Consulting has a bit of a reputation for being ruthless and cut-throat...not exactly helped by TV shows like House of Lies. But the perks are pretty enticing - interesting problems to work on, lots of travel and a variety of work. And it's not all bad - we spoke to Tim about his experience working in management consulting and it turns out that his firm even includes a social enterprise arm. Who would've thought!
Age – Mid 20s
Location – Currently based in Melbourne, Australia
What’s your current role?
I’m currently a Manager at a management consulting firm – focused on the Communications, Media and Technology industry. I was seconded to the company's social enterprise arm earlier this year for eight months, which involved working in Nairobi, Kenya.
Tell me about your career path leading up to your current role.
I studied a Bachelor of Business Information Systems at Monash University, as part of the Industry Based Learning (IBL) program. As part of the IBL program, I did a 6 month internship at ANZ and a 6 month internship at IBM. Following this, I applied for a graduate position at a couple of consulting firms - subsequently taking a position at my current firm given my interest in technology and business.
What does your role involve?
Right now, my role is to help clients in the Telco and Media sector with their digital strategy and transformation design and launch new products, and define and create transformative customer experiences.
What are your favourite aspects of the job?
What I love about my role is the autonomy, opportunity to solve tough problems and continuously learn, and travel around the world. So far, I’ve had opportunities to go to Malaysia, US, India, UK, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania as part of my time at the company. Being able to work on different projects also keeps things interesting all the time!
Be honest – did you know that your current role even existed when you were in uni? How/when did you first find out about it and what drew you it?
I always knew the consulting industry existed. Initially I was interested in traditional IT consulting, but never thought I would transition into helping clients launch new products and transform themselves digitally to create amazing customer experiences - it's been a unique and exciting experience. It was definitely having different project experience that give me a sense of what I like and don’t like, and ultimately hone in to roles within the company that really get me excited.
What type of person do you think would enjoy and do well in your kind of role?
As most people expect, consulting is a generally demanding industry - long hours with tough ambiguous problems. The travel can be grueling and the ambiguity can be overwhelming for people who like well-structured environments with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. If you enjoy solving tough and interesting problems and enjoy a variety of different projects, it’s definitely a great area to be in, even as a launching point for your longer term career.
What are your interests/projects outside of work? Have any of them helped you to get to your current role? What other things/people have influenced you?
I love to travel, hike, eat, drink coffee and work on cars – none of them specifically have helped me get to my role, but they’re definitely hobbies that work well with a work schedule that requires me to regularly be on the road.
What’s your advice for people who are considering a career in your field?
Network, network and network - simply shotgunning applications into consulting won’t get you far. Being able to truly understand the industry, identify the type of firm that fits you and then find the right connections within them will definitely help you step into the consulting industry.