The Importance of Start Dates in Consulting

NotAClimber's picture
Rank: Monkey | banana points 53

Hi Monkeys,

I'm going to start my analyst stint at a T2 Firm (think LEK, Deloitte S&O, Strategy&, OW), and have been given two choices for start dates: early August, or early October.

Is there a meaningful reason why it would be better to start in August over October? More specifically, would I have an easier time building reputation/finding better projects if I started in August? If not, I think I'd really appreciate the extra time to enjoy myself - but I want to make sure I can do so without damaging the start to my career :)

Comments (7)

Mar 19, 2019

I'm in a similar situation, but have the options of June and October. My career counselor recommended picking the June start as it is always better to start early in case something happens. But on the other hand, it would be great to take the last break before the real world starts. Doing an overseas trip and playing some golf for one summer would be great. Would be great to hear more on any other work related benefits.

Mar 19, 2019

Take the later start date...and use the time to do something that you won;t be able to after you start working. Become a guide for Outward bound...go teach englich in a foreign country, build houses for the poor. Do something that will be unavailable to you after you begin working.

just google it...you're welcome

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Mar 20, 2019

Bad advice to take the later start date. If you don't start until October, after orientation and training - it will be close to November when you are actually available for staffing.

Unfortunately, typically very few engagements kick-off after mid-November because of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and clients are in wind-down mode with little budget to spend. And early to mid-January is fairly dead as well as it takes a few weeks to agree on scope and get the contracts in place.

So essentially by starting later, you are banking on a window of a few weeks to get staffed - otherwise, you'd might be riding the bench for an extended period of time. Of course, there are always exceptions but just keep in mind that your first engagement will be the hardest one to find so no need to make it even more difficult than it already can be.

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Mar 20, 2019

If you're in the healthcare/life science teams in any of the firms mentioned, starting in October will be hell. You'll be in the middle of Q4 which for pharma/biotech is their busiest period as budgets need to be spent before the year ends otherwise they won't get renewed. This means you'll have infinite proposals, endless kick off meetings and starting loads of projects. If you can give yourself 1-1.5 months to ease into Q4 from August, I would. If you aren't in the healthcare team then this may not apply as much.

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Mar 20, 2019

I am in the FS vertical of my firm - would this change what you had to say? Thanks for your insight!

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Mar 20, 2019

I'm assuming that means you're at OW. Regardless of that, I don' think it could impact things much as the industry isn't as cyclical.

Mar 20, 2019
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