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What was your worst experience during your career as consultant?

consultinglife MBB personal story
New answer on Jun 12, 2020
6 Answers
3.9 k Views
Anonymous A asked on May 29, 2020

you can of course answer anonymously :D
Looking forward to reading your stories!

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Content Creator
replied on May 29, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


I like better the post about the best ones, of those there are plenty.

However, for sure there are many bad memories, it´s a tough job!

For me, the worst part was the long working hours and the lack of visibility. This makes it difficult for you to organize your holidays, weekends... and also you are "imposing" this to your loved ones, who cannot plan with you either.

I remember particularly bitter one weekend in which my cousin was getting married, and I could only confirm that I was going the day before.

Same with my summer trip to Kenya with my NGO.. One week before leaving, with all the team alredy on site starting the construction of the school, they told me I was starting a new engagements and hence had to shift my holidays. I could get away from it luckily, but could not sleep for couple days thinking I could not go.

Best regards,


Best regards,


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Content Creator
replied on May 29, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate


I was 2 months into the role (and project) and was given the responsibility of running a client workshop. All I knew about Oil & Gas I'd learned in those 2 months, and this workshop was to dive deep into their technical business processes to identify ways to be more effective.

The two days before the workshop were a mad rush (worked almost a full "normal" workweek in 2 days), and I totally bombed the workshop. I froze. I was trying to manage workshop logistics, client dynamics, difficult content, notetaking, etc. My brain shut down and I literally became a deer in headlights.

I was dead convinced I was going to be yelled at, fired, etc.

What happened? My Project Lead (and Partner) came to the rescue, managed the entire workshop, and got us through.

Long term what happened? Nothing :). I (we) moved on, I got debriefed on what to do better, I learned, I ran workshops later, and noone ever mentioned it again...thank god!

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Anonymous replied on May 31, 2020

Dear A,

My worst experience in consulting was back in 2018 when I have consulted a client in the sugar industry in Europe. It was a classic restructuring case. I was pushed with a team to deliver the solution in the shortest time-frame and the partner wasn't very adequate. All in, it was a lot of stress and afterwards I decided to take a sub article which lead me to the decision to quit consulting and corporate career and move to my own business.

Hope it helps,

wish you have only positive experience in consulting



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replied on May 29, 2020
PwC/Strategy&/GT/Chicago Booth - 2nd Session Complementary till June 1st

Again, too many positive things of consulting: interesting gigs, problem solving, learning, meeting people, generally better pay.

But, no means is it easy. Few unpleasant things:

1. Five days before the stakeholder meeting, the agenda totally changed - one of the FT Partners (this gig had 1 FT partner and second PT) was unavailable during the weekend due to his mother's marriage. I led the team through an intense weekend to meet the revised goals and reviews with the senior partner (including being on my phone first 45 minutes of a 2 hour pre-planned show with my family). The stakeholder meeting went well but my project end review also included a comment around weekend intensity I had caused.

2. Examples of missing events - covered by others - becomes important that you have an undersanding spouse/partner and you are doing your bit of communication on job nature (including communicating with your team lead/colleagues)

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Anonymous replied on May 29, 2020

Ouf - multiple missed weddings and birthdays! It happened quite often...

My issue was always regarding finding time to apply to new travel visas (my passport isn't the most "door opening passport" out there)...when you are flying every week to your client, you can't find time to submit your passport for embassies to get a travel visa :)

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Anonymous replied on Jun 12, 2020

In one of the consilting firm I worked for, I had to manage, 2 projects at the same time which each required to be at least at full time :) This period lasted 3 months and it was really horrible. After 3 months, I had to put an ultimatum, and things have changed. Learning: always be transparent and say the wrong things, otherwise it is unlikely to change.

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