Why Strategy Consulting?
Having really enjoyed the variety of learning on my geography course, I was keen to find a career that was equally varied. I also wanted a job that would be challenging on a day-to-day basis, and would push me out of my comfort zone. I think strategy consulting ticks both these boxes, with the relatively short duration of projects (4 weeks on average), constant learning, and the high level of responsibility you are given from an early stage.
OC&C was my first choice when I began my search for a strategy consulting firm, as I was particularly interested in the sectors they worked in (specifically media, retail and leisure). I also really liked the fact that it still had a “small-company” feel, where everybody knows everybody, and I was genuinely very impressed by the people I had met. The emphasis on the “social-side” of work was also something that stood out to me about OC&C, with MoF (the “Ministry of Fun”) organizing a large number of events throughout the year.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
Every day is highly varied, but as an AC you might be involved with the initial data gathering, through interviews or desk research, and subsequent analysis e.g. competitor market share, consumer survey crunching, or market modelling. At the start of each project you also have a conversation with your manager to discuss the various roles on the project, and ensure you are happy with what you will be working on. There are regular team meetings throughout the week where you will have the opportunity to present your work with managers and partners.
What sort of training have you received?
The training programme at OC&C is really well-structured and a lot has been invested in ensuring we are getting the right training at the right time. As well as 2 weeks of formal training at the beginning, and an annual summer training week with all the international offices, we have a series of “bite-size” training sessions every month on various topics e.g. personal development, survey-crunching etc. The programme is constantly evolving to ensure we are as best prepared as possible.
What do you enjoy about your job?
We are fortunate to work with some of the largest and most exciting companies, across some very interesting sectors. You are constantly learning, and you are given a lot of responsibility from an early stage.
How do you achieve work life balance?
The hours in consulting can be long at times but I think we have become increasingly good at managing this; every Friday we are given an indication of the hours we will be working the following week, so we can plan evenings accordingly. If you have something on, or that you’d like to go to you just need to let your manager know and they are generally very accommodating; I have never had to miss an event I cared about, nor do any weekend work. There is also the amazing, and quite unique opportunity to take 4 weeks unpaid leave each year, which the majority of employees take.
What has been you highlight of the job so far?
I have been fortunate to work on some really interesting projects across media and retail, yet a highlight for me was for a recent pro-bono project we did for the Fashion Retail Academy, a charity that provides education to students in fashion. I had the opportunity to interview a number of CEOs of UK major retailers e.g. Primark and Burberry on their opinions of the future skills gap in fashion. Another highlight has to be our recent annual international training week to Amsterdam, where we were all given an OC&C branded bike!
Why do you like working for OC&C?
Firstly, I really enjoy the constant variety of work – I have already learnt so much about industries I knew very little about, and it’s really great to get to work with so many different people. Secondly, I really believe OC&C invests a lot in its people, through the international training weeks, away weekends, and the personal development bank (which I am currently using to fund some kitesurfing lessons!) – there is always something to look forward to.