We decided to launch a new series here on StrategyCase.com that should give our readers an insight into how the consulting roles differ across firms and geographies. We reach into our network to talk to people from the McKinseys, BCGs, and Bains of this world and get their perspective on their jobs and the industry.
If you have any requests for particular firms or geographies and particular questions, let us know and we will reach out to our network to conduct an interview for StrategyCase.com.
For the second post in this category, we have interviewed one of our contributors who works as a consultant for Accenture in Toronto, Canada to answer the questions on What does an Accenture consultant do and How does the day of an Accenture consultant look like. See the interview below!
StrategyCase.com: Where do you work? What position?
Interviewee: I work at Accenture Strategy in Toronto. Consultant.
StrategyCase.com: What kinds of cases do you work on?
Interviewee: Mostly Growth Strategy (i.e. Distribution Strategy, International Expansion, Sales Force Effectiveness), and Organizational Restructuring
StrategyCase.com: Do you travel every week? How far?
Interviewee: No. Accenture employs a regional staffing model. Since 90% of our client’s HQs are in Toronto, most consultants based here do not travel. Of my 9 projects, 2 involved travel. 1 to Montreal, 1 to Memphis. Average 2-4 hours of travel time when on a travel project.
StrategyCase.com: What are your favorite travel hacks?
Interviewee: ALL THE POINTS! Delta accelerated status program, Delta-SPG crossover rewards, Hertz-Delta crossover rewards, check-in & out of the hotel every day to hit 25 stays per year and retain platinum status. Also – get an inflatable headrest for the flight.
StrategyCase.com: How does a typical day look in your consultant life? (e.g., distribution between client meetings, problem-solving, analytical work in excel, slide preparation, etc)
Interviewee: Arrive on site between 8 – 9. 25% excel-based analysis, 35% making bomb-ass slides, 15% independent/team-based problem solving, 15% client meetings/following up to get data/to validate facts.
StrategyCase.com: What’re the typical hours you work during the week and on Friday? How about weekend work?
Interviewee: Typical weekday 9 – 8; weekend work typically only on +1s (e.g. asset development, thought leadership, community programs, etc.)
StrategyCase.com: How do you unwind during the week and on weekends?
Interviewee: Socials with my team, Explore the city (if on travel projects), party on the weekend, go to the gym, head to a park/outdoor pool (summer), escape the frozen tundra in the winter with indoor activities (game bars, museums/galleries, paint, eat, hibernate)
StrategyCase.com: What’s the best part of the job?
Interviewee: Bringing clarity to our clients by deconstructing their business problems and working towards a solution together, working with young, smart, ambitious, and fun colleagues, learning about best practices/market trends in diverse industries & functions, budget for socials & team meals, travel & points 😀
StrategyCase.com: What is the worst part of the job?
Interviewee: Landing on cool projects is always a little bit up to chance (e.g. depends on roll-off timing) so you don’t always get to work on the exact project you’d like to, navigating company politics & managing perceptions
StrategyCase.com: What tip would you give applicants for your role and your firm?
Interviewee: All the basics – know what makes this firm different, practice cases/behavioral, practice communicating clearly & concisely
StrategyCase.com: What exit opportunities are you considering?
Interviewee: VC, growth-stage startups, restructuring/turnaround advisory, moving to Miami/San Diego
StrategyCase.com: What have you learned on the job?
Interviewee: Refined my perspective on ‘what good looks like’ (e.g. structuring & executing quantitative analysis, communicating findings clearly and concisely via PPT/verbally), know how to balance serving your client & managing scope creep, protect your personal life by drawing boundaries (the more you offer, the more the firm will take), pick your battles – learn to recognize when pushing back/challenging team members during problem-solving becomes counterproductive, and evaluate whether the decision causes a material change to the deliverable.
StrategyCase.com: Anything else you would like to add?
Interviewee: Be focused on managing your career. Have clarity on the experiences you want to attain, and then chase them down so that if you leave, you walk away with a strong profile that is transferable to the type of work you want to continue doing.
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Florian spent 5 years with McKinsey as a senior consultant. He is an experienced consulting interviewer and problem-solving coach, having interviewed 100s of candidates in real and mock interviews. He started StrategyCase.com with the goal to make McKinsey more accessible for top-talent, using tailored and up-to-date know-how about its recruiting.