Differentiating initiatives in consulting firms

leadership and development
New answer on Jun 23, 2022
6 Answers
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Martin asked on Jun 21, 2022

Hi there,

What are some of the best ways for junior/mid level consultants to contribute to the firm OUTSIDE of regular, project-related work? Some of the ideas I came across include:

  • Initiating team-building activities, communities
  • Building knowledge in narrow field of expertise within one's interests (finalized by article, report) 
  • Creating tools helpful for the team (e.g. automatizing mundane tasks like submitting expenses)

What other ideas, in your opinion, are worth considering? Or what interesting initiatives have you seen in your firms? 

Thanks!

 

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Florian
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replied on Jun 22, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

I think four things are missing on your list:

  1. Proposal work for new projects
  2. Event organization. This ranges from helping with the yearly Christmas party to monthly get-togethers of a particular interest group, etc.
  3. Recruitment, ranging from on-campus recruiting events to more strategic multi-day recruiting events
  4. Interviewing

While all these can help with visibility and career progression, make sure that your performance is strong where it matters, i.e. the project work. Everything else is a cherry on top.

Cheers,

Florian

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Ian
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replied on Jun 22, 2022
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Hi Martin,

#1 rule: Make sure you have capacity! The most important is that you're doing your job well.

You're about right with your list. Remember that there are tons of clubs/groups you can just join as well. Pick the ones that interest you!

Finally, just ask. Ask HR. Ask your peers. They'll know what is available at your specific office!

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Adi
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replied on Jun 22, 2022
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Hi Martin,

Ian’s anwer is spot on here.

in addition I will suggest that only get involved in those things for which you have a genuine interest outside of usual client work, otherwise it will feel like a burden. Be choosy and efficient about this. 

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Cristian
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replied on Jun 23, 2022
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Hi Martin, 

My first question would be - why do you even want to do that? Isn't the work itself keeping you sufficiently busy? 

But that aside, what I'd recommend you focus on is coming up with initiatives that contribute to your office and are aligned with your values. This way you'll get to work on things that you are genuinely interested in, while building a close community of people you care about around you. 

Best,

Cristian 

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Moritz
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replied on Jun 22, 2022
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Hi Martin,

This typically becomes self-evident whenever you start your role in a company. The things you mention may or may not apply - depending on the actual demand/supply:

  • Demand: Whether or not initiatives are valuable really depends on whether there's an existing gap/pain point. In other words, your thinking should be guided by observation and talking to different CSTs, Partners, Practice Leads, Office and Recruiting Staff, etc.
  • Supply: Assuming no one else is working on the “need” you identified, you may well take the lead on this. However, you need to carefully consider the cost/benefit. Cost is essentially time and energy, which you can't spend on actual project work and/or private life. As for benefit, this is actually required to advance and MBB specifically measure “extra-curricular” activities in your performance reviews. So always make sure what you do is visible and really meets a need (you don't get any gold stickers for futile efforts).

Hope this helps a bit! Best of luck!

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Clara
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replied on Jun 22, 2022
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Hello Martin, 

It´s great you are thinking this way, provided you have capacity! MBB is already a couple of full time jobs, so ensure you also have time to recover and for yourself!

That list is great, you can add also helping in office events and in office initiatives (e.g., recruiting, career services help, even interviewing if you have the right tenure). 

However, it also depends on the target. If you want to add data points to your evaluation, probably best is to choose a CST and work closely with them in extra client work (proposals, etc.). If you do this to have a better experience and genuinely help your team, do find out which things would help them best (from automatizing little shits that everyone has to do and hates, to team events…)

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

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Florian gave the best answer

Florian

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