Consulting Careers for Graduates
- Sep. 01 2005 00:00
Leading industry players tell us what’s on offer at the country’s top consulting firms and what it takes to land one of the most sought-after jobs on the market today.
The Boston Consulting
Group, Moscow office
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) presents extraordinary opportunities for highly talented young people to gain exposure to the most important problems facing Russian and international companies - and to the world's best ideas for solving them.
Typically, BCG's Moscow office recruits as associates - our most junior consulting position - those with two to three years of professional experience. Recently, however, the firm has begun hiring a select few recent university graduates to serve as researchers, who will work directly with our consulting teams. Researchers who perform well will be promoted to associates within two years.
What unites BCG recruits at all levels is a combination of intellectual curiosity and capabilities that will allow them to have an immediate impact. BCG consultants are not satisfied with obvious answers and approaches, but instead strive to find new ways to improve our clients' performance.
BCG's "flat" organizational structure allows our associates to demonstrate their potential from their first day on the job.
Although BCG associates are expected to show independence and initiative in their work, they nevertheless receive significant support from more senior team members, as well as from BCG's global network. An associate unsure of how to tackle a particular problem may take comfort from the thought that among BCG's 3,000 consultants working in more than 60 offices around the globe in every conceivable industry, surely someone has faced a similar issue. When asked recently why he arrived at the office at 5:00 a.m. one morning, a BCG Moscow consultant replied, "I had a conference call with our industry experts in Brazil and Australia, and this was the only time we could all agree on."
A career in BCG is extremely rewarding, but joining the firm can be challenging. As Cameron Bailey, BCG Moscow's partner in charge of recruiting, put it, "We are looking for the best of the best." Of the two or three thousand candidates who submit their CVs to BCG Moscow each year, only 10 percent or so are invited for an interview, and only a small fraction of these eventually receive offers. BCG employs a "case interview" process, in which candidates are asked to demonstrate structure, business judgment, creativity and intellectual rigor to solve a given problem.
HR Director, Deloitte CIS
We are looking mostly for personal qualities such as an overall round shaped personality and leadership potential. Within our Graduate Recruitment Campaign we have been arranging Leadership Training Sessions at universities for two years already. Students of the last years at university are taking part in that training. It is a great opportunity for students to develop their leadership skills and for us to see the leadership potential in candidates during the business cases included in that training.
We are ready to teach graduates in technical areas. During our selection process we are mostly looking for personalities. As for academic strengths, our tests for the audit department include English language and accounting.
Due to the business growth of over 50 percent per year for the last four years we are encouraging, supporting and developing our people to grow faster than they believe they are capable of growing. That is a unique situation. You can become a partner in 7 years. The youngest partner is 26 years old. Fifteen percent of our employees are being promoted for two levels in one year. All promotions are supported by counseling, development programs and training.
We also offer a wide range of opportunities for those starting their career in positions in nonclient service departments (administration, IT, marketing, etc.) Employees of these departments have the possibility to grow quickly in their departments or move to client-service groups (audit, tax and legal, FAS or consulting). That differentiates us from most of other Big Four firms where such moves do not happen often.
We offer a wide range of training and development programs. As soon as graduates join us, they are enrolled into an induction program which provides them with knowledge about the company as well as about technical aspects of the job.
There is a very well developed system of counseling and professional development in Deloitte CIS that helps the graduate to grow in our firm. The person only needs to show willingness to work, contribute his or her ideas, suggest innovations and act as a future leader. The successful and timely completion of tasks and projects is essential, of course.
The next intake of new recruits is coming soon - in late autumn. Also starting from this year we have introduced the Deloitte Scholarship Program for students of Moscow State University and the Finance Academy. Scholarship finalists for this year have already been selected and students of those universities are invited to participate in the competition for next year in spring, 2006.
PricewaterhouseCoopers offers promising opportunities for career growth to young professionals. The firm's Learning and Development department provides for employees' constant professional and personal development in four primary areas:
International professional qualifications;
Professional and software skills;
Interpersonal and communication skills;
Developing managerial and leadership qualities.
