In the coming weeks, I will be leaving Deloitte S&O after just under 2 years on the job, to join the corporate strategy group at a retailer. Since this forum was very helpful to me as I was seeking jobs in consulting, I thought I would give back by candidly answering questions about consulting and/or my experience at Deloitte. Will try my best to answer any and all questions, but will not provide any information that will give away my office location.
My background: US News Top 15 University, Econ Major, 3.9+ GPA, did an internship at a boutique consulting firm before joining Deloitte
Exit Opp from Deloitte Strategy and Ops
The OP shared the following detail about their exit opp from Deloitte.
My job at the retailer will be as a Strategy Analyst. Responsibilities will be fairly similar to those as an analyst in consulting (data analysis, modeling, developing presentations). I will be working on strategic growth initiatives (likely exclusively organic growth) but I will be following projects through from strategy to execution. There will also be some element of managing the relationship with consultants on certain projects. Retailer is in the lower half of the F500, and is pretty well known, but not in the leagues of Wal-Mart, Macys, JC Penney etc.
Why Did I Leave Deloitte Strategy Consulting?
The OP shared the following insight on why they left Deloitte.
Didn't really make a conscious decision to leave. I had casually explored a few opportunities before this one came up, but had decided not to seriously pursue them. Late last year, I got a call from a headhunter about the retail job, had enjoyed my prior work in retail, so I decided to go forward in the process. Ended up liking the people I met through interviewing, liked the city the opportunity was in, and thought it would be good to get some experience outside of consulting before b-school.
It was definitely a tough decision, and if this particular opportunity had not come my way, I would likely have stayed at Deloitte until business school.
How Does Exit Opps Recruiting Work with Headhunters
Can you go into a little more detail about headhunters reaching out to you? To what extent do your projects/clients affect your exit ops? That process has always been understandably opaque from the outside.
The OP shared:
I had headhunters start reaching out to me ~6-8 months in and have had roughly 2-3 contact me per month since then, mostly through linkedin. I think that keeping an up-to-date linked in profile (including cleansed descriptions of my consulting projects) helped me there. The majority of those reaching out were pitching positions that I would not even consider (i.e project management, or in a bad city), but every now and then there would be one that I would explore further.
I think that the projects I have been on have been pretty important in the opportunities that have come my way. I don't think that it is a coincidence that I have done 3 retail/CPG projects and ended up landing a retail gig. It certainly helped a lot in interviews, and I think it is likely what drew the headhunter to my linkedin to begin with. That being said, you can be pretty liberal with what you put on linkedin.
Salary Differences Post Consulting
Salary went up by ~25%, and a expect that my per hour salary went up significantly more than that. I attribute that to several factors, including the fact that I am moving to a more expensive city, I would get at least a 10% raise from Deloitte in September, and that I am forgoing b-school sponsorship. I made the retailer aware of all these things throughout the process, and was pretty happy with the offer that came back. They made it clear that it was a best and final offer, and I didn't negotiate except on some finer points (relocation assistance, start date etc.).
In general, I think that you can expect somewhat of a pay bump when you go corporate, but then your salary will not have the same trajectory as it would in consulting, especially if you are a high performer (10-20% raises annually). Basically, unless you are an incredibly sexy company, you have to do something to pull talented people off of an attractive career path such as consulting. Giving an initial pay bump is one way of doing this, as is offering a better work/life balance. For me, since I expect to go to business school in a few years anyway, this seemed like a pretty good deal.
What Does Deloitte Do?
You can learn more about the work of Deloitte Strategy and Operations below.
Work Balance in Deloitte S&O
How much would you say your work was strategy vs. operations or implementation? I've heard some people say the work at Deloitte is extremely operational but some say there's been a lot more strategy work with the Monitor acquisition.
The OP shared the following insight:
I got a good opportunity to work on both types of engagements, about 50/50 in terms of the time I have spent at Deloitte. The strategy work was a lot more interesting, but it also tended to be much worse in terms of hours (16+ hour days, as opposed to 8-10 hour days).
I had to hustle and prove myself to get on the strategy projects that I worked on and a strong network within the firm as well as good internal references are essential in getting on interesting strategy projects. I certainly know folks where the balance was a more like 75/25 or even 100% implementation work. That being said, I do think the strategy opportunities have expanded a lot with the monitor acquisition, as it essentially doubled the size of the strategy practice.
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