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7

Pushed starting date

Hi,

I just graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in North America. Last October, I received an offer, which I signed, from Kearney for a Business Analyst position in Dubai with my starting date in September 2020.

Today, I received a call from HR explaining they were pushing my strating date to January 2021. A decision that I fully understand given the current Covid context and the shrunk pipeline of projects.

Two questions:

1) Does anyone know what's happening in the other Top tier firms in the Middle East region? For exemple, I heard Oliver Wyman did the same thing as Kearney.

2) What to do during the 4 month of September to December? Try to grab a nice internship in a domain I wanna explore to fill the gap on my Resume? Focus on my GMAT/GRE test and ace it for potential MBA? Or/and get a online certifcate in a domain I like and in which I could deepen my skills, like Data science. (ex. MITx MicroMasters, HBS Online... worth it though?)

Hi,

I just graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in North America. Last October, I received an offer, which I signed, from Kearney for a Business Analyst position in Dubai with my starting date in September 2020.

Today, I received a call from HR explaining they were pushing my strating date to January 2021. A decision that I fully understand given the current Covid context and the shrunk pipeline of projects.

Two questions:

1) Does anyone know what's happening in the other Top tier firms in the Middle East region? For exemple, I heard Oliver Wyman did the same thing as Kearney.

2) What to do during the 4 month of September to December? Try to grab a nice internship in a domain I wanna explore to fill the gap on my Resume? Focus on my GMAT/GRE test and ace it for potential MBA? Or/and get a online certifcate in a domain I like and in which I could deepen my skills, like Data science. (ex. MITx MicroMasters, HBS Online... worth it though?)

(edited)

7 answers

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Dear A ,

My congratulations to your offer at Kearney Dubai. This is great company which has been growing up to 30% year-on-year. In the last consecutive years, before the COVID situation.

Regarding other companies. There are in the similar position. Strategy&, Oliver Wyman and others are pushing back the starting date for the candidates also to January 2021. However, Roland Berger and BCG stick to their commitments. Some of my mentees have started their job simply on remote working, bur during COVID time.


As for your second question, there several options which you can choose. Of, course, you can focus and get one of the internships in this time. You can also complete a couple of courses or learn a new language, for example Arabic, which you will definitely need, if you don't know it yet. Otherwise, you can also spend this time with your family and friends, because your personal life will come short after you start in consulting. Last but not least,it's also very valuable time to prepare yourself in consulting industry. If you wish, I can share with you deep insights from Kearney Dubai - the working culture and how t become a successful consultant and build quick career over there. I have many friends who work there as partners, principles and project managers.

Feel free to drop a line.


Good luck,

André

Dear A ,

My congratulations to your offer at Kearney Dubai. This is great company which has been growing up to 30% year-on-year. In the last consecutive years, before the COVID situation.

Regarding other companies. There are in the similar position. Strategy&, Oliver Wyman and others are pushing back the starting date for the candidates also to January 2021. However, Roland Berger and BCG stick to their commitments. Some of my mentees have started their job simply on remote working, bur during COVID time.


As for your second question, there several options which you can choose. Of, course, you can focus and get one of the internships in this time. You can also complete a couple of courses or learn a new language, for example Arabic, which you will definitely need, if you don't know it yet. Otherwise, you can also spend this time with your family and friends, because your personal life will come short after you start in consulting. Last but not least,it's also very valuable time to prepare yourself in consulting industry. If you wish, I can share with you deep insights from Kearney Dubai - the working culture and how t become a successful consultant and build quick career over there. I have many friends who work there as partners, principles and project managers.

Feel free to drop a line.


Good luck,

André

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Hi there,

congratulations on your offer from Kearney. Please find my answers below:

  1. I know in Europe several companies postponed the starting date, I guess the same is true for the ME
  2. All the options you mentioned would be fine. If you are very positive on an MBA, doing the GMAT would probably be the best option, since you already secured the job with Kearney. I would consider the internship and the online course as second best to that. Alternatively, you could also consider mastering excel and power point, learning a new language or working for a no-profit. Finally, before starting I would recommend to read about your favorite industries, which may help to show knowledge for staffing purposes.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

congratulations on your offer from Kearney. Please find my answers below:

  1. I know in Europe several companies postponed the starting date, I guess the same is true for the ME
  2. All the options you mentioned would be fine. If you are very positive on an MBA, doing the GMAT would probably be the best option, since you already secured the job with Kearney. I would consider the internship and the online course as second best to that. Alternatively, you could also consider mastering excel and power point, learning a new language or working for a no-profit. Finally, before starting I would recommend to read about your favorite industries, which may help to show knowledge for staffing purposes.

