Thoughts on joining consultancy firm now vs 3 YOE in industry

Capgemini Invent Finance background Industry experience
New answer on Nov 06, 2022
3 Answers
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Mark asked on Nov 05, 2022

Hi all,

Recently got offered a position as a consultant at Capgemini invent. Been working in finance transformation for the past 1.5 years for a large multinational (straight out of university, corporate finance Masters degree). Always enjoyed the combination of technology and finance. After the consulting offer my current employer offered me new position in finance transformation on international level (with a pretty huge increase in pay), project expected to last about 1.5 years.

The reason I applied to a consulting role is to improve soft skills like presenting and story telling (as I do not really develop those in my current role). The role offered at my current firm would have the benefit of getting international experience and working close to exec's, as well as working in a team with experienced ex-consultants now in the industry.

If I would go down that path at my own firm, would a switch to consulting still be feasible later on (if I feel like developing earlier mentioned skills), having around 3 YOE in an industry role? Or would making the switch now be more beneficial?

Would be glad to have your take on it :).

Have a great weekend!

Mark

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Benjamin
Expert
updated an answer on Nov 05, 2022
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer with ~5 years of interviewing experience

Hi Mark,

Congrats on the offer :)

Would a switch to consulting still be feasible later on?


A switch to consulting will still be feasible with ~3 YOE. During my time in consulting, I have known consultants with up to 8-10 YOE prior to their switch to consulting (some in an expert role but some also in a generalist role).

 

Would making the switch now be more beneficial?

The most obvious benefit of switching now would be that you get placed on the consulting learning path earlier than switching later, and therefore develop those skills faster

  • My personal opinion is that working in a consulting firm is different than working for ex-consultants in corporate
  • Working in a consulting firm is more ideal to develop the consulting skillsets vs corporate

However, assuming that Capgemini is the only offer you've received so far, and assuming you are open to joining MBB, then I would suggest you to also consider the potential benefits of staying longer in your industry role if:

  • It allows you to prepare for and apply for MBB
  • It allows you to prepare and apply for a top MBA program (which you might use to get into MBB, or other great non-consulting career paths)

MBB is not the be-all and end-all, but the rationale for the above (partly from my own personal experience moving from Tier 2 to MBB) is:

  • The exit opportunities for MBB are generally distinct from other consulting firms
  • If you only wanted to develop soft skills and communication - then I do think at MBB the consistency of the quality of learning/instruction will be higher

 

(edited)

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Mark on Nov 06, 2022

Hi Benjamin, Thanks for the clear answer! I am not necessarily looking into MBB down the line, the roles I found at Capgemini (and at Big4, but did not apply there) were well in line with my interests. I see it mostly as a development track. I enjoy the company I work for currently (and see myself there for the long-term too). Yet I do see the benefits of having a couple years of consultancy experience to widen my expertise. I'll have another look at my choices, thanks again for your comment! Best, Mark

Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Nov 06, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi Mark,

1) If I would go down that path at my own firm, would a switch to consulting still be feasible later on (if I feel like developing earlier mentioned skills), having around 3 YOE in an industry role? 

You may still join a consulting firm after 3 years. Depending on the firm you are working for and your target one, you may need an MBA to increase your chances.

2) Or would making the switch now be more beneficial?

Switching now, you are going to develop some consulting skills earlier on. I agree with Benjamin that an advantage of switching later would be the possibility to apply to other consulting firms as well as MBB.

Best,

Francesco

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Mark on Nov 06, 2022

Hi Francesco, Thanks a lot for your reply. Even though I have not set applying for an MBB as a goal (at least, not now), getting experience in a consulting role (whether it is Capgemini, Big4, Accenture or otherwise) feels like adding a solid layer of experience to my profile. I really enjoy working at my current employer, so it also feels a bit weird if I were to leave. I guess part of my intention with this thread was getting some sense on whether I would be blocking myself off for future roles in consulting by starting very late (even though after another 1.5 years I am still just past mid-20's). Thanks again for your reply! Best, Mark

Dennis
Expert
replied on Nov 06, 2022
Seasoned project leader with 7+ years of consulting and recruiting experience in USA and Europe

Congratulations on your offer.

Like with everything, there are pros and cons to your decision. It ultimately depends on what your goals are and where you want to be. 

If you see yourself in consulting for the longer term, then the best way is to start working in consulting as soon as possible and develop the consulting skill set. A longer corporate tenure will typically not teach you these skills so you'd still start from scratch.

If you just want to have consulting on your resume to get another ("better") corporate role down the line, then maybe it makes sense to first take the corporate opportunity you have been offered already and get those experiences under your belt to see how it goes. With the huge pay raise you are mentioning, you could then also just hire a coach to work on your soft skills like presenting and story telling - consulting is not the only way to brush up on these aspects.

 

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Mark on Nov 06, 2022

Hi Dennis, Thanks a lot for your comment. I do not see myself in consulting for the (very) long-term, but I do notice the benefits it brings to my ex-consultant colleagues. So you do "hit the spot" on the goal of my consulting application: to widen my professional profile and have meaningful "outside" experience on what works and what doesn't for an organization to increase my growth possibilities. In the end I do really enjoy the industry and company I work in/for now (and would love to return to later, if I would go for the consulting offer) and the new role would involve providing a lot of training, workshops, and presenting best practices to local and international teams (outside of general business analysis and implementation). I guess I wanted to make sure that I would not "cut myself off" from ever pursuing a consulting role if I felt like I needed that as a development step. Thanks so much for your insight, I really appreciate it! Best, Mark

(edited)

Benjamin gave the best answer

Benjamin

Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer with ~5 years of interviewing experience
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