The MBA is an exciting stepping stone that will enable you consolidate up-to-date business knowledge that together with your existing professional experience paves the way towards a fulfilling new career. This may be either in a new job sector or in a new business role altogether.

Whilst initially the MBA is unlikely to enable both, a move into new career and a new sector, this can be achieved by targeting one aim and then the other as a longer-term strategy.

This blog provides information about career planning and resources for your MBA-level job hunting. If you have any further suggestions for improvement, please email me i.jennings@kent.ac.uk.

On this blog, you can find tips and advice for career planning, writing a CV for MBA students, job hunting resources.

Networking with University of Kent alumni


KEW-NET is a professional mentoring and networking platform exclusively for alumni, current students and members of staff at the University of Kent. Here you can access and share various career experiences, be able to provide advice, and support individual’s development and career advancements. To access, go to http://kent.aluminate.net/.

Management Consultancy

Many MBA students are looking for a career transition into Management Consulting, and information about this career is provided below.

  • The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) is the representative body for management consultancies in the UK. The MCA promotes the value of management consultancy for the economy and society as a whole. Its member companies comprise around 60% of the UK consulting industry, employ around 30,000 consultants and work with over 90 of the top FTSE 100 companies and almost all parts of the public sector.

The MCA’s website offers careers advice and the Top-Consultant.com and Mindbench job vacancy boards.

If you’re new to management consulting, then the pages for Young MCA are particularly informative and might be of interest. Click here to access.

Preparing for applications and case study interviews

Consulting case 101 is a blog site dedicated to getting into management consulting; it includes a compilation “A Day in the Life of Management Consultants” series to give you an idea what a typical day of a management consultant looks like in different consulting firms.

To help you prepare for case study interviews used  by most consultancies, scroll down to section 5 from the Interview and Assessment Centre information on this blog, which is about case study interviews.

Resources and jobs

inside careers man con 2015

  • InsideCareers – click on title for career insights and information about how to get in; featured articles include The Future of Management Consulting,  Salaries and benefits; Advice on becoming a consultant.

BLT newsletter

  • BLT (Beament Leslie Thomas) is a London-based leading niche specialist recruitment company for Indirect Tax, Management Consultancy, and Interim Management.

You will find the latest information on their blog – http://www.blt.co.uk/about/blt-blog/.

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Below are the latest 3 newsletters from Don Leslie, Management Consultancy Trainer, who compiles  this information regularly. This page is updated monthly and KBS is grateful to Don Leslie for sharing his up-to-date news.

October 2018
Management Consultancy Newsletter

Consulting in Asia  –  the top firms in Asia-Pacific  –  bankers and strategy consulting  –  Capgemini Consulting rebrands  –  partner profits at Deloitte and PwC  –  work/life balance in Ireland  –  AI, robotics and consulting  – creative job-hunting in consultancy  –  listicles: healthcare consultants

 Both Deloitte and PwC UK have released annual reviews of their performance for the 2017-18 financial year. Deloitte’s Consulting North West Europe arm (which covers the UK and Switzerland) grew at a rate of 1.7% (which is below the UK consulting industry’s average of 6%) to £875m. (https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/press-releases/articles/deloitte-revenue-grows-to-3580m.html).    The firm opened an internal centre of excellence for robotic process automation and an artificial intelligence studio, as well as establishing a new legal service line. Deloitte partners trousered an average £830k profit share each. (But they won’t have the time to spend it.)

PwC’s consulting arm grew 1% to £780m,  (https://www.pwc.co.uk/press-room/press-releases/pwc-uk-reports-growth-as-it-invests-in-skills-and-technology-for-the-future.html). Amongst other new technology-related initiatives it has  established a drones team. And perhaps PwC’s partners will get the opportunity to spend their £712k profit share as a result of the firm’s new flexible hours scheme (https://www.pwc.co.uk/careers/experienced-jobs/opportunities/flexible-talent-network.html)

The consulting industry in the Far East generates $50bn, according to a new report from researchers ALM (www.alm.com). Website Consultancy.asia has studied the report and provides a detailed analysis of the market in locations ranging from China, Japan and India to Bangladesh, Taiwan and Vanuatu.  https://www.consultancy.asia/news/1411/asia-pacific-management-consulting-industry-breaks-50-billion-barrier  An accompanying piece on the site highlights the top 15 strategy consultancies in Asia and Asia-Pacific. MBB, ATK and Strategy& top the list. https://www.consultancy.asia/news/1442/the-top-15-strategy-consulting-firms-in-asia-and-asia-pacific

PA Consulting is opening a digital innovation centre in Northern Ireland, which will be home to more than 400 consultants. http://www.irishnews.com/business/businessnews/2018/09/04/news/pa-consulting-group-to-create-400-jobs-in-belfast-1424322/ And I discovered some interesting facts about the consultancy market in Ireland on my recent trip to UCD – not least about the work/life balance. (http://www.donleslie.uk/newsletter/ – see 27th Sept’s blog.)

