Are you deciding between a career in consulting or one in banking? The video below (made by bankers) gives some surprisingly insightful reasons on why you should pick one over the other.
Highly recommended viewing!
The short answer is a lot.
During my time at McKinsey, I worked an average of 75 hours a week when on a project and my experience was pretty typical. That number does not include travel, which can easily occupy another 10 hours a week.
Until you've lived this life, 75 hours a week may not sound like a lot but for me, it was. It's 0800 to 2200 Monday to Friday and then 5 hours on Sunday evening (this was my working pattern). It is very difficult to have a life outside of work when you're doing this and this was a big reason why I eventually left consulting, despite the fact that I was being paid very well.
Consulting is a tough industry to break into. You'll be competing against a lot of smart people for each job. This means that firms can be picky about who they hire and the assessment process is very thorough.
In general, to land a job offer, you need to pass 4 stages (and these stages are the same irrespective of whether you're applying for a business analyst or an associate position):
1. CV screen: Most consulting firms ask for a CV and cover letter. This is good news as it makes it easy for you to apply to a large number of consulting firms without investing too much time (click here to see my tips on writing a CV for consulting)
2. Aptitude test: At most firms, some kind of aptitude test is the next step in the process. These test verbal and numerical reasoning and are designed to assess potential, not knowledge. This means that they are difficult to prepare for but it's helpful to familiarize yourself with the type of question asked by completing a couple of practice tests
'Why would anyone want to be a management consultant?'
If you're going to be a consultant, you should get used to this question, you'll hear it a lot. Management consultants have a terrible reputation and most people don't understand why anyone would want to be one.
'But all my friends and I think McKinsey is great,' you may be thinking . Maybe, but remember:
I'm a ex-McKinsey London EM who recently left the Firm