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Francesco

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How to start career in Management Consulting

How to start career in Management Consulting, if I am from Tech Background.

How to start career in Management Consulting, if I am from Tech Background.

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Hi Anonymous,

In general, given your background, the most important thing you should do is proper networking. I wrote below my answers to your questions, and after that some tips on how to do that.

If I want to start from scratch, what consulting firms should I aim for?

I would search on LinkedIn where alumni from your universities are working now in consulting – this will give you an idea of the reasonable targets.

Is it possible to work in a lower tier consulting firm and try to apply for MBB after few years?

Definitely possible, it happens pretty often. Turnover in MBB is pretty high (average in many countries is 3 years), thus they continuously look for new hire, and former consultants are always a good subset where to look for (the brand of the lower tier consulting firm is obviously important for the screening).

Or should I start my career in other industries instead, and come back after few years?

If you want to do consulting, I would start now. Alternatives may be strong corporate brand in strategy role, but only if the corporate brand would be a lot stronger than the lower tier consulting firm one.

As for what you should do for networking, I would recommend the following:

1. Identify who are the people who could more easily help you. Alumni of your current university on LinkedIn should be the first targets

2. Write them a customized cold email

3. Have a call with the consultant, and indirectly ask for a referral

Of course, each step should be structured in a proper way to maximize the chances of moving to the next step. I have used this method when I applied for consulting, and I believe this is the main reason why I got invitations for all the applications I did (McK, Bain, BCG, Oliver Wyman, Roland Berger, Booz&Co - now Strategy&): I never applied through the website, as I always had a person referring me.

Finally, so far that you find alumni of your current university in MBB, it could be possible for you to be invited there as well with appropriate networking, thus I would try that for them as well.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

In general, given your background, the most important thing you should do is proper networking. I wrote below my answers to your questions, and after that some tips on how to do that.

If I want to start from scratch, what consulting firms should I aim for?

I would search on LinkedIn where alumni from your universities are working now in consulting – this will give you an idea of the reasonable targets.

Is it possible to work in a lower tier consulting firm and try to apply for MBB after few years?

Definitely possible, it happens pretty often. Turnover in MBB is pretty high (average in many countries is 3 years), thus they continuously look for new hire, and former consultants are always a good subset where to look for (the brand of the lower tier consulting firm is obviously important for the screening).

Or should I start my career in other industries instead, and come back after few years?

If you want to do consulting, I would start now. Alternatives may be strong corporate brand in strategy role, but only if the corporate brand would be a lot stronger than the lower tier consulting firm one.

As for what you should do for networking, I would recommend the following:

1. Identify who are the people who could more easily help you. Alumni of your current university on LinkedIn should be the first targets

2. Write them a customized cold email

3. Have a call with the consultant, and indirectly ask for a referral

Of course, each step should be structured in a proper way to maximize the chances of moving to the next step. I have used this method when I applied for consulting, and I believe this is the main reason why I got invitations for all the applications I did (McK, Bain, BCG, Oliver Wyman, Roland Berger, Booz&Co - now Strategy&): I never applied through the website, as I always had a person referring me.

Finally, so far that you find alumni of your current university in MBB, it could be possible for you to be invited there as well with appropriate networking, thus I would try that for them as well.

Best,

Francesco

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Hi,

Congratulations, tech background is relevant for consulting more than ever before!

First of all, check how your tech background fits with the available consulting roles:

  • Big 3 companies have it's Digital Groups (e.g. McKinsey Digital) These are consulting groups with a huge IT component. Projects include IT strategy, agile transformation, etc. They have digital teams in most of the countries although the scope varies. If you are in NY or SF, most of your projects will be in Digital. In other countries, you may have both generalist and IT projects. Pros are flexible staffing, more international opportunities, huge investments in people (trainings)
  • Another option is Digital Subsidiaries. For example McKinsey has a big data subsidiary (Quantum Black) as well as design and software companies under the umbrella brand New Ventures. The main idea is in-house development of digital tools that can be sold (e.g. saas) to mck clients. Currently, BIG3 companies hire lots of industry experts for this new team and provide secondment opportunities for generalist consultants to lead these companies. Pros - potentially better work-life balance, opportunity to work with industry experts and participate in acquisitions.
  • Finally, you can apply as a generalist - this opportunity is always opened, although your background will not necessarily be a particular advantage

Once you've decided - you can either find the people working there via LinledIn or ask the HR if they can introduce you to someone. If you are quite experienced, the manager or the recruiting partner may decide to talk to you and give you an advice.

Finally, you have to prepare for an interview. Basically, this web-site is all about this process.

Best,

Hi,

Congratulations, tech background is relevant for consulting more than ever before!

First of all, check how your tech background fits with the available consulting roles:

  • Big 3 companies have it's Digital Groups (e.g. McKinsey Digital) These are consulting groups with a huge IT component. Projects include IT strategy, agile transformation, etc. They have digital teams in most of the countries although the scope varies. If you are in NY or SF, most of your projects will be in Digital. In other countries, you may have both generalist and IT projects. Pros are flexible staffing, more international opportunities, huge investments in people (trainings)
  • Another option is Digital Subsidiaries. For example McKinsey has a big data subsidiary (Quantum Black) as well as design and software companies under the umbrella brand New Ventures. The main idea is in-house development of digital tools that can be sold (e.g. saas) to mck clients. Currently, BIG3 companies hire lots of industry experts for this new team and provide secondment opportunities for generalist consultants to lead these companies. Pros - potentially better work-life balance, opportunity to work with industry experts and participate in acquisitions.
  • Finally, you can apply as a generalist - this opportunity is always opened, although your background will not necessarily be a particular advantage

Once you've decided - you can either find the people working there via LinledIn or ask the HR if they can introduce you to someone. If you are quite experienced, the manager or the recruiting partner may decide to talk to you and give you an advice.

Finally, you have to prepare for an interview. Basically, this web-site is all about this process.

Best,

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I would actually recommend to first talk with friends, friends of friends or acquaintances about the job to understand if it's the right fit for you.

Then seek out opportunities (events, people) to get a referral. At same time start preparing for potential informal and formal interviews.

good luck!

andrea

I would actually recommend to first talk with friends, friends of friends or acquaintances about the job to understand if it's the right fit for you.

Then seek out opportunities (events, people) to get a referral. At same time start preparing for potential informal and formal interviews.

good luck!

andrea

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That's a big question : )

In short:

1. Start googling the general idea (victor cheng is a good place to start)

2. One of the first thing I would recomend doing - is figuring out (benchmarking collegues and googling) your current chances - how your CV ranks in a way to see if this is something you'd want to invest time into, and what is missing from your CV

3. start finding out which firms exist in the geography you're interested in.

4. Try and find some contats at these firms (preferably at the same office you'd interview with) and start networking - asking quetsions...

5. Start stuyding - which is a whole other topic by itself.

(DM me if you want to talk on how to structure the studying procees)

Good luck!

That's a big question : )

In short:

1. Start googling the general idea (victor cheng is a good place to start)

2. One of the first thing I would recomend doing - is figuring out (benchmarking collegues and googling) your current chances - how your CV ranks in a way to see if this is something you'd want to invest time into, and what is missing from your CV

3. start finding out which firms exist in the geography you're interested in.

4. Try and find some contats at these firms (preferably at the same office you'd interview with) and start networking - asking quetsions...

5. Start stuyding - which is a whole other topic by itself.

(DM me if you want to talk on how to structure the studying procees)

Good luck!

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