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Consulting career advice

BCG Bain McKinsey partners in performance Roland Berger
New answer on Feb 07, 2023
6 Answers
582 Views
Anonymous A asked on Feb 06, 2023

As a mining engineer (MSc) with 4,5+ years of experience and bachelor's in Metallurgy, do you think it is better to get into consulting firms that have a specialized practices in Metals&Mining or is it better to apply for firms like Roland Berger, Partners in Performance (PiP)? After which of these companies I have a higher chance to make more-income career? To be clear, my end goal is to earn a lot of money and being happy.

Thank you.

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Dennis
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replied on Feb 06, 2023
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

you should use your prior experience and your relevant industry knowledge to get a foot in the door. This works well with firms that either have a specialized practice in mining or a general industrials practice. Once you are in, you can also develop away from metallurgy and branch out into other topics that might interest you more. One advantage about consulting is that you are never truly stuck and you can get exposure to a variety of topics.

If the above makes you happy will remain to be seen. By pursuing a career in consulting, you will be sacrificing a lot of your free time. Some like it, for others it becomes an issue after a while.

Consulting pays well and can give you a quite comfortable lifestyle financially. If you want to get truly rich, however, you should start a successful company :) 

But if that is not an option, you should definitely think about how you can get a good savings potential out of your job (you'll be spending most of the time doing that after all). This starts with choosing the region/office you are going to be working in. Places like UAE, Switzerland and USA have quite high salary rates with rather low or non-existing income tax. Places like London have very high living cost and relatively low salary levels - you can do the math. Of course there is more to it but just some food for thought.

Good luck

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Hagen
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replied on Feb 07, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • First of all, I would highly advise you to reassess to what extent financial wealth makes you happy. While earning a high income can provide financial security and comfort, it's not always a guarantee of happiness and contentment.
  • When it comes to your career, it really depends on your goals. If you want to continue working in the metals and mining industry, it might be a good idea to apply to specialized boutique consulting companies that focus on this industry (for further readings on boutique consulting companies, please see this article I wrote). On the other hand, if you're interested in expanding your industry expertise, applying to established strategy consulting companies might be a better fit for you.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to address your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Benjamin
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replied on Feb 06, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hello,

Sharing my perspectives on your questions below:

Should I apply into a specialized practice or general firms?

  • There are many reasons why people apply to consulting, including:
    • learning the consulting skillset
    • getting a broad exposure to various industries
    • getting brand name/prestige and network on your CV
  • If the above are what you are interested in, then you don't necessarily need to apply to firms specializing in M&M, and you should also consider applying to MBB/T2 firms
  • However, if you really want to -only- specialize in M&M, then yes you would want to look for a firm that has a bigger practice in that

Which route will have a higher chance of making more income (assuming my goal is to make a lot of money and be happy)

  • Consulting, and MBB is in my opinion, one of the most risk free ways of earning a very high salary and become a top [x%] earner in your country → assuming you make Partner
  • However, taking a step back, while the salary is high, it is definitely not as high as what finance can pay you, or what a successful business can. This is because the salary at MBB partner level does cap out eventually
  • Like other coaches have mentioned, making money and being happy are 2 different things
  • If making money makes you happy, then do consider consulting but then I would urge you to consider also other avenues of making money - because what 1 thing many consultants realize is that there are probably better ways to make money than staying in consulting
  • Are there people that stay in consulting their entire lives and are happy? Yes there are. But there are more people who have left consulting before partner, and clearly for a reason

Hope this helps!

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Cristian
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replied on Feb 06, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there, 

Wow, this is quite a pickle. 

First of all, making a lot of money and being happy can often be divergent goals. But let's not get into that. 

Instead, to figure out your situation, it would be more useful to understand whether you want to pursue your functional knowledge further (e.g., Metal & Mining). 

If yes, this can be an asset for you, since you'll already have a distinctive value proposition immediately as you get into consulting. You can seek to apply here to specialised firms, but also to large firms (e.g., MBB) that have a strong industry focus or practice for this area. 

If you're not interested in pursuing this topic area anymore, then you could literally go anywhere and do anything, which in short means applying for a generalist position across firms. 

If it's a choice, I'd rather go with the first situation because that will also maximize your chances of getting hired. 

Sharing with you here an article on how to network and get referrals to increase your chances of getting to the interviews.

Best,

Cristian

 

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 07, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

I highly highly recommend you take a step back and dive MUCH deeper into your last sentence “end goal is to earn a lot of money and be happy”.

There's a lot I could say about my own lessons in “happiness” (Most importantly, end goal should never be used when describing happiness), but you need to go your own journey. I will tell you this: you're completely and utterly focuses on the wrong question if this is your goal/objective.

I highly recommend you hire a career coach AND puruse whatever pathway you need to understand meaning/happiness (could be religion, could be therapy, could be books, etc).

Now, to figure out which job you will LIKE best, you need to network! Speak with people about their experiences at those firms. As a general rule: bigger names will tend to result in more $.

Finally, why are you selecting them before they have selected you? 

Apply to them all…then see what happens….for all you know your choice could be made FOR you. (i.e. you get only 1 offer)

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Adi
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replied on Feb 06, 2023
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Everyone wants a lot of $$ and happiness :). How many can actually claim to be truly, genuinly happy even with all that money…thats a deeper question. With all the growth, development and conveniences you would expect most people to be blissed out (at least in Western countries and other developed cities etc). But this is not happening…

Stop worrying about making a lot of money now and focus on what can you offer, what are your skills that a Consulting firm will value, what can you be good it→ do a really job and build from there.  Money and success will come!

Focus on finding a role and company that FITs both ways i.e. your skills, values, risk profile match with the firm's.

Have a look at this article for more guidance- https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-do-i-know-which-career-is-right-for-me

Good luck choosing!

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Dennis gave the best answer

Dennis

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Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe
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