The ANALyst

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Baptism by Fire


At the end of college, I spent a couple of months gallivanting around the world. Travelled to unknown lands and acquainted many an unknown woman. In the process, I also spent an untold amount of money. (Thank God for the sign on bonuses.)

Alas, all good holidays come to an end! But all was not lost. The time had come to join one of the world’s most exalted professions – to become a member of an elite club indeed. Time to fix the corporate world. Enough said.

Consulting is all about networking. And the firms believe that this point must be emphasised from Day One. My firm was no different. Each year, in the first week of joining, the firm transports all the campus hires to a coastal location for “orientation”. You would think that the orientation would be a pretty relaxed way to begin life at the firm, with lots of booze and meeting up with other campus hires. Wrong! Yes, the other campus hires are there and yes the booze flows freely, but it is anything but relaxed. It is an introduction to the 90 hour work week.

It starts off pretty mildly, with an introduction to the firm by a couple of senior partners. They could probably skip this bit in my opinion as most of this information is easily available on internet forums and blogs and those who can’t search for this information should probably not be in consulting. After a few more minutes of ‘housekeeping’ type stuff, we get down to the real deal. Case Studies!!! Lots of them and intense ones. Since I will talk about real projects in later blogs (ofcourse without client names – I don’t wish to get identified and fired. Not yet atleast), I will not go into much details about these case studies apart from the fact that they do try to simulate the real enviroment as much as possible. Senior firm practitioners facilitating the course act as the ‘clients’, with the partners acting as the ‘CXO’s’.

Now coming to the interesting part – the after work booze. You see, inspite of the rigorous recruiting process, some retards do manage to land into consulting as well. Luckily, most of these people get found out pretty quick. And it all starts at the orientation booze nights. Basically, if you can get through five nights of boozing without doing anything silly, you will be fine. For our female readers, do not hit on the partners, unless, they hit on you first. If they do, then congratulate yourself and take advantage, as this is your first career enhancing move. We had a comical situation where a petite blonde was fancied by atleast two of the partners present. We don’t think she got much real sleep the whole week. Rumour also has it that neither of the two partners knew about the other. Fine consultant she shall make. Word is out that she managed to get a fairly chunky bonus this year.

Tom (name changed), on the other hand, didn’t have such a good week. Challenging a senior partner to drinking games is probably not the best idea. Let’s just say a very solid performance in his first engagement is what saved him from getting “counselled out”.

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April 5, 2009 Posted by | Consulting | 5 Comments