If you want to jump start your career by obtaining management consultancy experience, here you can peak into the life of an entry level Big Four employee. The experience showcased in the following post is based on KPMG Management Consulting entry level position.
First experiences – On your first day at the firm you will be assisted until a starting period of a week. Most Big4 firms have a solid on-boarding programs assisted by the HR department or allocation specialist employee. You will be taught the inner processes, basic tasks you will be responsible for on your first month, ie. collecting reference jobs for project tenders, or presentation add-ons for fancy ppt creation.
Mentor – During your starting period, you will be integrated into the mentor system. A senior consultant will be helping your social integration, giving professional advice. Once a month, a mentor – mentee session is held, after office hours in a meeting room, or during lunch time at a nearby restaurant.
Performance manager – Your mentor will collect your performance index from colleagues you worked with, and consult with them personally if some issue showed up to settle conflicts. You are supposed to give feedbacks on your role and performance with strengths and development area included.
Process overview – Allocation is the process of allocating consultants tailored on project needs. Allocation meeting is held on every Friday morning by leaders above manager level. All senior executives propose their resource requirements to projects they have managed to win for the firm. The allocation specialist helps to smooth the demanding process of easing debates of managers, directors, partners for top performer consultants. Then the result is sent to each colleague via a public Excel sheet. Next week consultants meet their project manager to get a detailed picture of the tasks at hand. For bigger projects consultants are mainly allocated for a longer period to avoid the unnecessary process of knowledge transfer. Smaller or medium sized and/or priced projects provide additional time for consultants to engage in other activities, like writing proposal for a tender.
Your daily activities spent at the company are closely monitored regarding your computer and time usage.
The system is divided into two main parts, the first is client billed section, the second is administrative tasks.
Client Billed – If the contract has been agreed on by having a fixed cost, overdoing hours on the project will reduce the performance and bonus level of the linked manager, therefore be aware that managers are watching keenly on who and how many hours allocate to their projects. Projects which are billed to clients are weighted according to seniority levels, so junior hours billed to the client is lower than that of seniors.
Administrative – Administrative tasks include contributing to the establishment of tender material to sell projects to actors willing to pay for it in the economy. It includes the collection of relevant reference jobs from insider databases, obtaining legal company certificates, highlighting the proposed group of consultants who will be allocated to the project in case of winning, as well as previewing the detailed structure plan of the project.
Network of the Engagement Partner – All the projects available at the Firm has something to do with the engagement partner’s professional network, which is heavily focused on industry. Therefore actively engaged sectors dominate the projects, which varies from company to company.
Industry sectors – At our Firm main industry sectors includes Telecommunication, Energy and Utilities, Financial Services, Retail, Automotive and so on. The managers receive RFPs or Request For Proposals in order to hand in meaningful tenders to the soon-to-be Client. Tenders include reference jobs within the national levels and also global competences at the international network of the Firm, initial problem analysis, schedules for planning, as well as staffing decisions with CVs of experienced employees.
How it’s done – Projects on Big Four level includes initial meetings at first with the Client to sketch out the form and schedule of cooperation and mainly setting the scope for the project, then on each corner stones status meeting are held in regard to performance and meeting deadline. Finally the project closes either with a Board presentation or delivering the final puzzle of the solution as well as instructions on how to apply them.
Softwares we use
There are more tools to use apart from the basic Microsoft Office applications, ie. PowerPoint, Excel, Word. Main delivery materials are usually comprised as either PPT or DOCX.
Microsoft Visio – The main softwares consultants use for process improvement or process mapping (great example of the flow of data across data warehouses in the light of GDPR). This is called Microsoft Visio, what it could do is having wide range of processes drawn up in a standard manner with notes, actors, facilities in the processes of the Client.
Microsoft Project – The other great tool is used for project management purposes to schedule all parts of the consulting period as well as deadlines and explore possible shortcomings when it comes to end-start conflicts between processes. The program provides visualised results of the final plan. You can also create macros in order to automate the processing of Client edits to know what the current status is.