Best,

Francesco

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Hello! Congrats for the offer and sorry for the situation!

To your questions:

1. Indeed, this is happening in all firms -consulting and non consulting, all tiers-. Probably things will develop normally and you will start 4 months later, only that. Worst case scenario that I see is another push, but never the contract getting rescinded.

2. If there is one thing I wish I had done before joining McKinsey, that would have been Excel. It can really be a game changer, so I would really focus on that (more than pptx, industry knowledge, etc., that are nice-to-have, but not deal breakers).

Excel skills are part of the core skill-set of consultants, and it´s great that you want to practice them. PFB a list of the most popular commands:

  • Basic operations: SUM, SUMPRODUCT
  • Text transformations: CONCATENATE, LEFT, RIGHT, & operator,
  • Connecting different datasets: VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, INDEX(MATCH(),MATCH())
  • Conditional-based operations: SUMIF, COUNTIF, SUMIFS, COUNTIFS, COUNTA
  • Learn how to analyze data using Pivot Tables

There are plenty of online materials:

  • Microsoft Support: https://support.office.com/en-us/excel
  • Kubicle: https://kubicle.com/personal (go for the 7 days free trial - Excel for Business Analytics)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello! Congrats for the offer and sorry for the situation!

To your questions:

1. Indeed, this is happening in all firms -consulting and non consulting, all tiers-. Probably things will develop normally and you will start 4 months later, only that. Worst case scenario that I see is another push, but never the contract getting rescinded.

2. If there is one thing I wish I had done before joining McKinsey, that would have been Excel. It can really be a game changer, so I would really focus on that (more than pptx, industry knowledge, etc., that are nice-to-have, but not deal breakers).

Excel skills are part of the core skill-set of consultants, and it´s great that you want to practice them. PFB a list of the most popular commands:

  • Basic operations: SUM, SUMPRODUCT
  • Text transformations: CONCATENATE, LEFT, RIGHT, & operator,
  • Connecting different datasets: VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, INDEX(MATCH(),MATCH())
  • Conditional-based operations: SUMIF, COUNTIF, SUMIFS, COUNTIFS, COUNTA
  • Learn how to analyze data using Pivot Tables

There are plenty of online materials:

  • Microsoft Support: https://support.office.com/en-us/excel
  • Kubicle: https://kubicle.com/personal (go for the 7 days free trial - Excel for Business Analytics)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Hey there,

It has been happening quite often in other regions, across different companies. I'd say 4 months delay is really not a bad thing.

It is really up to you how you want to spend this 4 months. What interests you the most? If I am in the same situation, I probably would so something that could get me more prepared for Jan (all the skills required in consulting, business knowledge etc.), and also make sure there is sometime for just personal fun and relax.

Enjoy the time!

Best,

Emily

Hey there,

It has been happening quite often in other regions, across different companies. I'd say 4 months delay is really not a bad thing.

It is really up to you how you want to spend this 4 months. What interests you the most? If I am in the same situation, I probably would so something that could get me more prepared for Jan (all the skills required in consulting, business knowledge etc.), and also make sure there is sometime for just personal fun and relax.

Enjoy the time!

Best,

Emily

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Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the start date push. However, not entirely surprised, a lot of companies (including those in ME) are pushing back dates.

In regards to #2, I honestly recommend all the above!

Send out feelers to see if you can snag an internship...the extra experience, income, and backup, are all good to have.

Prepare for the GMAT/GRE - given you've graduated recently, preparing for this will be much easier than if you do it later. Trust me! I took the GRE my senior year of college and did very well, but struggled significantly with my GMAT 5 years later. Testing skills get rusty!

