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Life As A Consultant... - Career - Nairaland

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Life As A Consultant... by Marxxx: 11:49am On Feb 26, 2017
When you tell people you are a consultant, they always try to imagine what you do. Everyone knows bankers work in a bank, teachers in schools, engineers in industries...the list is endless what about management consultants?

I worked with a management consulting firm for years and I will gist you about the life of a consultant (This is not typical of all consultants as firms values and culture differs; individual idiosyncrasies exists), what we do, and perhaps entice you to become one...

It all began one sunny afternoon when my girlfriend told me I have a call (I had no phone then so my GF line was my contact) and it was the English partner that interviewed me at the lagos office. He told he about the outcome of the case interview, my strengths areas I needed to work on (team work particularly) and an offer grin...I screamed!!! ...Yes! Yes undecided...He quickly had to cut in and told me he would love to speak with again if I have any reservation about the offer or if I had other offers from other firms....although that did not stop the screaming afterwards...when I checked my email...later some guys were already sending me congratulation messages from the firm...seems they were already expecting me...it was a funny experience

As a junior consultant, I spent a lot of time making charts undecided...not just mere charts my dear, behind those charts are hours I mean HOURS of research and hours of analysis. You don't just make charts for the sake of it, you make charts to make stubborn people (clients) see things differently. As a consultant, you need to have a good understanding about data, and know it is not just numbers or figures but a clear representation of real life. so many things to read about, so many information to absorb so many intelligent people around you, record breakers and all then the environment (at first the environment was quite intimidating. People who topped their class from universities you only see on TV)

Good thing is you get to travel often (I love this part) you could be drafted to join a team somewhere else in another country. You learn a lot...I mean A LOT. You learn to think structurally (although you must exhibit this traits in your case interview), you learn how to solve problems from top to bottom...in-fact we smile when we problems. Your problem solving skills are sharpened to the point where you start seeking to solve problem where non actually existed.

There are lots of benefits...from lunch to dinner is all taken care of. The clothes you wear the furniture you use, the car you drive, the house you live, the hospital you visit, your children education, your family health are all taken care of...you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You earn big too...when I say big (imagine big in every sense of it). I was able to demolish my parents house and erect a four bedroom duplex in my first 30months...

Sadly consultants are the most evaluated people in world. You get evaluated after every project. That means every 3-6months you are evaluated and scored against some set of indicators. You can be in some industry for up to 5years before you discover this place is not for you but in consulting 6 months is more than enough for you to bid farewell. Feedback is as important as blood. You have review session with your Manager every week and when you perform a bit on the average or when you say something dumb...God bless your soul...A performance of 7/10 is average, 6/10 is a taboo, a disaster...you battle to stay in form at all times. Fortunately this gives you room to improve yourself. Your weakness is quickly identified and you can quickly make necessary adjustments.

Work can be fun...yea in a consulting firm acronyms usually fly up and down. Everything has a code...lol...even gist...Mr Toba is a "G" man he spoke with "EM" about "ABC" and "DVD"...lol...so if you are not in the cycle you hardly get our gist...hmmmmm

What do consultants actually do? angry . In simple terms "They solve problems". Consultants have a flair for solving complex problems. Our approach to problem is quite simple. At the start of the project we look at what the problem really is "PI" next is how to simplify or break the problem into components....lets say company A is looking at profit maximisation, we look at revenue and cost. If the problem is revenue we look at sales. If the problem is sales we look at "QP" or price, if it is Qp we look at new and existing customers. If it is cost we look at fixed or variable cost...not always these simple but that is the simple break down of the thought process. With this you can easily identify the problem.

A consulting firm prefers intellect over experience because the project is ever changing unlike other fields like engineering where experience is key. You constantly improve yourself because you are constantly evaluated and stretched to perform at your best. You meet interesting people and you carve your own niche. There is dynamism and work is fluid. I could choose the project to work on and vary how I run my show. Result is all that matters. Nothing is rigid. You can be a night crawler, you will do just fine. Arrange with your client and you are good to go.

Consultants work with different people on different projects. You are constantly meeting new people. I could remember a Dutch EM I worked with on a project I felt like crying after the project cos I may never see him again. I learned a lot of tricks from that dude. A badass I must confess. You also learn different aspect of a job. From Profit maximisation, underwriting, merger acquisition, cost....you just keep learning as long as you are on the project. Unfortunately you hardly make friends because you don't work with a set of people for long!

