Office location impacts the projects you get?

consulting project office preferences projects
New answer on Oct 27, 2020
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 26, 2020

Hey all, I am wondering how do consultants at tier 2 firms get staffed on projects? Is it mainly throught networking with Partners or with the talent managers?

Also, if I am stationed at a small office; how would it impact my ability to get staffed on good projects?

Thank you!

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Adi
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replied on Oct 26, 2020
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hi there,

So, am answering two parts of your question:

  1. Staffing: There is an official talent management process and the unofficial who-knows-you process. For most new hires their first role is hardly the dream role as they staffed on whatever is available at that time. Very rarely supply & demand planning aligns perfectly for new hire to get staffed in line with their skills/talent/ambitions. So my advice is work with both the staffing processes and build your credibility & network over time. Tag along with Partners/Directors/Senior Managers who are doing well and who rate you. Your future roles will be mostly via your network and thats how you will get the "good" roles.
  2. Office Location: In short yes, this will matter in the type of roles and clients you will get exposed to. So put some effort to understand the client exposure out that office, senior people there and future plans. Manage your expectations and give yourself time to build your skills and visibility. Work with your managers to make a performance plan and position yourself as key member of that small office. Think yourself as a big fish in a small lake vs a small fish in a big sea. Good work will automatically come your way.

Adi

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Clara
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replied on Oct 26, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Yes, usually the place where you are determines the engagements you end up doing.

For instance, if you are in an area where major O&G projects happen, there are high chances that the local office is very specialized into that. Then, you would have a big CST (Client Service Team) there, and it´s a vicious (or virtuous) circle.

Hope it helps.

Best,

Clara

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Robert
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replied on Oct 27, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Typically the office location influences the type of projects, based on the "specializations" of that office. It's not binary, but the odds are much higher for a certain project that your office has specific expertise.

Staffing process is in reality based on your project track record and the relationships you built inside the firm based on that. If you are an excellent consultant, the same partner will most likely want you on his team for another project as well - as simple as that. On top of that, there is also the "official" staffing process .. which of course won't overrule partner preferences unless you have a different wish and it's realistic for the firm to use you productively on another engagement (e.g. if you want to explore a different industry..).

Hope this helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the upvote button below!

Robert

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Ian
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replied on Oct 26, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

A few general rules:

1) Technically you have a staffing manager, but if you want to be successful you need to internally network and get yourself staffed on the good projects (i.e. if partners, principals, etc. like you then they'll ask for you)

2) Of course location matters. Projects and clients in Dubai are going to be fundamentally different from those in Sydney, who are going to be fundamentally different from those in Houston.

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Henning
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replied on Oct 26, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

This would depend on the operating model of the firm you're applying to. Do they have a P&L around practices or offices? Ar they in a segment of the market in which expenses are passed on to the client? Do they prefer local staffing to allow you to build closer relationships with their colleagues or global staffing?

The only way to know is to ask both HR, and current employees/alums.

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Anonymous A on Oct 26, 2020
Hi Henning, it is a global P&L.

(edited)

Nakul
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replied on Oct 26, 2020
(Current) Associate Director - EY Strategy and Transactions | 10+ yrs' industry exp. transitioned to Consulting |Australia #1 MBA

Hello,

Yes, location does matter on the scale, type and complexity of projects you will be staffed on. The big 4 consulting firms aren't as agile in staffing projects with interstate or international resources unless that is the last available option or if there is a specific skillset that is required.

Don't be detered by small office locations. It has its own set of benefits such as direct access to Partner, generally working on smaller and shorter engagements i.e. more diversity of experience. As you grow in your career, of course even in smaller locations you need to be able to demonstrate revenue growth.

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Adi gave the best answer

Adi

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