Data Science is a growing, important, and marketable field that I highly recommend gaining skills in. You may not have to get a full certificate (though it is an option). There are many one-off classes that you can group together (i.e. a database design/structure class, SQL class, Python/Ruby, Tableau, Data insights/visualization, etc.)

Good luck and keep up the right attitude!

By the way, it won't hurt to go through out cases that deal with other impacts of COVID-19. Check out these two cases:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/brain-teaser/beginner/coronavirus-times-194

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/intermediate/chinese-chess-191

Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the start date push. However, not entirely surprised, a lot of companies (including those in ME) are pushing back dates.

In regards to #2, I honestly recommend all the above!

Send out feelers to see if you can snag an internship...the extra experience, income, and backup, are all good to have.

Prepare for the GMAT/GRE - given you've graduated recently, preparing for this will be much easier than if you do it later. Trust me! I took the GRE my senior year of college and did very well, but struggled significantly with my GMAT 5 years later. Testing skills get rusty!

Data Science is a growing, important, and marketable field that I highly recommend gaining skills in. You may not have to get a full certificate (though it is an option). There are many one-off classes that you can group together (i.e. a database design/structure class, SQL class, Python/Ruby, Tableau, Data insights/visualization, etc.)

Good luck and keep up the right attitude!

By the way, it won't hurt to go through out cases that deal with other impacts of COVID-19. Check out these two cases:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/brain-teaser/beginner/coronavirus-times-194

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/intermediate/chinese-chess-191

(edited)

Book a coaching with Khaled

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Hi there,

1) All consulting companies are pushing the starting dates - the last batches for top tier consulting were accepted in March. Most companies in the Middle-East are either pushing till September 2020 of until Jan 2021.

2) GMAT is a great idea - try to do it now and get it out of the way. You are still in the "student mode", it will be easier for you to crack it. If you wait until you are 2-3 years into consulting you will struggle to find quality time to focus on studying (i used to study in the plane on my way back from Riyadh to Dubai...not the best studying environment)

Also, try to spend time getting your hands dirty with machine learning and RPA - it has been a buzz word in the region for a while now, companies (mostly Financial Services) are trying to see how they can use it to improve processes.

Also, practice data analysis and visualization on Excel - there are some nice online courses out there (i took one course on EdX.com last month, delivered by Microsoft, it was very helpful to significantly improve how to organize, manage and analyze datasets)

Good luck, and if you need any tips about consultants' life in Dubai feel free to reach out.

See you around soon! :)

Best

Khaled

Hi there,

1) All consulting companies are pushing the starting dates - the last batches for top tier consulting were accepted in March. Most companies in the Middle-East are either pushing till September 2020 of until Jan 2021.

2) GMAT is a great idea - try to do it now and get it out of the way. You are still in the "student mode", it will be easier for you to crack it. If you wait until you are 2-3 years into consulting you will struggle to find quality time to focus on studying (i used to study in the plane on my way back from Riyadh to Dubai...not the best studying environment)

Also, try to spend time getting your hands dirty with machine learning and RPA - it has been a buzz word in the region for a while now, companies (mostly Financial Services) are trying to see how they can use it to improve processes.

Also, practice data analysis and visualization on Excel - there are some nice online courses out there (i took one course on EdX.com last month, delivered by Microsoft, it was very helpful to significantly improve how to organize, manage and analyze datasets)

Good luck, and if you need any tips about consultants' life in Dubai feel free to reach out.

See you around soon! :)

Best

Khaled

Book a coaching with Vlad

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Hi,

1) Don't know specifically for ME, but I believe it's happening pretty much everywhere

2) GMAT is relevant only if you plan to apply to MBAs later. However, right now the offline locations are closed and they are moving to an online format. Pls, check this in order not to waste your time. An internship could be a great option, but again, due to covid it'll be hard to get. Just taking a break might be a good option as well before consulting

Best

Hi,

1) Don't know specifically for ME, but I believe it's happening pretty much everywhere

2) GMAT is relevant only if you plan to apply to MBAs later. However, right now the offline locations are closed and they are moving to an online format. Pls, check this in order not to waste your time. An internship could be a great option, but again, due to covid it'll be hard to get. Just taking a break might be a good option as well before consulting

Best

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