisors I ended up working with were disappointing.

Not going to malign anyone on here but my general view is that it's an industry full of charlatans.

May 16, 2015

Thanks mate, appreciate it. Few follow ups I hope you won't mind answering.

In the absence of a consultant, are there any other resources you would recommend using (eg essay consultants) to ensure a well-vetted/solid application?

I am a little while away from b school (first year analyst in IB -outside the us- at GS/MS) but am seriously considering staying in ib long term, and still want an MBA (for many of the reasons you mentioned above, credibility and network being especially important to me as I'm leaning towards working in New York long term so I would like to have a us school on my resume and a stronger us network). In light of that, I would be looking at doing an MBA post-analyst stint so wouldn't have the "2+2" many talk about, but rather 3.5 years of ib experience - given experince in just one field at one firm, do I need to do anything differently for my application (eg overweight on extracurriculars)?

Finally, do you know anyone who has pursued the jd MBA route and if so can you pass on some summary thoughts they had about it?

Thanks

May 15, 2015

Hi, thanks for doing the Q&A session.

After graduating from college, I worked in Deloitte's tech consulting, I hated the job with a passion, then have been working as data analytics analyst at a finance firm for the past year.

I recently got a chance to interview for two 2nd tier management consulting firms. Given that I don't have much experience with case interviews or case preps, are there any books or on-line resources that you'd recommend for people in my boat?

I think I will have 3-4 weeks to prepare. Do you think it's enough time? Also - besides studying the material, is there anything else that I should do? (practice case with someone real, etc?)

Thanks in advance.

May 18, 2015

Hey.

My recommendation would be to start with David Ohrvall's 'Crack the Case.' I really liked the frameworks it presented, which eventually became the foundation for the custom framework/approach I developed for my own interviews.

Then I'd get my hands on all the cases I could through books like Case in Point.

Do 5-10 on your own and develop some initial familiarity with how cases are run, what interviewers are looking for, etc.. Have a friend case you for another 10-15. If you can, do a real case interview with a firm you're not really interested in joining - it's great preparation for higher stakes interviews.

Rejected Monkey:

Hi, thanks for doing the Q&A session.

After graduating from college, I worked in Deloitte's tech consulting, I hated the job with a passion, then have been working as data analytics analyst at a finance firm for the past year.

I recently got a chance to interview for two 2nd tier management consulting firms. Given that I don't have much experience with case interviews or case preps, are there any books or on-line resources that you'd recommend for people in my boat?

I think I will have 3-4 weeks to prepare. Do you think it's enough time? Also - besides studying the material, is there anything else that I should do? (practice case with someone real, etc?)

Thanks in advance.

May 20, 2015

Thanks everyone for the questions. I'm continuing the AMA here.

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/ama-m7-admit...

Jul 18, 2016
Comment