Why Strategy Consulting?
Having spoken to a few older friends I discovered that Strategy Consultancy offers what I wanted from a career: A lot of variety, given the short project-based work (which is great for my short attention span!); fast progression (I ended up presenting to the CEO of a >£500m business within my first year!); interesting questions and challenges to stimulate my inquisitiveness; and all of this within a very fun, young and social setting
I actually stumbled upon OC&C by chance – hearing about it through another company. I had a look at the website and saw that it is one of the top Strategy Consulting specialists which piqued my interested, but the real clincher was when I met the consultants and partners at an event – everyone was really genuinely friendly, and they seemed to really understand what I was looking for and seemed to be “real people” too.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
Now this is a difficult question to ask, because it really does vary a lot depending on the project and role you are in! Recently I have been involved in some transaction work in which my role has been to manage and support a team of 3 Associate Consultants, bring together their findings into a transaction document, and present this to the C-Suite of the client.
Some of the tasks we performed were sizing the travel market from scratch (using primary consumer research), performing competitive benchmarking (through “mystery shops” – calling/visiting competitors and pretending to be a customer to see how their proposition compares), and performing internal business plan analysis (testing a number of assumptions in excel)
What sort of training have you received?
Throughout my time at OC&C I have had regular training, from an initial 2 week training course when I first joined which covered the basic skills required for consulting, to the annual International Training Week which is held in a different city around the world each year. Where you learn the most though is definitely “on the job”, from the people around you, who are always willing to lend a helping hand
What do you enjoy about your job?
The key thing for me is the variety in the job – I love the fact that one month I can be looking into options for an international media company to expand to a new geography, whilst the next I may trying to solve declining revenues for a UK-based retailer, and the next I may be helping a charity define what their mission statement should be, and how best to achieve their goals
How do you achieve work life balance?
There is no denying that Consulting can be demanding, but luckily OC&C have put in a number of mechanisms to make sure that this does not impact on your personal life too much. An example of this is a “Traffic Light” system which lets you know a week in advance what time you are likely to finish work each day, so that you can plan social activities. Beyond this, managers are always flexible and ensure that if there is something you want to get to (a concert / dinner / football training), you are able to! Finally, at OC&C, weekends are generally off-limits, meaning that on Friday you can put down your work and forget about it until Monday morning, which is key to be able to have fun and recharge.
What has been you highlight of the job so far?
I think my highlight has to be a recent project I did which was based in New York with a great project team, and a very interesting client. By the end of the project I had built a good relationship with a lot of the senior team within the client, and we were able to provide the Managing Director with a set of recommendations which have since been put through and led to positive results
Why do you like working for OC&C?
The project work is interesting and seeing the results of a big business you have been advising improve after they implement recommendations is incredibly rewarding! In addition, some of the non-work related opportunities are great: I take full advantage of the option to take 4 weeks additional unpaid leave per year in order to fulfill my desire to travel the world, and have also managed to improve a number of skills outside the office, such as salsa dancing, rock climbing and wine tasting, all through courses funded by OC&C.