Below are some notes from my careers colleague Dr Sophia Donaldson, who kindly hosted last week’s Spotlight on Management Consultancy.
Both speakers were from Deloitte: Nacho Quinones did his Biochem BSc at Imperial, and a Met Police sponsored PhD in forensic science at King’s. Liked science, but his PhD had focused on improving protocols to make processes more cost-efficient. Consulting offered him more opportunities to do this, as well as (compared with avenues like accounting) a way of really seeing how different businesses function, what works and what doesn’t. He has worked largely with life sciences clients so far, and likes still being involved with science.
Fahd Choudhry did a Pharma BSc, 3yrs in Pharma industry, then King’s PhD in Alzheimer’s research. Went on the City Course and chose consulting as a result. Expected to be used in Pharma consulting; had a few life sciences projects, but has specialised now in the banking sector.
Consulting is “Supporting clients make a change”. Examples of consultant projects that have made headlines: “Roche faces probe over safety data”, “London congestion charge: 15% price increase proposed”, “GSK decides to divest Lucozade and Ribena”. Teams of consultants are brought in to assess the current situation, identify issues, and devise and implement solutions.
Project work. Each project could mean a new team and a new location. The type of project and client dictates the hours. 8.45am-6.45pm is quite normal, but on tough projects or when deadlines are looming, the hours can be MUCH longer than this. Monday to Thursday you are usually expected to be in the client’s office. Nacho has had projects in Paris and Middleborough, and has travelled to Basel a bit recently. Fahd is usually in London for banking clients.
At first you’re just given projects. At the end of each project you get feedback on your performance from peers and managers. As you build relationships with people, you start to be offered projects by people who like working with you, and are better able to pick available projects that interest you.
Skills required: Problem-solving skills, intelligence, strong interpersonal skills, energy and enthusiasm, desire to make an impact, good academic record (regardless of subject), leadership skills, vision, flexibility to respond to the unexpected.
Application process: lengthy and competitive, with psychometric tests and multiple interviews. Fahd and Nacho recommend using the careers service – they both did!
Deloitte: Fahd and Nacho say Deloitte differs from some other consultancies because they see projects through from conception to completion. That’s why Nacho chose Deloitte; he wanted to implement the solutions he was suggesting. Deloitte offers all the professional services, and it’s quite easy to transfer between departments once you’re in. Deloitte is global, and again, once in and qualified, it’s pretty easy to transfer between country offices, on secondments or permanently (although of course, you have to be good enough for the new office to want you!).
PhDs apply to the regular graduate entry level (~£33,000 per annum salary). Might seem annoying, but when Fahd started he was 30 and expected to be much better than 21-year-old new grads. He was shocked at how great they were – age doesn’t matter. Nacho was very happy to go in at new grad level; although he was an expert in his field of science, he knew next to nothing about business.
Want to find out more about Deloitte? They’re on campus soon:
An opportunity to speak, one-on-one, with a member of the Student recruitment team, discussing the opportunities available, applications forms, hints and tips for interviews and answer any questions in relation to Deloitte and graduate selection processes you may have.
To book a 20 minute appointment, please email email@example.com.