We work in close cooperation with the employee to build their career and allocate the resources and energy, which he or she considers necessary to meet their objectives.
Even in their first year of employment, the firm's specialists undergo over 200 hours of training. As they are engaged on projects, and often outside the office, we adopt training methods such as coaching and knowledge exchange between working groups. Any employee who shows an impressive work performance can expect to see his or her career grow.
To achieve success every employee at PwC needs to be energetic, optimistic, flexible, focused and committed to a constant learning process. All our employees are bright individuals. We value that and offer them wide room to maneuver in their career choice.
It's mostly potential for further development that we assess when recruiting fresh graduates. We are looking for ambitious, enterprising young specialists, thirsty for knowledge, with a strong academic record and able to work in a team.
Head of Personnel
At the crossroads of career opportunities when young people look for their choices where to work it is very important to make a conscientious decision. Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company which delivers the innovation that helps clients become high-performance businesses.
Our consulting workforce operates across three groups: Business Consulting, Business & Systems Integration Consulting and Technology Consulting. Take a look at them and see where you could join a world class workforce, delivering innovative business solutions to clients worldwide.
The business consulting workgroup focuses on strategy, organizational change and business transformation. Alternatively, they may specialize in industry-specific functional areas such as insurance claims processing or pharmaceutical research and development or others.
Business and systems integration consulting professionals specialize in the design, development and delivery of functional and industry solutions for clients based on clients' existing packages or custom-built systems.
Technology consulting people concentrate on our technology capabilities, delivery of technology innovation and provide the backbone of our systems integration business. They build skills in technical architecture and design, infrastructure and core technology, as well as program and project management.
We look for bright, talented individuals who are able to challenge conventional thought, offer unique perspectives and conceive more innovative solutions for our clients.
We look for graduates of the country's leading universities specializing in the fields of economy, finance, information technology, industry knowledge in banking, insurance, oil and gas, energy, pharmaceutics and others industries.
There is a defined career path for the consulting workforce with the following levels: intern, analyst, consultant, manager, senior manager, and senior executive.
We operate in "aggressive progression" and people are only likely to stay at Accenture when they have successfully met their performance targets and completed the required training.
We offer a variety of formal and on-the-job training programs at every level to help you acquire and build specialized skills faster. In addition, you will gain invaluable knowledge from the high-caliber mentors, colleagues and clients you are likely to come into contact with every day.
Director of Human Resources
Development, Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young offers young graduates wide ranging opportunities for professional and career growth in our audit, tax and business advisory services. We recognize that by investing in the training and development of young professionals we invest in the future of our firm, which is why we attach particular importance to our university graduate recruiting program.
We look for talented candidates, final-year students, or recent graduates with degrees primarily in economics, finance or business related courses, as well as those majoring in other areas who wish to build their careers in audit, tax or advisory.
To attract young professionals, we hold career and open days, where our partners and managers meet with students. Career days include testing, which is the first stage of selection. The second stage is the interview with an HR representative followed by an interview with one of our departmental or service line managers. The final stage of selection is an interview with one of the firm's senior managers or partners.
Normally a career in audit, tax or advisory with Ernst & Young begins from the position of intern. Every year we organize internship programs in the winter and spring. As part of that program, undergraduates can work on projects for three to four months to experience what working as an Ernst & Young professional really means.
Increasingly students and graduates are coming onto the labor market with an element of work experience. In most cases they have already chosen their general career direction and are well informed about what it will take to succeed in their chosen field.
In our selection and internship processes we also evaluate other qualities of the candidates, such as creative and non-standard thinking, teamwork, commitment, willingness to receive new knowledge, and the ability to learn.
Communication skills, both business and personal, are also very important. Equally important as well is leadership potential, as leadership qualities directly impact the success of the entire company.
University graduates who came to work with us this year, may, in due course, become managers and partners, in other words, leaders and co-owners of the firm's business.