Startup experience valuable for consulting?

consulting guidance startup
New answer on Dec 15, 2019
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Dec 13, 2019

Currently working with a fast growing startup in India and the whole organisation and environment is SUPER disorganised and chaotic. There are no systems/processes for anything. Imagine this - surrounded by engineering speak all day where hour to hour everything changes and there is no clarity on what to do, how to do, etc. Very little guidance from management. Is this a good training ground if I want to enter management consulting down the road?

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Anonymous replied on Dec 15, 2019

Hi there,

Having worked in Consulting and now in the startup world, I think the startup experience can help you if (1) the startup has a very solid, creditble name and track record, and (2) you can demonstrate that you've gain good business acument from the experience. If your goal is management consulting, don't stay too long in the startup. Use your own time to study and practice structural thinking and prepare well for case interviews.

Best,

Emily

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Luca
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replied on Dec 13, 2019
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

that environment seems to be quite complementary to the consulting world.
A startup experience is something that enriches your CV but I would not consider it a "training ground". If you are sure that you want to switch and enter consultancy, I would suggest to do it as soon as you can.

Hope it helps,
Luca

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Antonello
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replied on Dec 13, 2019
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
yes entrepreneurship experience is well valued in CV screening in consulting, but do not wait to much time: if your first goal is consulting I would not spend more than 2-3 years there

Best,
Antonello

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Udayan
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updated an answer on Dec 13, 2019
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

Having worked in India I can understand what it is that you are experiencing. I think some of these elements are quite particular to the work environment there - for example lack of systems or few people following due process even when told to do so. If you are able to be self motivated, disciplined and organized amidst this chaos you will be well set up for a career in consulting. It is not as bad outside of India from a process perspective, but things do often evolve at a rapid pace and you need to be on top of it at all times.

(edited)

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Anonymous A on Dec 13, 2019

Udayan, so glad to hear someone's perspective who understands the Indian work environment. I have studied and worked abroad as well in startups/advisory/trading, but nowhere have I seen the kind of disorganisation and lack of clarity across the organisation as I am experiencing here; moving to India for work for the first time makes me realise how the environment is much more informal, and there is a certain way that needs to be learnt to get things done (especially from others).

(edited)

Udayan on Dec 13, 2019

Very true. India has its challenges but it was also the friendliest place to work for me personally because of the informal nature. All the best with your career and feel free to reach out if I can help in any way.

Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 13, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

That's a typical startup environment and if you are not comfortable with it, you are just not that type of a person (see MBTI test and theory)

Consulting is very often like that. So you should be ready to experience it every day. YOu can train as well, so in that sense, it's a good training ground for you now. I've seen introverts being trained to act as extraverts, etc.

Best

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