With the placement application process going on in full swing there are a plethora of career options available for the students. In this article, we explore once such option: Consultancy.
We interviewed three of the recent graduates working in this field: Jay Naulakha, a 2018 graduate in Textile Engineering and a minor degree in computer science engineering, working as an Associate Consultant at Bain & Company; Sanjana Garg, a student of 2018 batch in Chemical Engineering placed at Boston Consulting Group; Nikhila Hans, of 2016 batch with a major in Chemical Engineering, Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company.
Although they had different motivations to join this sector: out of interest, to explore a new avenue or to have good exit options in case she changed her mind later on; all of them are working in some of the biggest and the most sought-after firms.
Sanjana was asked about the work profile, to which she replied, ”I will be given projects which can be of any private organizations, NGOs, projects of the govt or any such company or govt can hire us. We make strategies for them. So the problem statement can be anything. We can be asked to strategize for profits or strategize for a new product they are launching in the market. So one part of the job is to form strategies for any problem statement that may be given to us. The other part of it is, implementing the strategies that we recommend. This is broadline of the work we are expected to do.”
Skill Set required
On this, Jay explained that what they look for in you is learning skills. During the whole selection procedure, companies are able to judge you on this because, in that particular fixed time, you have to improve your case study skills. Also basic logic and analytical skills, and good communication are essential. Any preknowledge might not help you in this. Nikhila further added, “Any course was not helpful from a content perspective, but they did give me opportunities to speak up, make my opinions and communicate my ideas in front of an entire class.”
First, there is shortlisting of the submitted CVs. After that, some companies send your seniors working with them to help you out. They also keep track of how you are doing over the time. This is not a formal process but more of a help. Finally, there are interviews in December.
Criteria for Selection
Sanjana shared with us what she thinks was the criteria for selection. She said, “If I could shout out this message to all my juniors, I would do that aloud that CGPA matters a lot. Contrary to popular belief if you have POR you will get through shortlisting that is not true. If you have a decent CGPA, at least above 8, and if you have a good internship and scholastic achievements; more or less your shortlisting work is half done there. There were people who did not have POR, very weak ECA but they still got shortlisted because of their good internships and their CGPA. So the rush after POR or ECA is of no use unless it is backed by a good CGPA and internships. Having said that particularly for consulting, your CGPA and internship matter a lot but they are also looking for overall good cv. So things like ECA and PORs do come into picture quite a bit. Because the consulting companies want an overall holistic development of the person that they will recruit and not just extracurrics focused. Basically, it should be balanced.”
Importance of CGPA
Nikhila, highlighting the importance of CGPA, told us that CGPA matters during CV shortlisting, more often than not, companies prefer a CGPA of 8 and above. This is just decent. Consultancy firms generally look for two or three spikes in your resume, if you want academics to be one of them, then 9+ CGPA is important. Jay added that a low CGPA reduces the overall impact of your CV.
Sanjana, while talking about the future opportunities of consultancy, said, “Right now, I am really looking forward to joining the consulting department. This is something I am highly interested in. If you talk in terms of the exit option in consulting, then people go into VCs which is venture capitalist or PE firms which is private equity firms or people also go to MBA abroad; they give GMAT and go and do MBA abroad. So the main reason people join consulting is that it offers a huge variety of exit options. You can work as a consultant and exit as a top managerial position at one of the huge firms. So the myriad of opportunities after consulting is huge. It is up to you what you like. It is not restricted to anything.”
In our college, most of the people run towards ECA and POR, to get an excellent non-core job (especially in consultancy). Jay was asked to share his views on this, to which he said that Consultancy is worth the hype it has. Though, due to this hype, students are less inclined to other options available to them. You have a lot of opportunities here, and you should explore them. If you have the slightest interest in your department or studies, do consider MS, PhD, etc. as options. These are really amazing things no one talks about. Most don’t even think of it. People think about MBA, but it is not the only option. Industry, analytics, and finance jobs are also good, but people don’t prepare for them because they are busy preparing for consultancy. People should check if their core jobs anywhere align with their interests because they are very often ignored. But quoting again, ”Consultancy is worth the hype it has.”