Oliver Wyman: how to get hired and what it's like to work there

Matthew Cleary is a senior consultant at Oliver Wyman. He studied economics at the London School of Economics.

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The biggest surprise so far has been the steepness of the learning curve.

What made you choose consulting?

When I was at university, the thing that attracted me most to consulting was the variety of work available. I really liked the idea of working on different projects, in different teams, in different sectors and in different places!

Did you do any work experience before starting full-time work?

After my second year at LSE, I did an internship at the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). Although I don’t think the specific technical knowledge I acquired helped me to get the Oliver Wyman offer, I do think having work experience on your application is useful as it shows you have gained transferable skills. In addition, the ‘transformative’ nature – being involved in making changes for the better – of the work I had done at the PRA was helpful.

What was the most challenging part of the application process?

The most challenging part(s) of the Oliver Wyman application process were the case study interviews. I found them interesting, but solving a problem under that much pressure is really tough!

What is your role in the team?

My role varies between projects, which suits me (see question one). I would say that the typical role of a new consultant is to perform analysis and create materials for the team and the client – although excelling at this can quickly open up other opportunities.

What training and support have you received so far?

In terms of personal development, my employer provides a bespoke learning and development curriculum, with training courses tailored to the different stages of a consulting career. Training is also a nice opportunity to meet (and learn from) peers in other offices. Aside from formal training courses, the bulk of my learning has taken place within the project environment.

Has anything surprised you about consulting work?

I obviously expected consulting to be tough, but the biggest surprise so far has still been the steepness of the learning curve. I have been lucky to work in a number of different sectors and have learnt a lot in a relatively short space of time.

What skills in particular do you think you’ve developed?

I’ve definitely noticed my ‘soft’ skills (such as communication, team working and interpersonal skills) develop a lot since I started, particularly around managing client relationships.

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