Self-employed / independent consultants are doing well, says a new study by PE investors Livingstone (https://livingstonepartners.com/uk/insights/rise-self-employed-gig-consulting/ ). As are data scientists – an in-demand group, reveals two articles from  Consulting.uk  and mid-sized strategy house OC&C(https://www.consultancy.uk/news/18522/how-data-analytics-are-changing-the-consulting-industry  and https://www.occstrategy.com/en/insights/analytics-blog, the latter helpfully explaining what data analytics is all about.

Why is strategy consulting attracting junior bankers? City job board efinancial careers (www.efinancialcareers.co.uk ) has been talking to them, and  it seems that “junior staff have limited future career prospects, and are over-burdened by under-stimulating and repetitive work.” Consulting.uk investigates (https://www.consultancy.uk/news/18531/growing-number-of-junior-bankers-switching-to-mbb-consultancies ) But maybe they are just worried about losing their jobs to robots. ( https://poetsandquants.com/2018/09/23/at-iese-preparing-for-the-ai-revolution/?utm_source=Poets%26Quants&utm_campaign=1b0129fe51-PQNL_2018_09_25&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4c36110279-1b0129fe51-148761285 )

Although AI and robotics will have an impact on consultancy too. ( https://www.consultancy.uk/news/18753/three-benefits-of-ai-and-automation-for-consulting-businesses

The UK’s National Health Service has just published a list of approved consultancies who can bid for strategy, organisational and change projects. Students interested in specialising in healthcare consulting should check out the 107 consultancy names.  ( www.sbs.nhs.uk/ica-consult-18-multidisciplinary-consultancy-services )

Goodbye Capgemini Consulting and hello Capgemini Invent.  A trendier-sounding name (Strategy&, anyone?) to reflect the consultancy’s move into the digital innovation space. https://www.capgemini.com/news/capgemini-launches-capgemini-invent-a-new-digital-innovation-consulting-and-transformation-global-business-line  And not connected with Capgemini Consulting’s 50% drop in UK profits. (See September’s newsletter at http://www.donleslie.uk/newsletter/  )

Success story: an MBA student who heard me mention that a mid-sized international management consultancy group were looking for Portuguese speakers to service Lusophone countries from Lisbon, has written to tell me that he has joined a strategy house in Africa. Prompted by my mention, he researched the offices of strategy firms who required their consultants to be Portuguese speakers. And although the firm he joined was not advertising for new staff, he nevertheless persuaded the firm to hire him. And who was he competing against for that job? No one. Now that’screative job-hunting.

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July 2018
Management Consultancy Newsletter

Here’s some of the news, views and opinions about strategy and management consultancy which have landed in my inbox over the last month. These snippets can help graduating students who have not yet found a consultancy role, and incoming students who have made consultancy their career choice for 2019. Please feel free to circulate this amongst your student cohorts.

Sharia-compliant consulting  –  best consulting firms in Ireland and Scotland  –  Cairo and Kurt-Salmon  –  consulting activity in Scandinavia  –  data science in media consulting  –  Trump and environmental consultancy  –  Spanish and French consultancy markets  –  fastest growing European consultancies  – women in consulting

The consultancy sector is in good shape around Europe. Source Global Research www.sourceglobalresearch.com has released a number of new country reports.   6% – 7%  growth is recorded  across Norway, Sweden, Denmark andFinland, as well as France, Spain and Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. SGR’s reports and insights can be found at https://www.sourceglobalresearch.com/our-reports . And industry website www.Consulting.uk provides further analysis on France https://www.consultancy.uk/news/17163/management-consulting-industry-of-france-accelerates-to-45-billion , Scandinavia https://www.consultancy.uk/news/17283/management-consulting-market-of-nordics-grows-6-to-28-billion and Spain https://www.consultancy.uk/news/17382/spanish-consulting-market-grows-for-fifth-consecutive-year  I recommend these reports for any student considering a move into consultancy in these countries.

