Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Management Consulting

What is Management Consulting?

I'm here today with Alison a consultant at Bayonet company thank you so much for being here happy to be here. This is a question that a lot of my friends have what is consulting consulting is basically just helping business leaders make decisions around how to run their business which is super super broad but also a fair. I think representation of what consulting is because depending on the case that you're working on or the project it can be super different because the problems you're solving are obviously very different in nature at different companies what kind of problems do you help them solve and what kind of projects are they usually it's a whole range of different projects so you might have some of the projects that I've worked on was one like turning around an entire business model for a company they saw that their sales were declining and so we came in and we were like well like.

Let's figure out how to change that and that could have met a number of things obviously like sales increasing or decreasing is like a very simple issue but then you kind of dive into that and we ended up you know changing their business model to drive more revenue so that's just one example of like business model transformation. I've also worked in private equity group which at Bain which is private equity clients and so we help private equity firms decide whether or not to invest in certain companies that's a very different line of work and say another project I've worked on which is helping two companies merge and you know figuring out if you have one company with these set of processes this. 

Company with another how do you merge them and like how do you make the most efficient business when you add two together so yeah those are just like some of the things that I've worked on but there have been like very very different lines of work but all super interesting what's the running curve for all these new stuff how do you pick those things there's definitely a learning curve and the great thing is like when you have a team of people that are fully dedicated to this project generally there is like some expert or some. 

You know partner on the case that is an expert in whatever you're doing and so there's this time where you're learning from them but you're also kind of just on the ground with your team all learning together so I would say like the first couple weeks of a case usually it's just learning time instead of you and your team are just everyday you you know learn something else and then you share it with the team so it's really um it's like group learning. Sounds like consulting is by taking classes learning and then doing the homework for the client basically a little bit like you kind of get dropped in a new industry and you don't know anything about the industry you definitely have to like ramp up and learn about that before you can provide any meaningful insights so that's generally the first phase of the case you just read the bunch and learn talk to experts and put these projects do you have like a set process like how long are these projects and like how do you know what you're supposed to do sometimes it's more clear than other times generally when a company comes to a consulting firm they scope out the issue that they want us to work on that might be scoped for let's. 

Say a month of a you know team of five people to work on it might be six months it might be scoped for even longer a lot of the cases that I worked on started out with you know say let's do a two or three month project and then it would extend if we felt like we needed more time to work on it or if we were kind of on a  path and needed you know more resources or something to figure out a problem so I worked on projects you know my private equity cases were three weeks long and then I was on another project for I think almost ten months so really it really ranges hey and what is the end in the purple that you deliver to your clients usually it just takes the form of a meeting and we essentially just kind of lay on than what we've been working on and usually it's a series of meetings throughout the project.

But you know when the first meeting might be you know here's the process that we're going here the early insights do you have any say in which direction we should go in and then a later meeting might be hey we went down this path this is what we learned and then you know a final meeting might be like this is our recommendation of what you should do now let's think about next steps that may or may not involve a consultant Monday to Friday with us that look like Janome and then we can dive into what a day are the clients I might look like Monday through Friday I would say most travel not most but when you do travel um we're traveling to save Monday through Wednesday sometimes Monday through Thursday which means you know flight Monday morning you go to the client site you spend Monday Tuesday Wednesday at the client site in you know in between those you're at the client site during the day doing meetings with the client.

You know where we should push on for specific I guess different pieces of work and then throughout the day it's kind of working time a mix of working time in meetings so I might have a meeting with my manager on one thing and then work for a few hours have a meeting with my direct supervisor and then maybe a client meeting in the afternoon and then yeah generally in that case we would all kind of head out around 7:00 o'clock most of us were based in the city so we would commute home and then. You know have time for dinner and if there was more work to be done at night we would sign back on from home so that was a pretty sustainable and like good cadence what would you say is your favorite part about being a consultant I think my favorite part is just the fact that what I'm working on it like it changes and evolves so frequently that I never feel like I am bored at work if anything I am overstimulated then feel very challenged which is which is good especially for a first job.

Associate consultants will leave for different reasons than say a manager the associate consultant so I'm thinking of like people of my class or my age a lot of them go back to school is one thing um they might go get an MBA or masters and something that they were interested in a lot of them go to private equity so there's a pretty natural pivot from consulting to private equity and other financials so I'm go to tech it's becoming more and more pop going to two rolls there and just working for you know companies that they're interested in whether that's a strategy rule whether that's a product rule whether you know that's something that's another role that they're interested in but people kind of find their passion and you know I know people that love food and after consulting like went oh we'll go work for restaurant groups or people who you know we're really interested in like environmental sustainability and they go work for nonprofits there so it really ranges but that's the nice thing.

I think I'd be interested in like one doing something with like a product like having a product related role and really like owning a product and so whether that's at you know type there are a lot of companies I could think of I'd be interested in but you know probably something around either tech or retail or CPG which is consumer products I like having I like working on a product that is very tangible and that I can you know kind of envision the end user so that's kind of one path that I could have seen myself going down slash could see myself going down in the future and the other is relevant to why I'm in San Francisco which is education I'm interested in you know creating opportunities.


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