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 G.witts@kent.ac.uk

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


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 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.


May 2020

Here’s some recent news about strategy and management consultancy. These snippets can help 2020 graduating students who have not yet found a consultancy role, and incoming students who have made consultancy their career target for 2021. Please feel free to circulate.

Winners and losers in the covid-19 crisis  –  Big Four freezes  –  Europe to suffer most  –  McKinsey bouquet and brickbat  –  strong Saudi market  –  Accenture buys in Europe  –  salaries and CFA  –  consultancy lists for Germany and the US – Free Webinar

Is it worth it?

  • All that investment in your education, working your way up the career ladder…Job platform Movemeon’s study of UK consultancy sector salaries and benefits has been analysed by website Consultancy.uk .  Consultants/Associates earn from £68,000 (including bonus) in mainstream consultancies to £98,000 in the top tier strategy houses. The report includes estimates of big firm Partner salaries and self-employed consultant billings. https://tinyurl.com/u536g4u
  • I’m sometimes asked about the CFA qualification. Website BusinessBecause looks at the pros and cons https://tinyurl.com/reot2jb of studying for it.

Coronavirus and Consultancy: here’s a selection of articles:

  • Deloitte and McKinsey are helping New York Governor Andrew Cuomo prepare a ‘Trump proof’ plan to reopen the state’s economy.  https://tinyurl.com/ya8jbswh
  • McKinsey’s thought piece on the business perspective of Covid-19 has been attracting good reviews https://tinyurl.com/yczmwrom  The US TV channel Fox News however criticised a former McKinsey senior partner over the firm’s involvement in Chinahttps://tinyurl.com/ya2fv8ut
  • Industry analyst Source Research Group estimates the impact of Covid-19 on the consulting industry worldwide – a decline in income of around 19% – in a recent report  htps://tinyurl.com/w56yev5
  • Source details the impact on various regions – Europe hardest hit – and sectors too. Counterintuitively it seems that healthcare consulting will face a severe immediate drop, as attention switches to the crisis at hand. A second article by Source suggests strategy will be suffer too, down 30%  https://tinyurl.com/ydg3pbur
  • Not surprisingly, the global luxury and lifestyle market will crash, says Bain https://tinyurl.com/ul5ssgu  The FT agrees (UK edition p17, 28th March), and predicts a slump even worse than the one caused by the 2008 recession.

Consultancies are reacting accordingly:

Looking for a job in consulting at the moment? Here’s how  to do it in the current crisis, advises Consultancy Career Academy  https://tinyurl.com/vj7ph4n And there are good news stories:

  • The Saudi market has been doing well, with the consultancies there reporting 12% growth, according to Source Research Group https://tinyurl.com/uzd893d The Middle East is always worth looking at for consulting work: Arabic is not required and visas are (relatively) easy to obtain.
  • Two of the large Indian consultancies delivered annual results: Tata up 5%, but this before the impact of Covid-19. Wipro, on the other hand, sees the virus hitting it with a not-quite-as-bad-as-predicted 6% drop in revenues. These stories are on website Consultancy.asia.
  • I’ve been hearing reassuring messages from larger firms on recruitment. In essence “Everything is going to be OK. We will need great talent for a new tomorrow. Disruption presents an opportunity to hire great people from other businesses and internships are going ahead. Engineers, analysts and those with project experience are particularly welcome.”

Firms are still expanding, and/or bringing in new senior figures. These are usually harbingers of hiring.

  • Accenture has bought three tech consultancies in Germany, Denmark and the UK https://tinyurl.com/y9t2p84g Acquisitions often presage recruitment.
  • Big Four firm EY has also been acquiring small specialist design consultancies. Swedish firm Doberman is the latest to be swallowed up https://tinyurl.com/v2fhqbo
  • Singapore-HQ’d LanciaConsult, a management and technology consultancy, has made two senior appointments to its global leadership team. https://tinyurl.com/u8nbetb The firm has three offices in the UK, as well as Hamburg and Hong Kong. Its website says it is currently hiring. New senior appointments will often create new teams around them.
  • Alix Partners, a PE/investment bank advisory firm, has brought in an ex-Deloitte partner to head up its London EMEA performance improvement team https://tinyurl.com/vxms373
  • The head of Roland Berger’s (the “McKinsey of Munich”) China operations has joined the main board of the firm. He’s known as an energy and environment specialist. https://tinyurl.com/y83x9teu
  • Bain has a new Financial Services partner in The Netherlandshttps://tinyurl.com/y853lgqe Worth keeping an eye on the recruitment site.
  • Demand for business advisory and restructuring services is high, as you might imagine. Organisations under financial stress are turning to consultancies for help. Retail, hospitality and travel companies are all major buyers of services, and consultancies in this space are bucking market trends. One is specialist  corporate recovery consultancy Duff & Phelps. It has just been acquired by a consortium of investors https://tinyurl.com/yaclxt8d I’d also recommend looking at other firms known for their restructuring expertise, such as Alvarez & Marsal and Alix Partners.

We love lists – a ready made research tool for identifying favoured firms. Here are a couple of new ones I’ve seen:

  • The Great Place to Work Institute has been running its sliderule over German consulting firms. Website Consultancy.eu comments on its findings and lists the top 25. https://tinyurl.com/y9ztxxar 
  • Business magazine Forbes has conducted its own survey of consulting firms in the USAccenture comes out top, with Deloitte, McKinsey and IBM in the chasing pack. https://tinyurl.com/y7a8vh7d

Success story.

  • A Masters student tells me he’s commenced an internship with the business consulting arm of a large accountancy firm. He was alerted to the opportunity by a contact he’d made previously there, who told him the role was an immediate start with the prospect of going permanent after six months. You never know when that networking call will pay off…

Last month I delivered a webinar on the opportunities in consulting to the Art of Luxury class at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Cambridge, HEC Paris and EMLyon are planning to have me talk to their MBA students in the new academic year.

Remote 1:1 coaching sessions by ‘phone and skype continue from my back bedroom. (Monastic self-isolation is nothing new to me…) Typical issues I’m being asked to cover in these coaching sessions include:

  • Identifying appropriate consultancies (MBB/B4 and beyond) for a move, according to longer-term career aims, experience, languages, desired location (UK or abroad), work/life balance issues and other requirements
  • Research: identifying contacts inside firms to approach, method of approach, script
  • Cover letter and CV review
  • Interview preparation: story, competencies, fit, tests, telephone and avatar interview techniques, assessment centres, group exercises, case study guidance
  • Rank and salary negotiation

Should any of your students want some free advice over a short telephone call, just ask them to email me at don@donleslie.uk to set up a conversation.

Finally, I am running short webinars during May on careers in consultancy. These are free. Instructions on how to book a place are on my website, https://tinyurl.com/ycwmh5og

The next newsletter will be published at the beginning of June. If you don’t want to receive it or future editions, just reply with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

Don Leslie  Careers and Consultancy  London  +44 (0)203 051 8540  +44 (0)7812 056 652  don@donleslie.uk  www.donleslie.uk