Notes from a Girl in Consulting (and Finance)

I've had a great and interesting journey so far, and to be honest, I'm not sure what I want to do finally - we'll see how it goes.

I'm impatient, not detail-oriented, fun loving, not serious - none of the characteristics generally valued in banking or consulting. Yet I just got an outstanding review from my consulting internship saying I don't have any major areas that need improvement, and should I want to return to finance, have a standing offer from a former manager.

Things that have helped me a lot:

1) Going to a semi-target business school, where those management and marketing classes offer a lot that you can actually implement

2) First internship under a tough, emotionless boss at a small firm where I got to do a lot of work and my team was very reliant on a young intern. Also no one knew how old I was, so I was completely expected to act and perform like a first year even though I was about 18 years old.

3) A school club where I organized a large event with many professional sponsors and guests. It was a year long endeavor, very successful, and allowed me to make great impressions on tons of recruiters.

My strengths and tips:

1) This is not something I like, but as been said many times before, double and triple check everything before you give it in. Even if its simple edits and comps, be proud and committed of anything you do.

2) Partners/MD's whatever are not scary. Respect yourself. You are talented and have plenty to offer - act like it. Speak to them as an equal, be genuinely curious, find common ground (sports, schools, weather, news, their kids).

3) Feel ownership for your work.

4) Don't be afraid of people. They're all humans.

5) Middle school girls are great practice. You can say anything to anyone if you're tactful about how you do it. I do think women tend to be better than men at this.

6) Be positive. This site is so negative - is that really how you want to live your life? No one wants to be around a negative person anyway. Don't dwell on the bad, don't ruminate on things you can't fix right now. Be practical.

I don't know if this will help anyone, but the mental aspect makes a huge difference, so I wanted to put it out there. I don't think it's something that can be taught - it comes from experience, but at least this is a start.

I also want to add that I had a terrible experience with anxiety and depression junior year, and I am still on medicine for it. All I have to say is if this happens to you, please reach out immediately. The medicine made such a huge difference in my life. Some type of treatment is definitely better than trying to "get over it".

Comments (26)

Jul 1, 2015

kudos!

Best Response
Jul 1, 2015

If you're checking things over two or three times, I would say you actually are detail oriented. I guess you thought we weren't detail oriented and you thought you could slip that by us?

    • 5
Jul 1, 2015

I am not naturally detail orientated but I know the job requires 0 mistakes in my work product - so I force myself! Otherwise I wouldn't really care if the colors are off by one shade or something like that.

    • 1
    • 2
Jul 1, 2015

6 has helped me stand out in the sea of naysayers and doom slingers. Solid read

Jul 2, 2015

I like it. Good stuff. I'm also not detail oriented, but working for a manager that is anal about stuff is forcing me to be detail oriented.

Plus I like the point about taking pride in your work. Before sending stuff out, just look it over. It is a reflection of your self and you should take it seriously.

Chill

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jul 2, 2015

This is great stuff!

Jul 2, 2015

I feel like people do not know the difference between detail-oriented and OCD

Jul 2, 2015
MBA_Junkie:

I feel like people do not know the difference between detail-oriented and OCD

Is telling me to line up all the text boxes at 4.67" in powerpoint and having the color of all the headers in the title slides as Red: 205, Green: 219, and Blue: 87 in custom colors being detailed oriented, or is that just OCD? Having trouble distinguishing between the two...

Jul 2, 2015
NESCAC:

MBA_Junkie: I feel like people do not know the difference between detail-oriented and OCD

Is telling me to line up all the text boxes at 4.67" in powerpoint and having the color of all the headers in the title slides as Red: 205, Green: 219, and Blue: 87 in custom colors being detailed oriented, or is that just OCD? Having trouble distinguishing between the two...

If your boss tells you to do that and you do, then you are detail-oriented. If those exact requirements are a product of your faculties alone then you are probably OCD.

Jul 2, 2015

Being detail-oriented is not the same as having OCD

Jul 2, 2015

"Everyone here has been soo nice to me"
"That's because you have huge tits"

    • 4
    • 4
Jul 2, 2015

Same old notes... Blah blah blah. Only thing different is that it's a female this time.

Jul 2, 2015

Girls are great, I'm a fan of them

Jul 3, 2015

Awesome story. Very human advices. Kudos!

Jul 5, 2015

"5) You can say anything to anyone if you're tactful about how you do it. I do think women tend to be better than men at this."

This is really interesting for me. Could you give an example/story or expand on this?

Jul 5, 2015

Sure! Just for an example from school: Sophomore year I was taking a speech and presentation class. The grading and feedback was highly subjective,and my professor was extremely flighty and changed his mind constantly. The problem with this was that our grade was entirely dependent on his opinion of 3 large presentations. I was in a group with a few guys and girls, including one student - let's call him Derek. One day we met to discuss our presentation and Derek was extremely upset. Turns out he had gone to talk to the professor about the irregular grading and the professor had ended up calling him an idiot and more or less threw him out of his office. I was really surprised because I had had the exact same discussion with our professor earlier that week, and it had gone fine. Lots of proof of what the prof had said in the past, "I understand you said this", "what would you like", etc . . . and no blatant anger. Two people. Same professor. Same problem. Drastically different results - I ended up getting a much better grade than Derek even though we both presented well and in truth had similar personalities - more analytical than artistic.

Anyone can benefit from being charming - think White Collar or James Bond. A lot of girls are expected to be "polite" in general, and it seems to be at least, being "polite" can more consistently get results compared to anger or being macho.

    • 3
Jul 7, 2015

thanks for your input- it's small stuff like this that's really eye opening for me. it paints a picture coming from a much healthier frame of mind than say, there are things you can and can't do with people.

Jul 7, 2015

It appears that the professor's behavior is inconsistent which makes him an unreliable basis for comparison.

Is Derek a naturally belligerent person that makes you certain he "confronted" the professor? If not, maybe the reverse of your assumption is true, i.e, girls just tend to get away with a lot more than guys, e.g. - and this is a true story - a coworker of mine curses out loudly in the office (idiot, moron, jerk, etc - I work in corp fin and such language does not fly here) when ever she get emails that don't "go her way". This has been going on for months and nobody has raised concerns but I am certain someone would have if only she were a guy who regularly uses unprofessional language in the office.

Jul 8, 2015

I am suffering from mild depression and it's bothered me for some time now. Can you provide me with the name of the medicine you are taking ? please message me. Thanks

Jul 9, 2015
leeb91:

I am suffering from mild depression and it's bothered me for some time now. Can you provide me with the name of the medicine you are taking ? please message me. Thanks

What works for her might not work for you - go see a doctor. Please.

Jul 11, 2015
Comment
Jul 10, 2015
Comment

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com