Help! I think I hate consulting! What's next?

Hi Guys,

I am a first year analyst at IBM within the Digital Strategy consulting practice, definitely the best division to be in at IBM consulting today! I am part of a few really cool internal initiatives and am relatively known in my group (80 first years so being known is good). I have a few problems.

Considering my anonymity, I will share my entire profile to help with any suggestions moving forward.
- BBA Michigan
- $73k + 7K + bonus so probably 83k after bonus

1) The bench is really, really deep. According to a recent report, ~ 25% of first years are on billable work.
- I was on an important client engagement, but rolled onto the bench 2 weeks ago and am terribly bored. I am not learning anything and I find the client work pretty boring.
- What should I be doing with my free time? We have trainings, but they kind of stink and are really light. I have no experience with technology, so maybe that? Something like python, c++? Similarly, I want to get better at modeling, but don't want to shell out the cash for a WSO program or something. Any suggestions?
- The good news about my program is, in terms of promoting, it is almost expected that you'll be on internal work for the first year, meaning I'm on target for the 2nd year promotion lol.
- I would like to stick it out for at least 1 year. If we leave before 1 year, we have to pay back $7k
After promotion, ~$100-115k all in (normally occurs 1 year 8 months - 2 years)

2) I want to break into VC
- I have connections, I keep up to date with investments, go to events, starting a thesis to share with my connections. I think it is possible.

My ask of WSO:

Knowing my information and background, what do you suggest I do?
A) Trainings/Personal Learning
B) When is too early to leave?
C) Am I being a p*ssy millenial who has a fine job, but want's to "change the world"
D) Any insight you may have

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Comments (14)

Feb 27, 2018

prob answer C

    • 2
May 18, 2018

My buddy works at IBM and is consistently saying the same thing.

    • 1
Feb 28, 2018

Anything else to say lol?

Feb 27, 2018

25% of 1st year analysts staffed? Yikes. It would be insanity at my firm if there were that many analysts on the beach.
A) Attend industry events in your area and use your bench time to network.
B) Best to stick it out 2 years or until a really good opportunity comes along you can't say no to.
C) I don't know enough about you to say, but there are worse things than getting paid above $80k straight out of school.
D) Sounds like you want to be at a VC long-term. Use this time while you are on the bench to network your butt off to try to make that happen.

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Feb 28, 2018

Yeah, thats what I've figured. I have been networking a ton for VC and started to do some research of my own/studying up on the industry!

I am curious how IBM looks from an outsiders perspective. People outside of Tech think it is a solid company. Curious what peoples thoughts are.

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Feb 28, 2018

Eh, my take on IBM is that they are a shell of what they once were. It seems like they haven't figured out a way to monetize Watson. The stock took a beating even when they posted positive growth about a month ago.

All that being said, I think you are in the best spot in the company given the way the industry is shifting as a whole.

At this point, I look at IBM as a tier below FAANG if you are looking at tech jobs. If you are looking to move outside the tech industry, it's probably not as big of a distinction.

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Feb 28, 2018

I would say C. Depending on the hours you can study the modeling on your free time. If you dig there are plenty of resources available in terms of textbooks (which yes do cost money) and examples on this site and the web. Also, if you are efficient at work you should have some time to work on it. If you are bored at your current job reach out to take on more responsibility. You are new so the view is that you know nothing the more you take on the better you look.

    • 1
Feb 28, 2018

What is - C Alex?

Multiple expansion.com, Macabacus, Aswath Damodaran - Official Site,

    • 2
Feb 28, 2018

I work at IBM. Can affirm everything that was said. For younger guys it is a bit of a struggle to get on work. You should leverage your time to meet as many partners and internal projects as you can. Make sure to hone in on an industry you're interested in. There are internal whitepapers going on, research, etc. Go 4 it

Array

Feb 28, 2018

Alright I'm probably going to get shit from someone for advertising other websites but if you don't want to shell out the $500ish for the WSO modeling stuff there is plenty of content on Udemy that you can buy to get your feet wet. (I went with a 15 hour course on modeling which cost about $12).

Of course the material itself isn't as extensive such as multiple cases / etc offered by pricier options like WSO. It was good for me because it solidified my interest in modeling and I plan to purchase WSO's modeling camp once I complete the python course I'm working on.

    • 2
Mar 1, 2018

There's a difference between being bored with your current role but liking the industry (big picture) and hating what you do and the industry but using it as a stepping stone.

In either case, I would stay for 2 yrs (minimum 1 is a requirement or you will not be taken seriously anywhere). If you actually like the industry and the "idea" of what you do, just not all the tasks understand you are at the entry point of a career. This addresses the option C comment. Many in your age group were brainwashed to think you can have what you want whenever you want it. The reality is, most entry level jobs suck. Do you htink a CPA likes his first few yrs in audit (boring as shit)? Or a salesmen of any product cold calling or a Movie director being a gopher production assistant. It's called paying your dues. If you want a promising career in anything, you have to pay your dues. If you want to be in control sooner, go start a company and figure it out.

A word most millenials need to appreciate is :.... wait for it ..." patience"

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Mar 1, 2018

I agree with what you're saying, but there is a difference in paying your dues vs. being completely under utilized. With a bench as deep as this, it is hard to find positives. I'm willing to work and wait for it, but somethings gotta give...

    • 1
Mar 1, 2018

Ex-engagement manager here. There is not a difference since everyone is underutilized relative to their intelligence and abilities immediately out of school. Have to give a job at least 2 years and the opportunity to do external work. You're wasting your time on the bench by not learning and networking internally and externally, and will pray for such bench time later in life.

Best Response
Mar 1, 2018
    • 9