You easily get other offers! Yes you seldom find consultants unemployed. Even when the firm feels like showing you the way out you still ball when when you join the industry because of what you were exposed to, number of projects you have worked on, complexity of projects and the amount of training received. I still had to take up contract jobs that suit my health status and offers kept coming when I called it quits...I consulting rocks...

Finally you are sad! Because you always have this feeling that "Here" is a temporary place. We had very high staff turnover . Almost every three months people were leaving, you see your colleague saying good bye he/she had moved on to other things...There is this temporary feeling that haunts you. The stress, the travelling, meetings, evaluations...people breakdown...ladies run...some probably wants to start a family some can't just cope...After 4 years I couldn't even count the number of those that started the foundation program with me...they all left. New faces every 3-6 months...I was determined to become a partner...constantly working on that track...but you know the end of the story of "Alabi beautiful goat"...sometimes you just have to quit...

NB: The article is not error free...I may have to tell you how you can ace consulting test and case interviews later...

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Re: Life As A Consultant... by Nobody: 12:05pm On Feb 26, 2017
@Marxxx
1).so how does one ace the interview,you can use your own interview experience as example. where you asked market sizing questions.
2). I read somewhere that there are different form of management consulting(MC),the strategic MC (like them mckinsey and BCG) and the others (i've forgotten the name) like them KPMG MC. how true is this and which one would you say you do.
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Gerrard59(m): 12:27pm On Feb 26, 2017
Sounds interesting.

I need to show this to my highly intellectual friends.

Question:

1. Why do consultant analysts proceed to business school after two years?

BTW, with all these goodies I read. There's high turnover
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Marxxx: 1:08pm On Feb 26, 2017
TheBatman:
@Marxxx
1).so how does one ace the interview,you can use your own interview experience as example. where you asked market sizing questions.
2). I read somewhere that there are different form of management consulting(MC),the strategic MC (like them mckinsey and BCG) and the others (i've forgotten the name) like them KPMG MC. how true is this and which one would you say you do.
I like the way you itemised your question, that is a simple way of doing things structurally...you are already thinking like a consultant...

1. There are different types of consultant....it consultant, operation consultant, HR consultant, Management consultant, Financial Advisory consultant, strategic consultant...

Now A management consultant is sometimes called a business consultant have a vast knowledge of other consulting such as strategic, opreations and HR consulting. (Mckinsey&co, BCG, Navigant etc falls here)...strategic consulting is an aspect of management consulting that basically deals with government and functional strategy, economic policies, corporate and organisational strategy...in simple terms strategic consultants basically gives you advice instead of overseeing implementation of the advice...while management consultant will come to your office and monitor the implementation process from start to finish...KpMG, pwc ey...are professional service firms. They offer advisory services too...This comes under Financial Advisory consulting...basically they are into tax, Audit...I think KPMG is into HR consulting too and PWC are also into strategic consulting but they are basically known for Advisory, tax and Audit functions...yea my case interview..i will detail how to ace pst and other forms of test...interviews in consulting (even tests) are real life problems...unlike shl or Saville...

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Re: Life As A Consultant... by Marxxx: 1:17pm On Feb 26, 2017
Gerrard59:
Sounds interesting.

I need to show this to my highly intellectual friends.

Question:

1. Why do consultant analysts proceed to business school after two years?

BTW, with all these goodies I read. There's high turnover
Your first two years you are groomed for the future. After that you have to go to BS so that your client can have confidence in you! Is just like asking why does an auditor needs to be chartered? You are a business consultant so it's normal you have to go to a business school. I did not go to a business school after two years. I started working on projects immediately. In some firm it is optional.... from the article, you can deduce why they have high staff turnover let me add thse

1. Consulting firms employ top talents..these guys are also entrepreneurs so with the huge money they make, they are likely going to leave to start theirs or will likely pursue their interest.

2. Some people (like me undecided) are opportunist...As long as you pay well we ready to work once we discover another offer with bigger pay we port...

