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.

March 2019
Management Consultancy Newsletter

Here’s some of the news about strategy and management consultancy which I’ve been collecting recently. These snippets can help 2019 graduating students who have not yet found a consultancy role, and incoming students who have made consultancy their career target for 2020. Please feel free to circulate this amongst your student cohorts.

VR in recruitment  –  US consulting salaries  –  PwC hiring  –  organisational change consultancy opens in Leeds  –  BCG and Inverto  –  handling multiple consultancy offers  –  success story  –  nothing about Brexit

 Digital and technology advice and business transformation and strategy advisory are the key areas where business leaders say they will most need most help, according to a new survey conducted by the MCA, the Management Consultancies Association. https://www.mca.org.uk/news/press-releases/top-uk-business-leaders-say-digital-and-technology-challenges-will-be-the-number-one-priority/

Latest salary survey: US website ManagementConsulted has compiled a list of salaries offered by over 40 strategy and management consulting firms to MBAs and PhDs, as well as undergraduates and interns. It covers some 10 countries, but is heavily North American-centric.   https://managementconsulted.com/consulting-jobs/2019-management-consulting-salaries-for-undergraduates-mbas-phds-interns/

Consultancy intelligence firm Source Global Research has issued its latest report on the UK consulting market. 2018 saw growth of 5.6% – quite respectable – although predictions for 2019 suggest a “bumpy ride”. https://reports.sourceglobalresearch.com/report/download/5002/extract/The-UK-Consulting-Market-in-2019

PwC Scotland have announced plans to recruit 120 staff into their Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow offices. https://www.energyvoice.com/other-news/191401/pwc-to-hire-120-new-staff-this-year/  The digital economy requires consultants in, amongst others, data analytics, AI, VR and drone technology. PwC’s careers site says an MBA is valued but not essential.

Organisational change consultants Q5 Partners have added a Leeds office to their current network of London, New York, Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Konghttps://www.q5partners.com/news  I didn’t see any roles listed in Leeds yet, but there is an ad for graduate interns in London.

EY Strategy, which offers services including strategic planning, merger integration strategy and digital strategy services,  has appointed a new partner in London, http://www.cityam.com/272802/city-moves-6-february-whos-switching-jobs-browne-jacobson and Boston Consulting Group has a new managing director for its operations/procurement/supply chain consultancy subsidiary Inverto. New senior appointments can mean hiring is in the offing…  https://www.inverto.com/en/publikationen/bcgs-inverto-announces-new-managing-director/

Website Consulting.uk has been analysing the The Sunday Times/Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100  listings of the fastest growing UK companies. Three consultancies feature: energy and waste consultancy Sustainable Advantage, sustainability consultancy Anthesis Group, and financial services consultancy JDX. https://www.consultancy.uk/news/20387/sustainable-advantage-anthesis-and-jdx-recognised-for-fast-growth  Another firm targeting City clients is Catalyst Development, which is moving to a larger London office to accommodate its 100+ staff.  https://www.catalyst.co.uk/news/catalyst-expands-city-headquarters/

Life Sciences consulting: two thought pieces on the sector from Deloitte about digital transformation https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/life-sciences-and-healthcare/articles/global-life-sciences-sector-outlook.html and  PA Consulting on AI https://www.paconsulting.com/newsroom/expert-opinion/clinical-leader-6-ways-ai-is-transforming-life-sciences-31-january-2019/

Previous newsletters http://www.donleslie.uk/whats-going-on-in-consultancy-january-2018/  have mentioned the expansion of consulting firms into the legal field. KPMG is the latest player in the sector, opening a new Global Legal service line https://home.kpmg/xx/en/home/media/press-releases/2019/02/kpmg-global-legal-services-reports-record-growth.html to offer integrated legal advice and technology-led solutions and methodologies.

So you want to be a project management consultant? Here’s the inside info: https://www.projectmanager.com/training/advice-for-project-management-consultant

 Generation Z, brands and retailing: OC&C’s perspective.  http://perspectives.occstrategy.com/

How Accenture is using VR in recruitment: https://www.consultancy.uk/news/20232/graduates-to-be-tested-with-vr-during-accenture-uk-recruitment-process

Students who successfully negotiated recruitment rounds earlier in the academic year are receiving offers…sometimes more than one. Here’s a blog I wrote last year about handling multiple offers: http://www.donleslie.uk/newsletter/page/5/  And another piece, more current, for students who haven’t been so lucky. http://www.donleslie.uk/missed-out-on-a-consulting-offer-dont-despair/ Try again next year,

This month’s success story comes from an MBA 2018 from a Scottish business school who joined Accenture. “The more I interviewed, the more I realised that they [the interviewers] were interested in me as a person, rather than my technical skills.  In your session you told us to have anecdotes to share about our hobbies, interests and achievements. I think that helped them see beyond my exam results and work experience.”

