Frustrated junior consultant

caribe_mexicano's picture
Rank: Baboon | 154

Just finished a particularly painful project where any actual analysis was canned by the director without looking at it - we literally wrote some slides at the last minute that played to the client politics and repacked the clients work. It was so cliche it drove me crazy.
As someone sold on the 'high impact', analytical, problem solving etc etc aspects of the job - how common is this type of thing going to be on projects?

Comments (7)

Jul 11, 2014

Sounds like a very frustrating experience. Interested in knowing if this took place in a boutique consulting shop or one of the larger tier 1 /tier 2?

Jul 11, 2014

That sounds frustrating. Hope it gets better!

Jul 11, 2014

I realize that this is frustrating... that being said, I suspect that the Director has been doing this stuff for a while and that there is a reason s/he did what s/he did. Some projects will be "high impact", analytical, all that good stuff. Others won't... and if you stay in consulting long enough you'll learn what projects are what, and how to read the client situation and what's appropriate. Also, there is still a lot of learning to be done from a consulting career perspective on the latter.

I'd estimate about a third to half of the projects I do we're being brought in for political reasons, for "third party/expert verification" of something the client has already concluded, for "validation", or for general project management aka cat herding. The other projects we're actually bringing something new or strategic to the table. This will, of course, vary by shop, type of consulting, etc... but expect more of these types of projects in your career.

    • 1
Jul 15, 2014
chron3k:

I realize that this is frustrating... that being said, I suspect that the Director has been doing this stuff for a while and that there is a reason s/he did what s/he did. Some projects will be "high impact", analytical, all that good stuff. Others won't... and if you stay in consulting long enough you'll learn what projects are what, and how to read the client situation and what's appropriate. Also, there is still a lot of learning to be done from a consulting career perspective on the latter.

I'd estimate about a third to half of the projects I do we're being brought in for political reasons, for "third party/expert verification" of something the client has already concluded, for "validation", or for general project management aka cat herding. The other projects we're actually bringing something new or strategic to the table. This will, of course, vary by shop, type of consulting, etc... but expect more of these types of projects in your career.

Pay attention to this.

Lots of consultants come in thinking they're going to set the world on fire with brilliant analysis and insight, but that's not what the client is necessarily after.

Be humble....not all "important" work is strategic, nor is it always quantitative. Doesn't make it less important or less valuable to the client.

    • 1
Jul 11, 2014

It's a boutique. Thanks for that, I wasn't sure if it was this particular Directors style or he knew that they wanted us to confirm their ideas - I obviously haven't developed the subtle skills the director has

Jul 13, 2014

In my experience, it's pretty rare. I've had the complete opposite problem on almost all of my projects. Midnight before the final presentation, the principal or partner will have a brilliant idea on an analysis that could be done to support the deck. I'll then have to slave away until 3AM carrying out an analysis to prove a hypothesis that has already been proved many times over.

Sep 9, 2014
Comment