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Which is more attractive to strategy practices: Big4 Transaction Services or Accenture Management Consulting?

Anonymous A asked on Oct 13, 2019 - 2 answers

Hi all,

I'm currently contemplating a move from a Big4 TS practice to Accenture Management Consulting in their Insurance industry vertical.

In my current role, I've worked on healthcare, industrial manufacturing, and consumer products deals for PE & corporate clients. However, I'm sensing there is only so much to be learned from performing QoE, NWC, and DDL anlyses, though they're a strong foundation.

I'm an Associate in TS (=Business Analyst at Accenture), and have the opportunity to be recruited at the Consultant level within Accenture's Management Consulting arm.

The ultimate goal is doing strategy work, preferably at McKinsey. Working back from that, I'm wondering if rounding out my profile with digital transformation and ops experience would make me a more attractive Business Analyst candidate, at McKinsey, or elsewhere.

In my mind, showing both TS and MC on my resume, comined with pushing for more strategy-aligned projects at Accenture, would be advantageous. However, I'm concerned that narrowing industry focus to Insurance is the wrong move.

I'm contemplating go/stay, and, if I stay, what a better next play may be.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences. Thanks all!

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Vlad
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replied on Oct 14, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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Hi,

First of all - there are no purely strategic roles at McKinsey. As a consultant, you are working on all types of projects and only 0-30% of them will be strategic. Please make sure you understand what the consulting work is really about

Secondly - nobody will really read the project descriptions in your resume and split them into "strategy-aligned" and others

Thus the whole question is about adding the Management Consulting experience to your resume, which makes a lot of sense. However, why don't you apply directly to MBB companies now? TS work is more than enough for your resume to pass. You can only make it significantly stronger if you switch to something that is in high demand (e.g. digital at Accenture).

Best

Thanks so much for your response, Vlad. I considered applying to MBB directly, but had A-B grades in undergrad. I’m thinking that 1) taking a Consultant position will show leadership experience working with BA’s and 2) adding MC experience to TS will demonstrate learning agility. I’m hoping this will help offset less-than-perfect marks in MBB recruiting. Do you think differently? Thanks again! — Anonymous A on Oct 14, 2019 (edited)

Francesco
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replied on Oct 14, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

in terms of brand, Accenture is better than a Big4 (excluding their consulting arm); however, not as good as second-tier companies focused more on strategy (OW, RB, ATK, Strategy&). As Vlad said, you could also consider to apply directly to MBB, although the Big4 brand won’t help much for that.

Given your goal is MBB, I would recommend the following:

  1. Apply to MBB; if that doesn’t work
  2. Apply to second-tier strategy consulting companies; if that doesn’t work
  3. Join Accenture and try 1 and 2 again after some years or after an MBA

Best,

Francesco