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Ken

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4

Why choosing SEA?

Hello!

I am planning to send my application for AC for Bain in SEA this week.
I researched a lot about the consulting market in SEA, its trends, its advantages/disadvantages.
However, I wanted to know from the community:

- Why do you think SEA is a good opportunity for a young consultant?
- Is it true that the projects are strongly focused on transformation?
- What do you believe are possible drawbacks of working in consulting in SEA?

Thank you to everybody sharing his opinion

Hello!

I am planning to send my application for AC for Bain in SEA this week.
I researched a lot about the consulting market in SEA, its trends, its advantages/disadvantages.
However, I wanted to know from the community:

- Why do you think SEA is a good opportunity for a young consultant?
- Is it true that the projects are strongly focused on transformation?
- What do you believe are possible drawbacks of working in consulting in SEA?

Thank you to everybody sharing his opinion

4 answers

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Best Answer
Book a coaching with Ken

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A few comments based on my experience in the region with McKinsey, which hopefully are relevant:

1. Unique first-time projects that are specific to fast growing markets including public sector, extensive regional travel (pre-COVID), and ability to have great impact where clients often don't have the required capabilities or internal resources to e.g., develop a new strategy, build a new business, restructure their business back to profitability, etc.

2. It really depends and less to do with SEA as a region

3. Client capabilities tend to be lower than clients in developed markets which for some can be very frustrating as well as the need to constantly travel (pre-COVID) where the glamour of airline miles and hotel points dies very quickly and often leads to longer hours

A few comments based on my experience in the region with McKinsey, which hopefully are relevant:

1. Unique first-time projects that are specific to fast growing markets including public sector, extensive regional travel (pre-COVID), and ability to have great impact where clients often don't have the required capabilities or internal resources to e.g., develop a new strategy, build a new business, restructure their business back to profitability, etc.

2. It really depends and less to do with SEA as a region

3. Client capabilities tend to be lower than clients in developed markets which for some can be very frustrating as well as the need to constantly travel (pre-COVID) where the glamour of airline miles and hotel points dies very quickly and often leads to longer hours

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Hi there,

I completely agree with Allan - there isn't a huge difference across offices/regions other than how you fit.

Really, you should be applying where you want to live/be. Where do you fit in the best culturally? Where do you have family/friends? Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? That is far more important than any regional differences.

Hi there,

I completely agree with Allan - there isn't a huge difference across offices/regions other than how you fit.

Really, you should be applying where you want to live/be. Where do you fit in the best culturally? Where do you have family/friends? Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? That is far more important than any regional differences.

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Hey,

interesting question. However, the answer, if this "makes sense" also depends on you and your expectations. E.g. I worked after finishing my masters programme in Europe (Paris, London, Berlin) for roughly half a year in Shanghai as a junior consultant. Well it was back in 2007, but it was a great experience for me, because it was simply something completely different to what I experienced so far. And I strongly believe that especially new experiences (positive and negative as well) are always very helpful for the personal development.

So, back to your questions ;-)
@1. See above, I would say yes, especially if you do not know SEA so far
@2. Depends on the consultancy as well, but yes, transformation projects might happen more often to other regions, which I would say might be something postive
@3. I would say NOPE...

Hope it helps. If I can be of further help, happy to do so!

Jasper

Hey,

interesting question. However, the answer, if this "makes sense" also depends on you and your expectations. E.g. I worked after finishing my masters programme in Europe (Paris, London, Berlin) for roughly half a year in Shanghai as a junior consultant. Well it was back in 2007, but it was a great experience for me, because it was simply something completely different to what I experienced so far. And I strongly believe that especially new experiences (positive and negative as well) are always very helpful for the personal development.

So, back to your questions ;-)
@1. See above, I would say yes, especially if you do not know SEA so far
@2. Depends on the consultancy as well, but yes, transformation projects might happen more often to other regions, which I would say might be something postive
@3. I would say NOPE...

Hope it helps. If I can be of further help, happy to do so!

Jasper

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According to me, there is no disadvantage to working in any geographical area in consulting. If you have spent a significant amount of time in consulting, which is around 3-5 years at least, and you navigate yourself well from one project to another. Consulting is a generalist profession and you have exposure of different types of projects, wherever you worked.

However, in SEA I see a couple of advantages. I have been worked in Europe, Africa, Asia, and in several projects in US and Australia.
SEA is an emerging market, so the kind of projects that you get to do have a lot of strategy climate because are still low-hanging fruits and some transformative things that can be done, verses in the developed markets, where projects are incremental in nature. This the first.

Secondly, the diversity of these projects are also pretty high, different cultures, different types of needs of consumers. The market is quite diverse, so the projects tend to be diverse.

I see these 2 advantages of working in SEA. However, from the prospective of long-term career strategy, you always need to think of how many years you want to spend in the particular region, depending on where you want to settle down, or where you want to make yourself a partner in consulting, and the last thing - the closer to your home-market, where not just language and culture, but the customers psycho is similar, the faster you will grow.

Was it helpful for you?

Cheers,
GB

According to me, there is no disadvantage to working in any geographical area in consulting. If you have spent a significant amount of time in consulting, which is around 3-5 years at least, and you navigate yourself well from one project to another. Consulting is a generalist profession and you have exposure of different types of projects, wherever you worked.

However, in SEA I see a couple of advantages. I have been worked in Europe, Africa, Asia, and in several projects in US and Australia.
SEA is an emerging market, so the kind of projects that you get to do have a lot of strategy climate because are still low-hanging fruits and some transformative things that can be done, verses in the developed markets, where projects are incremental in nature. This the first.

Secondly, the diversity of these projects are also pretty high, different cultures, different types of needs of consumers. The market is quite diverse, so the projects tend to be diverse.

I see these 2 advantages of working in SEA. However, from the prospective of long-term career strategy, you always need to think of how many years you want to spend in the particular region, depending on where you want to settle down, or where you want to make yourself a partner in consulting, and the last thing - the closer to your home-market, where not just language and culture, but the customers psycho is similar, the faster you will grow.

Was it helpful for you?

Cheers,
GB

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