The “Listicles” feature in last month’s newsletter proved popular with both my readers, so here are some more ready-made target lists of firms. For students who want consultancy roles with the best firms in the Celtic fringe, see Irelandhttps://gradireland.com/events/gradireland-graduate-recruitment-awards-2018/569723-winners-2018#Accountancy/professional%20services (the Big Four and Accenture came out on top – no surprise);  and Scotlandhttps://www.consultancy.uk/news/17571/five-consulting-firms-named-a-best-company-to-work-for-in-scotland

Looking at smaller consultancies? Consultancy.uk has a great article on the fastest growing consulting firms in Europehttps://www.consultancy.uk/news/17214/the-fastest-growing-consulting-firms-and-companies-of-europe , and another on three UK Stock Market  quoted consultancies,   OPM, Moorhouse and TORI Globalhttps://www.consultancy.uk/news/17265/moorhouse-oxford-policy-and-tori-named-fast-growing-sme-consultancies  It has also analysed the Sunday Times “Best Companies To Work For” list and extracted eight boutique UK consultancies: Abbott Risk, Alpha Financial, Clarasys, Kantar Health, OEE, Q5, Red Badger and Redington.

And the Global Firms? Website www.whoknowsabout.com has a very useful list of over 1000 consultancy firms. The site provides a drop-down pick list to select firms by industry and service lines https://whoknowsabout.com/categories/all-industries-all-knowledge-areas.html?category=AA&view=list&sort=rank_a

I recently attended an event at the University of Hertfordshire which showcased its data science, big data and VR work with UK creative industries. And a report on the growth of the UK’s entertainment and media sector shows just how important a market it is becoming for consultancies. https://www.consultancy.uk/news/17568/uk-entertainment-and-media-sector-to-grow-by-8-billion-by-2022  Over in the US, analytics consulting is already a $13 billion earner for strategy and management consultancies across all industries, says Source at www.sourceglobalresearch.com McKinsey’s analytics subsidiary Quantum Black is involved in the UK Government’s push to develop the use of Artificial Intelligence. Over £2bn will be invested by companies in AI and the government will launch a Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.

Environmental consulting firms around the world could be hit by President Trump’s weakening of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the repealing of the country’s Clean Power Plan, says a BRC reporthttps://www.thebusinessresearchcompany.com/report/environmental-consulting-services-global-market-report-2018

If you’ve stayed awake during  one of my seminars or webinars on consulting, you might have heard me tell the story of an MBA student who (almost) got a job with help of a Kurt-Salmon press release. Here’s another one from the firm, a leading strategy and marketing consultancy, which has recently opened new offices in Cairo http://www3.simon-kucher.com/en/about/media-center/simon-kucher-opens-offices-chicago-and-cairo

90% of consultancy firm partners are male. Source Global Research is promoting the women-in-consulting initiative https://www.sourceglobalresearch.com/wips/2018 . There are inspiring interviews with female partners at  BCG, Deloitte Middle East and  EY Global..

Sharia-compliant consulting firms. The Economist of 23rd June 2018 (page 50 in the UK edition) writes of an Indonesian law which comes into effect in October 2019. It stipulates that most products must be halal-verified, without defining which products the law means. Lawyers argue it could apply to inedible goods, such as fridges (a halal fridge has already been launched in Indonesia) and even to services like consulting…

I’ll be pulling down the shutters on 1:1 coaching shortly for a summer break. To book a 30 minute session 3rd September onwards contact me via don@donleslie.uk for fees and times. These are open to anyone in, or interested in, strategy and management consultancy.

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June 2018
Management Consultancy Newsletter

Consultancy market reports for Spain and Scandinavia  –  what McKinsey look for in new hires  –  top firms in healthcare and actuarial consulting  –  PA Consulting’s results  –  data scientists  –  IBM’s blockchain female leadership  –  UK Government consulting  –  not every picture tells a story  –  juggling job offers

Consultancy markets in Spain and Scandinavia are growing, according to two new studies from consultancy market intelligence firm Source Global Research http://www.sourceglobalresearch.com/ . Spending on consultants in Spain grew over 7% in 2017, reports Source, valuing the market at nearly €1.5bn. Business transformation, process improvement, data and analytics service lines all saw demand rising, with the Financial Services and Retail sectors providing “double digit” expansion. In less temperate latitudes the Scandinavian countries provided slightly..er..cooler growth for consultancies. But growth nevertheless: the region advanced to €2.75bn, an improvement of nearly 6% over 2016. Source considers the Scandinavian countries digital transformation market leaders, and consultancy firms there report almost €1bn sales from this service line alone.