My classroom sessions on careers in strategy and management consultancy careers took me to Northampton University and Rotterdam School of Management during February, and I’ll be visiting Loughborough University Business School in March. I attended the MBA Employability Conference in Edinburgh and also hosted a webinar for the MBA website MBA-Exchange, featuring PA Consulting, OEE Consulting and Atos Consulting.

If you’d like to arrange 1:1 coaching for a student, or a group of students, please get in touch. I offer this via ‘phone or skype, or on a campus visit. Contact me via don@donleslie.uk for fees and information. I offer a short preliminary call free of charge to determine whether I can help, if appropriate. My coaching is open to students and alumni.

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February 2018
Management Consultancy Newsletter

Digital Transformation latest  –  Consulting in German-speaking countries  –  McKinsey’s design thinking  –  Interview maths: don’t stress –  new Partners at LEK  –  Best Dutch firms  –  Accenture top dog

Let’s get Brexit matters out of the way, shall we? Sky News https://news.sky.com/story/secret-75m-brexit-contracts-facing-investigation-11603001  says the UK government has awarded £75m of Brexit-related contracts to consultancy firms: £10m apiece to Bain, BCG, Deloitte, EY, PA  and PwC; £5m to Accenture, Mott MacDonald and McKinsey. Is the advice any good? When might we see it? Who knows….And Accenture’s piece on improving supply chain operations might be timely https://www.accenture.com/us-en/blogs/blogs-tushar-narsana-supply-chain-disruption?c=bpo_supplychainlinkedin_10442112&n=smc_1218 , given the Brexit fallout.

Accenture has taken the top spot from Deloitte in the expanding digital transformation market, reports Source Global Research. https://www.sourceglobalresearch.com/which-consulting-firm-has-the-biggest-share-of-digital-transformation-work/   It says the US digital transformation market—the largest and most mature—was also one of the fastest growing, expanding by 77%. However, in terms of growth rates, the US was outpaced by China, which saw growth of 82%, with local digital giants such as Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent being a key driving force behind this. The much smaller UK market also grew considerably, expanding by 75%.  In digital, Oliver Wyman have appointed a new UK Head https://www.oliverwyman.com/media-center/2019/jan/oliver-wyman-invests-further-in-digital-with-appointment-of-deborah-oneill.html  – perhaps more hiring in this space at OW?

Source has also come up with the answer to the question: which is the most attractive consulting market? (Hint: it speaks German.)  https://www.sourceglobalresearch.com/the-most-attractive-consulting-market-in-the-world/

A survey commissioned by the trade body for the UK consulting industry, the MCA, says that digital and technology are the areas of most concern to businesses. www.mca.org.uk/news/press-releases/top-uk-business-leaders-say-digital-and-technology-challenges-will-be-the-number-one-priority/  85% of mid and large sized UK businesses use consultancies, and they are relying on the firms’ advice for digital and Brexit issues.

What’s going to replace digital transformation as the number one service line for consultancies? It might be AI, opines Infosys https://www.consultancy.uk/news/19814/artificial-intelligence-will-go-beyond-the-hype-in-2019 Others suggest cybersecurity. KPMG outlines the cybersecurity trends for 2019. https://www.insider.co.uk/special-reports/cyber-security-trends-2019-kpmg-13841131

Too shy to be a leader? Nonsense, says online business magazine Management Today, https://www.managementtoday.co.uk/5-reasons-shy-people-best-leaders/leadership-lessons/article/1522738?utm_medium=EMAIL&utm_campaign=eNews%20Bulletin&utm_source=20190121&utm_content=MTs%20Enterprise%20Weekly%20Bulletin%20(35)::&email_hash=  in an article which gives hope to wallflowers everywhere. And a soft skills and effective behaviours consultant shares seven skills that are key for success https://www.consultancy.uk/news/20030/seven-essential-people-skills-for-2019-and-beyond

The new McKinsey Design unit talks about the benefits of embedding design thinking in organisations https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-design/our-insights/tapping-into-the-business-value-of-design  and Capgemini Invent merges two design agency acquisitions,  more examples of the way consultancy is moving into the ad agencies’ traditional markets.

Fourteen new Partners have been promoted at LEK in the US, UK, Germany, France, Singapore and Australia. Watch out for new hiring. https://www.lek.com/press/lek-consulting-announces-14-global-partner-promotions

Surveys and lists: EY is rated top firm the Middle East, https://universumglobal.com/rankings/company/ey-ernst-young/  ; the ranking of the top 25 Dutch consultancies is reported by Consultancy.eu https://www.consultancy.eu/news/2141/the-25-best-management-consulting-firms-in-the-netherlands , and the best consultancies in Brazil for turnaround and restructuring work can be found here: https://www.consultancy.lat/news/950/top-consulting-firms-in-brazil-for-restructuring-and-turnaround

I’m back on the road, presenting seminars on careers in strategy and management consultancy at  RSM Rotterdam and the University of Northampton.  Website MBA-Exchange has asked me to moderate a webinar on consulting, which will go out to US, UK and European business schools on 14th February. And I’ll be in Edinburgh the next day for the Scottish Employability Conference. Let me know if you’d like me to visit your campus, or run a webinar.

