Sunday, September 24, 2006

Management Consulting Opportunities

I attended the recruitment talk on campus by McKinsey for APDs. My university is one of their core target schools in the US. For this event, the 11 recruiters/consultants present included 3 alumni who are now Associates with The Firm (to try get us PhDs-to-be to think beyond the typical Academia/Industry pathway and join the dark side). Heh.

Now, I have to think about the hordes of my peers who also showed up for the presentation...

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It is the key to leadership.

It is the key to the most influential leadership network in the world: our clients, colleagues and alumni.

Will such doors be even there for me to knock on if I had attended other institutions closer to home?

...I met a friend who graduated from a local university and she is currently working for one of the top management consultancy firms. To my surprise, she told me that she used her junior college as her point of reference (which is the top one) instead of the local university she studied in her CV. According to her, her top JC brand name is likely for her to find a job in a multi-national corporation than using the local university. In addition, she told me that all the students from all local universities are usually eliminated from the first round of their interviews as compared to their counterparts from the other countries. - BL

I see a similarity at the JC level, and wrote about it on a previous entry:

...I was born in Singapore and studied in a neighborhood school (government-run schools catering to students with poorer academic abilities and coincidentally (or not), from lower income backgrounds). Students at my middle school came from lower to middle-class backgrounds. After graduating from middle school, my grades helped me matriculate at one of the top high schools in Singapore, where students were largely wealthier. I could have lived a normal life, oblivious to the poverty and social problems around me… but I failed at this.

At high school, most of my schoolmates, having lived in elite social circles all their life, did not even know that poverty existed in Singapore. Whereas students in my high school had resources and opportunities to dream of attending Ivy League universities, teachers in my middle school told us that we should be grateful if we even made it into a university, much less a renowned university. - oikono

I am not sure about McKinsey in Singapore (although their people profile for SEA featured a Singaporean who got her Bachelors and PhD from Oxford), but I know BCG typically makes only 1 offer each year in Singapore. Several years ago, that went to someone from NUS Law.

Hmm, maybe I should also start looking at the other consulting firms...

(On a side note, all these remind me of Monkey Business and Liar's Poker - all for the shitloads of money and power...)


L'oiseau rebelle said...

Well, you'll be paid all that money for nearly 100% travel and living out of your suitcase. Not a lifestyle that is suited for everyone. Hmm... I wonder how many people in these positions genuinely enjoy their job, and how many were pressured (by family, friends, society, etc) into applying for and taking up these positions. "You're a top student in a prestigious university, be a management consultant/investment banker."

Sounds eerily similar to Singapore scholarships, actually. The most prestigious honor that a top student from a prestigious JC can receive, with a considerable salary/allowance for 10 years, but it is not suited for every such top student.

The difference is, I believe, is that consulting/i-banking contracts are "employment at will".

takchek said...

Well, at least McKinsey was upfront about the frequent traveling and work hours, as well as the fact that ~50% of their Associates will leave after 5 years. More so to explore other career options. Reminded me of LKY's talk about the SAF scholarship being 'a passport you can flash'.

One thing I noticed though - many of the consultants looked tired, and did not somewhat show the kind of zeal and enthusiasm one would expect if he/she likes the job. Hmm...

kelvin said...


xue said...

they've been doing their rounds here too! but i don't qualify for apd. you should so try for it if this is your cup of tea. according to the recruitment personnel, they're not getting as many applicants as they would like.

if you're ever in my area, email me! x

eileen chew said...

Consulting firms chew and spit out associates who will go on to private sector companies for better lifestyle and money.