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Is consultancy right for you?

by Hannah O'Brien August 31, 2011

These days, a vast proportion of graduates that turn to FreshMinds Talent for help with their job search, have already decided they want a career in management or strategy consulting. Many graduates see this as a natural and obvious career step. Why? Because they have an analytical skill set, enjoy solving business problems, want to build stakeholder relationships and see that there are solid progression opportunities. On top of this, recruitment in professional services as a whole is very much picking up, with many of the Big 4 consultancies boosting their intake in 2010.

Consultancy is, however, one of the most competitive fields for graduates to get into. The FreshMinds Graduate Team recently kicked off recruitment for a Big 4 Consultancy and received over 350 applications within a few weeks. So what can you do if you just can’t seem to find a job within consultancy, or if you get the sense that this might not actually be the right path for you?

Maybe it is time to consider a career within a different sector. If it is strategy, analysis and making business recommendations that excite you, then why not consider an internal strategy or business analyst role within FMCG/retail or even financial services?  The Graduate Team work with a range of clients who are constantly on the lookout for Grads to join their Insight, Strategy or Operations Teams and effectively work as internal consultants. You would still be using your analytical skills to design and implement bespoke analysis on a long term and ad hoc basis, but ultimately you would be developing internal strategy and forecasting growth. You might not get the same breadth of client exposure that a role in consultancy offers, but you will be building relationships and liaising with senior stakeholders, and advising managers and heads of teams within your company will give you internal recognition for your projects. Also, your analysis will have a real impact on company performance, so as you grow and progress, you will get to see the long term fruits of your labour.

Hannah O’Brien is a candidate manager on the Graduate Team at FreshMinds Talent

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