Friday, October 10, 2008

A tough year to get a consulting job

Two obvious reasons why it will be tough to get a consulting job if you are graduating from an MBA program next spring:

Demand is Way Down:
"We did a great job of hiring last year, and quite a few defer to this year, so we will have very little or no in-take this year." - BCG Recruiter
"Our top competitor for talent isn't BCG or Bain, it's Goldman Sachs."  - Mckinsey recruiter, 3 years ago. [Ed note:  not this year!]
"This month Monitor, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, cut almost 20% of its staff." - The Economist
This sense matches my own firm's view and anecdotes from my sources at other firms.  MBA hiring numbers will be less than 50 for '09 grads, a significant pull-back from targets of the last two years.

Supply is Way Up:
"We've seen attendance double at some campus venues, even people sitting on the floor." - BCG Recruiter
We're also seeing a lot higher number of resume drops from people who had finance internships, but realized that HBS grads screwed up yet another market and are now seeking an alternate career path:
"Finance as a whole attracted 44% of [HBS] 2007 graduates, up from 42% in 2006... Skeptics may note that the S&P 500 has gained 25% since the Harvard MBA indicator came out two years ago, its 2005 and 2006 "Sell" signals may simply turn out to have been early. Tune in next year and find out! It’s a long-term indicator, after all." - Harvard MBA Indicator, November 2007
Middle East markets seem to have continued strong growth; lots of pull from these offices for underutilized consultants in US & Europe.  If you're desparate for a consulting job talk up your interest in opportunities to go to the Middle East.

Source:  The Economist,, Consultant Ninja analysis

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Friday, October 10, 2008