On my website I share my thoughts on the part Maths plays in consultancy selection interviews http://www.donleslie.uk/maths-and-consulting-interviews , and I’m always happy to take short emails or calls from students on all matters concerning consultancy and how to join a consultancy firm: don@donleslie.uk and 0203 051 8540.

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January 2019
Management Consultancy Newsletter

Creatives in consulting  –  calculations in consulting  –  Canada and consulting  –  consulting in advertising and marketing  –  robots and consulting  –  Accenture Interactive hiring  –  TMT –  risk  –  networking success  –  PA Consulting Americas alert

One of my favourite sources of information about the consulting sector is…er…Source www.sourceglobalresearch.com .    Its report on the state of consulting in Canada caught my attention, following news that Canada is a destination of choice for consultants fleeing Brexit Britain. The market grew at 5% to almost US$4m, and in particular the digital transformation service line expanded by nearly 500%. Risk is another service line doing well. A report on the global risk market for consultancies shows it is worth over $60bn. There’s money to be made in regulatory risk, cybersecurity and political uncertainty (Brexit again… ). Finally, Source has surveyed the TMT sector and identified 10% growth and market value of $12bn.

Consultancies continue to eat the advertising and marketing industry’s lunch. In a theme that’s been running for the last three years, barely a week goes by without another ad agency or marketing house being acquired by a consultancy. News of more such happenings in London, New York and SingaporePA Consulting’s UK digital and innovation offering is strengthened by the addition of We Are Friday, https://www.paconsulting.com/newsroom/releases/pa-consulting-grows-innovation-and-digital-expertise-with-the-acquisition-of-we-are-friday-6-december-2018/ a specialist digital design and digital transformation design agency. Meanwhile London-based Karmarama, a performance marketing and digital design/build house which was absorbed into Accenture Interactive (AI) in 2016, is planning to hire 100 creatives in 2019. https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/karmarama-hire-100-staff-accenture-interactive-steps-expansion/1519909  The firm is particularly keen on people who combine both emotional and rational skills – both right- and left-brain thinking. “The skillset that is in really high demand and short supply everywhere are those ‘whole brain’ thinkers who can co-ordinate creativity, empathy, data and technology,” says Accenture Interactive. Might that describe any of your students – particularly those from an Arts and Humanities background pre-business school? Accenture Interactive’s still hungry: the London office of New York digital media practice Adaptly becomes part of AI’s programmatic services capability. (Me neither… according to the interweb, “Programmatic advertising is a system that automates the processes and transactions involved with purchasing and dynamically placing ads on websites or apps. … )  Japan’s ABeam Consulting, a global firm with a lower profile than it deserves, has bought a Singaporean data analytics practice, Lightstream Analytics, https://www.abeam.com/eu/en/about/news/20181206  in a move that boosts its South East Asia growth consulting credentials. Finally, to New York, https://news.cognizant.com/2018-12-11-Cognizant-to-Acquire-Mustache-a-New-York-Based-Creative-Content-Agency where creative content agency Mustache has been swallowed by Cognizant.

Back in mainstream consultancy, ex-Capgemini and Infosys senior partner Ken Tooms joins PA Consulting’s Americas practice, to lead PA’s consultants in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, , and Mexico City. A new face in the corner office usually means hiring’s afoot. I took a peek at the US careers site: quite a few healthcare consulting related roles, although nothing MBA specific.

How important is Maths in the consultancy interview? I answer some questions on calculations and calculators on my blog http://www.donleslie.uk/newsletter/

Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence can automate 80 percent-plus of most finance functions, thus freeing finance professionals to concentrate on higher-value activities. So says Accenture. The firm reports on digital transformation in finance operations. As this is a hot topic for most consultants, the article is worth a look. www.accenture.com/t20181107T015542Z__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/PDF-90/Accenture-Beyond-the-Hype-PoV.pdf#zoom=50

Deloitte’s recent webinar on the Future of Work “The Robots Are Coming” is summarised on my blog http://www.donleslie.uk/newsletter/ . There’s a link to a short video too.

Good News: I received a note from an MBA 2018 at Grenoble GSM who has joined BCG in Italy. He remarked that the advice I’d given to him about the importance of networking with consultants inside his target firms made all the difference when it came to applications. Nota bene, nota benissimo..

Finally, consultancies just can’t stop themselves sounding ridiculous when it comes to changing their names (PwC’s “Monday”, anyone?) or tweaking their logos. Consultants GK are celebrating the merger of two business units. https://gkstrategy.com/blog/gk-strategy-rebrand/  “To mark bringing the businesses together, and to celebrate 10 years as a consultancy, we have undertaken a full rebrand of the business. The rebrand sees GK shift to a lower case ‘gk’ and adopt a new colour palette, better representing its make-up as a dynamic, youthful disrupter”.

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