Best consulting firm for non-consultants to lateral into for career change

former rates trader from a BB...worked in tech doing some light VBA programming and generic SQL database stuff previously (at 3 different BB banks)...looking to change career into mgmt consulting.

3.3 GPA from state university
worked in bank IT for a few years before getting a seat as a rates trader
currently unemployed after a staff reduction

where should i apply to transition into consulting?

Comments (9)

Dec 22, 2019 - 5:20pm

I think Deloitte has quite a bit of these roles available. Do you know how hard the interviews are for these kind of roles? Is it similar in nature as far as walking through difficult case studies, etc?

Most Helpful
Dec 20, 2019 - 11:27am

Most firms do 90% of their hiring through campus recruiting at the ndergrad and grad levels.

They don't hire much laterally from industry unless there is a subject mantter need at the more mid-career levels and sometimes at the junior (pre-MBA) levels.

Lateral is a timing game as most firms have high atttrition and they hire for that. Firms hire a bunch of people out of school knowing that many will leave after a year, 2 years, 3 years, etc. However, they do not always get it right. They might have higher attrition, lower matriculation (people accepting an offer and then dipping out just before the start for a better offer) or business picked up and they need more bodies.

This is when they go into the market to hire laterally. First, they try to poach people already in consulting. Then, they will take people from other related industries. With your background, I think you could lateral into a Financial Services practice and the VBA/SQL stuff is applicable to almost any practice that analyzes large data sets (almost every industry these days).
Best place to lateral is a place that has a

Dec 20, 2019 - 1:11pm

I agree with this. I will note that it helps if your current company is a current client of said firm or you have any direct working interaction with the consultants.

I can only speak for my firm but I know there have been people who lateral in from industry clients, stay on for 5-6 years, then actually get better leadership positions at the original client company. The consulting firm could care less because they are now "Alumni" which generally leads to future business development. It's a win-win.

Dec 20, 2019 - 11:29am

Most firms do 90% of their hiring through campus recruiting at the indergrad and grad levels.

They don't hire much laterally from industry unless there is a subject mantter need at themore mid-career levels and sometimes at the junior (pre-MBA) levels.

Lateral is a timing game as most firms have high atttrition and they hire for that. Firms hire a bunch of people out of school knowing that many will leave after a year, 2 years, 3 years, etc. However, they do not always get it right. They might have higher attrition, lower matriculation (people accepting an offer and then dipping out just before the start for a better offer) or business picked up and they need more bodies.

This is when they go into the market to hire laterally. First, they try to poach people already in consulting. Then, they will take people from other related industries and they are flexible at the pre-MBA level, and people coming over from banking is very common. With your background, I think you could lateral into a Financial Services practice and the VBA/SQL stuff is applicable to almost any practice that analyzes large data sets (almost every industry these days).

The best place to lateral is a firm that has a large headcount. I recommend Big4 or specialized firms that do a lot of financial services work like Alvarez & Marsal and FTI Consulting.

Dec 23, 2019 - 5:23pm

To add onto ParkAve's point, look into other consulting firms that deal solely with financial services firms as well, like AlphaFMC.

Get Jiggy With It

Dec 20, 2019 - 3:22pm

I was in a similar spot to yours with some work experience outside of consulting (engineering) and a not so great GPA. I see there is some feedback suggesting consulting firms hire a large portion of their incoming class through on-campus recruiting. While that may be true, they also hire a sizable stream through off-cycle experienced channels.

When I was looking for experienced hire positions I found that Accenture, Deloitte, PwC, ATK, LEK, OW, BCG, and Bain were all open to hiring experienced hires. I interviewed at many of those, and eventually took an offer at one of those tier 2s. I know for a fact that my firm hires multiple classes of experienced hires and is expanding their recruiting focus there.

Dec 21, 2019 - 3:02pm
SilverSpoonMonkeyBrain:

I was in a similar spot to yours with some work experience outside of consulting (engineering) and a not so great GPA. I see there is some feedback suggesting consulting firms hire a large portion of their incoming class through on-campus recruiting. While that may be true, they also hire a sizable stream through off-cycle experienced channels.

When I was looking for experienced hire positions I found that Accenture, Deloitte, PwC, ATK, LEK, OW, BCG, and Bain were all open to hiring experienced hires. I interviewed at many of those, and eventually took an offer at one of those tier 2s. I know for a fact that my firm hires multiple classes of experienced hires and is expanding their recruiting focus there.

Could you please elaborate a bit? Did you apply through networking or just applied on the wesbite?

Dec 22, 2019 - 4:10pm

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