McKinsey have been in the news http://spendmatters.com/uk/crown-commercial-service-paid-mckinsey-10-million-to-identify-procurement-savings/ as having saved the UK Government £800m in costs, in return for a £10m performance-related fee.  And some insights into what McKinsey look for in an MBA recruit were revealed on the Poets & Quants website https://poetsandquants.com/2018/05/09/the-mba-summit-what-employers-really-want-from-mbas/ by McKinsey’s Head of Inclusion and Diversity: problem-solving skills, analytical capacity, and “combat readiness” featured, amongst others. Students applying to the firm need to inflect their application to demonstrate how they match these attributes.

Listicles: two ready-made target list of firms to research for students focussing on the healthcare and pensions consulting firms. A “Best Healthcare Consultancies” list has been published by the IgeaHub pharmaceutical club. After polling its members, the top 5 firms were announced as Quintiles, McKinsey, ZS Associates, Accenture and Deloitte The full 25 can be seen at https://igeahub.com/2018/02/04/best-consulting-firms-for-healthcare-2018/. And consulting industry website Consulting.uk has drawn up the top ten UK  actuarial and pension consulting firms by size.https://www.consultancy.uk/news/17115/the-largest-actuarial-and-pension-consulting-firms-in-the-uk , the leading five beingWillis Towers Watson, Mercer, Aon Hewitt, Capita and Xafinity.

2017 was a year of strong growth for PA Consulting of the UK, according to the financial report issued by the firm.https://www.paconsulting.com/globalassets/placeholders/documents/reports/pa-consulting-group-report-and-accounts-2017.pdf  Sales of technology, innovation and consultancy  reached £400m, about half of that coming from the public sector. And PA have added a digital insight and strategy consultancy, Sparkler, to their innovation service line. 60 staff from Sparkler will join PA Consulting’s 2500 consultants. https://www.paconsulting.com/newsroom/releases/pa-consulting-group-enhances-innovation-digital-insight-and-strategy-expertise-through-acquisition-of-sparkler/ Yet another sign of the growing presence of management consultancies in territory previously dominated by advertising agencies.

Data science is another rapidly expanding field of consultancy. Analytics India looks at the requirements of IBM, Infosysand Wipro when they are assessing data scientistshttps://analyticsindiamag.com/what-do-companies-like-ibm-infosys-wipro-look-for-in-a-data-scientist/

And some good news for gender balance. CNBC reports on the female leadership team at IBM’s blockchain consultancy. Their pioneering work in the blockchain industry has made the consultancy the sector frontrunner.https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/16/ibms-blockchain-team-is-led-by-women.html

On a recent coaching call, I was asked for advice on handling multiple job offers. I’ve written up my responsehttp://www.donleslie.uk/newsletter/ on my websitewww.donleslie.uk

Finally, independent financial services consultancy Catalyst has just opened an office in Vilnius, Lithuania. This, and other positive news for the firm – trebling its staff numbers, making it on to the list of the best places to work,http://www.catalyst.co.uk/news/celebrating-a-record-year/ is somewhat deflated by the Google sidebar picture which appears when googling the firm https://www.google.co.uk/search?ei=4eP-WpCFOaeKgAaLnq2ICQ&q=catalyst+development&oq=catalyst+development&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i71k1l8.….0…1..64.psy-ab..0.0.0….0.r7WRXsCprq0

There are slots available for 1:1 coaching telephone/skype sessions with me on Friday 15th and Monday 18th  June. To book a 30 minute session contact me via don@donleslie.uk for fees and times. These are open to anyone in, or interested in, strategy and management consultancy.

Do let me know if I can help you or your students explore strategy and management consultancy. I provide sessions on campus and via webinars, and offer 1:1 advice to students and alumni who want to become management consultants. TheAutumn/Michaelmas Term engagement diary is open…

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Don Leslie, Management Consultancy, Career Strategist
Careers and Consultancy,  London N1 don@donleslie.uk