3. The rest can be deduced from the article
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Gerrard59(m): 1:45pm On Feb 26, 2017
Marxxx:
i will detail how to ace pst and other forms of test...interviews in consulting (even tests) are real life problems...unlike shl or Saville...

I will love to see the way you did it. I remembered when I tried the mock test of McK and had 2/60 shocked grin. And yes, there are real life situations, common problems individuals, governments, corporations face daily. But contains quite a lot of numbers and calculations to be made under few seconds.
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Marxxx: 2:46pm On Feb 26, 2017
Gerrard59:


I will love to see the way you did it. I remembered when I tried the mock test of McK and had 2/60 shocked grin. And yes, there are real life situations, common problems individuals, governments, corporations face daily. But contains quite a lot of numbers and calculations to be made under few seconds.
wow...2/60...wow...I appreciate your sincerity unlike people who will persuade you for a referral and you do that only for such people to disappoint during interviews. I think perhaps you should try out other sectors and try to tailor your skills to what interest you most...Consulting is not trial, trial practice practice thing...even if you scale through during case interview, your interviewer MUST ask you questions that requires mental computing...and you must answer correctly and use the solution to answer further questions...figure out what you want first...
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Gnen: 2:55pm On Feb 26, 2017
Interesting topic here. Dear Marxxx, I cant just wait to hear your experience about aceing test and interveiw.
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Gerrard59(m): 3:07pm On Feb 26, 2017
Marxxx:
wow...2/60...wow...I appreciate your sincerity unlike people who will persuade you for a referral and you do that only for such people to disappoint during interviews. I think perhaps you should try out other sectors and try to tailor your skills to what interest you most...Consulting is not trial, trial practice practice thing...even if you scale through during case interview, your interviewer MUST ask you questions that requires mental computing...and you must answer correctly and use the solution to answer further questions...figure out what you want first...

Ah Oga Marxxx, don't make me lose hope.

It was actually a trial after I discovered the PST app and just decided to try my fate using a phone. But I liked the questions.... It drills one's mental well.


Gnen:
Interesting topic here. Dear Marxxx, I cant just wait to hear your experience about aceing test and interveiw.


This is the koko. I remembered a thread (McK case interview) where the paint of an aircraft was reason behind the excessive weight which consumed lots of aviation fuel.

1 Like

Re: Life As A Consultant... by amicable09(f): 4:27pm On Feb 26, 2017
Oh Wow!
I love it here.
Let me register my presence first before any other thing cheesy


Who knows
Anything can happen
This Lane looks inviting already grin

Nice thread, Marxxx.
Carry on!

1 Like

Re: Life As A Consultant... by KillerBeauty(f): 6:38pm On Feb 26, 2017
I once worked as a dessert consultant in a bakery. Though my job designation was in the shop floor as a sales person but I took it upon myself to know everything about our product.
From the flour name, flour ingredient, the components of the butter, sugar and fruits. How the food is prepared ,how the ingredient blends and of course the nutritional value. I even created a chat in my tecno tab about all our products.
At the end of the day customers don't just buy because the cake looks beautiful they buy because they are well informed about the component and of course the taste of the cake.

Hope the word " consultant " fits the job I did.
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Marxxx: 7:06pm On Feb 26, 2017
KillerBeauty:
I once worked as a dessert consultant in a bakery. Though my job designation was in the shop floor as a sales person but I took it upon myself to know everything about our product.
From the flour name, flour ingredient, the components of the butter, sugar and fruits. How the food is prepared ,how the ingredient blends and of course the nutritional value. I even created a chat in my tecno tab about all our products.
At the end of the day customers don't just buy because the cake looks beautiful they buy because they are well informed about the component and of course the taste of the cake.

Hope the word " consultant " fits the job I did.
A sales officer. The fact that you have deep and thorough understanding about the product does not make you a consultant or an analyst. You are supposed to know those stuffs so that you can sell. But if you begin to keep records of your sales activities and you can come up to tell us why we had 5 customers in Jan and 10 in Feb and what we might probably get in march April and may....same goes for the turnover. If you are able to study your competition and other close substitute to your product and use their flaws to your advantage then you can say you are a sales analyst...it takes more than these to be a consultant...

