Getting Into Consulting From A Non-Target School? | ASK KCHOI #2
Hi I'm k, troy, welcome back to my channel. I recently uploaded a video where I answered some of your career related questions that I collected via Instagram. And I actually still have a handful of questions left over from that round. So I wanted to answer them in this video, I'm, no career expert by any means. But I just love sharing things that I've learned in my own personal journey that hopefully can help you as you figure out your own path before we jump in a quick. Thank you to Squarespace for. Sponsoring today's video, I've been sharing about Squarespace for a few months now on this channel.
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And the first one is, if I didn't graduate from an Ivy League school, how can I make myself desirable for consulting firms, having an Ivy League school on your resume or going to any target school of a large consulting firm is definitely going to give you an advantage and a leg up in the process. But of course, it's still possible to work at a consulting firm I'm, specifically thinking more of like big4 and. Mbb consulting firms, if you didn't go to an Ivy League school, if you want to get into one of those firms right after college, then I would say look into your network. See if there are any alumni that work at one of the firms that you're interested in and make that connection with them if there aren't any alumni from your school working at the firms, you want to work at then maybe look at your city or the city that your university is in if there's a branch or an office that's nearby, then see who you. Can connect with on LinkedIn, possibly somebody who's in the role that you're applying to so that you can reach out have like a virtual coffee chat with them or something to learn more about their role. I recently did a video with Steph from the YouTube channel, Steph and den. And she works at a big four firms and works really closely with the talent acquisition department.
And she shared some great advice in terms of networking and recruiting to get into a big4 firm. So I will link that in the. Description box for some additional insight networking aside.
If you think about your resume, what can you do to make yourself stand out so that even though you don't have that target school on your resume, you still look like a fascinating candidate were you in any consulting clubs at school? Did you work on any really cool projects like for your local community or local businesses, try to think of unique things that you can do and be able to put on your resume to stand out a bit more and? Let's say, you don't get into one of those big firms after college, you get into maybe a smaller firm, or you just work in-house at a company. And if it's still your objective to get into one of those big firms, then continue networking.
First and two be really intentional about the things that you do and learn in your current role so that they can be transferred and applicable to a role at a big consulting firm, where you got your degree from is definitely helpful, but only to a certain point. After that, it's really your experience and whether you're a right fit for whatever job it is you're applying to. So although you might have some obstacles or challenges, initially, there's, still, certainly a way that you can make yourself stand out.
How does starting at a big firm versus a small firm affect your exit opportunities? I have personally not worked at a big4 or mob firm. I do have friends who have worked at them. So this is all just from an outsider's perspective. I would say that with a big.
Firm the main thing that you're getting is the network and the brand name, these are huge firms all over the world. So not only do you have a network of people who work at the same company as you. But then you also have alumni of those companies. So people who have gone on to do other things.
So the network is just very expansive and powerful, and you can certainly use that to your advantage when you're looking for your next career move. And in terms of brand name, if you've worked at a big4 firm for. Example and have that on your resume that'll, certainly help you stand out as you're looking for other opportunities. So that's, the main difference, I think you just have a much larger network, and you have a stronger brand name with these bigger firms experience, wise though I personally don't feel any limitations or restrictions in terms of the types of opportunities that I could pursue regardless of the size of the firm that I work at what is your prediction of the consulting labor market.
And the. Change in the way of working for consultants, the obvious one that's happening right now is much less travel if any travel at all, I used to have client meetings, almost every single week and was traveling to a bunch of different places around the country to have them. But of course, now everything is virtual instead of in person, I think at first a lot of consultants, probably felt a dip in their work as their clients were just figuring out how to even deal with the pandemic. And everything that goes. Along with it, so there were probably projects that got paused. And there was this period of just not really knowing what was going to happen. But I think now more than before there's, an even stronger need for consulting services.
And for me, I work in change management. And obviously so many companies right now are going through big changes, especially because of coven 19. That being said, of course, some companies are, of course, struggling financially.
So maybe it doesn't make sense for them to hire. Consultants or have consulting services putting that financial uncertainty, aside because that's something that whether it's consulting or another industry, it's, just a reality of the current state of the world in terms of the needs of different companies. I think there's going to be more of a need for consulting now more than ever next question is, how do you pick a career choice and stick with it when your interests change? So often unless your interests are changing like drastically like you want.
To be an engineer, and then you want to be like a fashion designer. I think there are lots of industries or jobs that you could find that allow for a little of flexibility. I think working at some sort of agency or a firm is a good place to start. So not only consulting, but it could be advertising or just any other company that provides a suite of services to clients. I think that allows for a little more flexibility to explore. I think if you work at some sort of agency or a firm, you, not only.
Get exposure to different companies because you work with different clients, but you'll also probably gain a lot of project management skills and analytical skills that can be transferred to lots of different roles. If you want to change your career, the next question is about starting a consulting business and how to get clients. I personally have never started my own business. Let alone my own consulting practice. But I would say start with your friends and family start with your network. If you do. Some work for people within your network, and you do a good job, and they're happy with it.
They can share a testimonial. You can use that to get more people and more clients. They can refer to other people that they know.
And I think you just expand from there. I would also recommend checking out. Natalie barb's, YouTube channel.
She started her own consulting business, and she has some videos and vlogs about it. And overall, she just has some very inspirational content. If you're also looking to be your.
Own boss and find different streams of income. So I'll link, her channel in the description box. The next question is any communication tips for email with the advent of working from home working from home is definitely a big challenge that many of us have not been prepared for, but we are dealing with it and are getting through it. One of the biggest downsides of working remotely versus working in person with your co-workers is the potential loss of communication. You certainly have to be a lot more.
Proactive to make sure that your communication is still going smoothly in terms of specific tips around emails. I mean, keep them as short as you can because if you find yourself writing like an essay to explain something then just get on the phone, and it'll be much easier to talk it out if you find yourself going back and forth like more than three times with somebody, then maybe get on the phone, and it'll be much easier to talk it through even before I was regularly working from home. My preferred.
Method of communication was by phone or by chat, just because it's so much easier to sort something out than in a long email. The last question for this video is English major here, what's. The most useful thing you learned from your English degree aside from being a really great user, which I think any English major can relate to the thing that comes to mind is being able to read comprehend and analyze something in a pretty short amount of time as an English major. I obviously had to read a lot and. Then I had to be able to synthesize and analyze it and share my thoughts on it in the form of an essay when it comes to what I do today as a consultant sometimes I'll get these really long, PowerPoint decks or documents with all this information from the client, and I need to be able to read that really quickly, or in a very short amount of time and be able to distill what the main information is from that content. And while having a business degree has also been helpful for that type of situation, I.
Feel like just being able to read and analyze something quickly has just been overall, much more useful for me, it's funny, because I usually point to the writing skills that I developed as kind of the most important thing or useful thing that I've gotten out of my degree. But after reading this question, it just sparked a different side of being an English major that I think is even more useful that's it for this video. I hope it was helpful, and please leave more questions in the comments. I'll use.
That to source questions for my next video. So questions comments down below I'm, also really happy that a lot of you seemed to like my last video, which was a wine talk where I sat outside in my backyard talked about relationships with my friend Megan, I know, it's a little different for my channel. But the positive response just really encouraged me. So I really appreciated that as always thank you so much for watching, and I will see you in the next one bye. You.