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Re: Life As A Consultant... by XtraSmooth404: 10:52pm On Feb 26, 2017
Interesting write up.
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Mystiqme: 12:22am On Feb 27, 2017
hello sir. Long time.
Can you make a make a list of consulting firms that currently operate in Nigeria. I know only Mck.
Thanks

1 Like

Re: Life As A Consultant... by vinmayo(m): 11:48am On Feb 27, 2017
I'm following diligently...

Your career threads helps a lot to keep me on track.(esp. when I am losing focus)

Much appreciated!!!
Re: Life As A Consultant... by vinmayo(m): 11:54am On Feb 27, 2017
Mystiqme:
hello sir. Long time.
Can you make a make a list of consulting firms that current operate in Nigeria. I know only Mck.
Thanks

From the posts, you should be able to deduce: Big 4 accounting firms (advisory services), MBB - (Mckinsey, BCG, Bain), Navigant, etc.

Not too sure of this: Philips Consulting, Mazars, Accenture....
Re: Life As A Consultant... by PhilipGallagher(m): 6:19pm On Jan 21, 2018
@ Marxxx so how do you ace the PST and interviews.
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Scholar94(m): 1:55pm On Jun 24
@ Oga Maxx, please kindly explain how you ace your McKinsey PST and case interviews.

Thanks sire
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Gerrard59(m): 8:50am On Jun 28
Scholar94:
@ Oga Maxx, please kindly explain how you ace your McKinsey PST and case interviews.

Thanks sire

Ask Jashar about the whereabouts of Marxxx. She should have an idea. wink
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Tosin2018: 3:50pm On Jun 28
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Re: Life As A Consultant... by Scholar94(m): 9:05pm On Jun 28
Did u have her contact? Or how do I contact her
Gerrard59:


Ask Jashar about the whereabouts of Marxxx. She should have an idea. wink
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Gerrard59(m): 9:36pm On Jun 28
Scholar94:
Did u have her contact? Or how do I contact her

Actually, it is a Nlder's moniker. Search it and ask. I wager that she should have an idea of his whereabouts.

#JustSaying
Re: Life As A Consultant... by jashar(f): 12:38am On Jun 29
Gerrard59:


Ask Jashar about the whereabouts of Marxxx. She should have an idea. wink


I've tried reaching out to him.no response... cry
Re: Life As A Consultant... by jashar(f): 12:41am On Jun 29
Gerrard59:


Ask Jashar about the whereabouts of Marxxx. She should have an idea. wink


grin you need flogging o... Why is it me that is supposed to know about his whereabouts?
It's Dyt we should be asking grin
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Dyt(f): 2:26pm On Jun 29
jashar:



grin you need flogging o... Why is it me that is supposed to know about his whereabouts?
It's Dyt we should be asking grin


Haaaaa
Me I dunno ooo
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Gerrard59(m): 3:36pm On Jun 29
Dyt:


Haaaaa
Me I dunno ooo

Then Mr Davide470 should know. cheesy

Scholar94, message the moderator.
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Scholar94(m): 5:56pm On Jun 29
Lol grin

Thank you @Gerrard59
Mr David470 is the moderator right?
Or who is the moderator
Gerrard59:


Then Mr Davide470 should know. cheesy

Scholar94, message the moderator.
Re: Life As A Consultant... by davide470(m): 12:54am On Jun 30
Gerrard59:


Then Mr Davide470 should know. cheesy

Scholar94, message the moderator.
Lol i have no idea
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Scholar94(m): 2:36pm On Jun 30
Lol..seems no one know Mr @Marxxx whereabouts..If.
davide470post=79793973:
Lol i have no idea
Re: Life As A Consultant... by jashar(f): 11:16pm On Jun 30
Dyt:


Haaaaa
Me I dunno ooo

Oh wow... Who knows how we can reach Marxxx?

I miss him o
Re: Life As A Consultant... by Marxxx: 10:06am On Sep 08
jashar:


Oh wow... Who knows how we can reach Marxxx?

I miss him o
Hello! I am here, I trust you are good? Happy new week! I did miss you too

1 Like

Re: Life As A Consultant... by Marxxx: 10:08am On Sep 08
Gerrard59:


Actually, it is a Nlder's moniker. Search it and ask. I wager that she should have an idea of his whereabouts.

#JustSaying
... Really? you are quite confident about your conviction, I like that.

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