I am trying to decide between a corporate career and a consulting career. What are the major differences and how will I know which is right for me?

Consulting offers a broad, cross-functional experience. You’ll work directly with our clients’ senior executives to create and implement strategies and technologies that make an impact in today’s challenging environment. Success comes in two forms — from working with clients to turn winning ideas into reality and from developing your own innovative ideas.

A consulting career will usually expose you to a more expansive range of situations and opportunities than a corporate career. As a consultant, you’ll be able to learn about a variety of industries and functions, work on different teams with many interesting people, and experience growth that will be anything but linear.

Consulting is, by necessity, an open-ended, flexible, and interactive process. You will work with the best and brightest people across the firm, approach problems from a broad perspective, and be allowed to grow in many different areas.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you enjoy diving into an ever-changing portfolio of new projects?
  • Does the thought of transforming organisations excite you?
  • Do you thrive on seeing your ideas through to implementation?
  • Do you enjoy meeting people at various levels of organisations and synthesising their perspectives?
  • Do you demand an environment in which you are constantly expanding your horizons, seeing new perspectives, and facing new challenges?
  • Do you enjoy working with new and interesting teams of people in a fluid environment?
  • Do you want to make a difference?

If you answered “yes” to all or a majority of these questions, chances are that consulting, and Strategy&, are a good fit for you.

What does PwC's Strategy& look for in a candidate?

Strategy& looks for candidates with the following general attributes:

  • A high level of general intelligence and academic achievement
  • Real thought leadership, combined with strong analytical and problem-solving skills (which includes both a quantitative and a qualitative orientation)
  • Personal leadership qualities, including an ability to manage people, drive change, and accomplish challenging goals through and with others
  • The ability to work independently, while simultaneously being able to forge productive team relationships
  • Business judgment and maturity, including the ability to develop a "big picture" view and use i
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Strong personal presence, combined with compelling and professional presentation and communication skills
  • Initiative, personal organization, motivation, and ownership of one’s work

One of our Senior Partners said it best:

“What kind of person makes it at Strategy&? Someone who has done something very hard and very well, like compete in a marathon or sing in an opera — something at which they strive to excel for the sheer self-satisfaction of the quest. People here are driven to excel for the feeling, the personal satisfaction of being the best.”

What does it take to be a successful consultant?

In many ways it is their differences — in training, backgrounds, and areas of expertise — that make consultants invaluable to clients with specific needs. But the most successful consultants share several important attributes. They:

  • Feel passionate about the work they do
  • Enjoy working in teams of colleagues and clients
  • Focus on results
  • Listen eagerly to their clients’ needs
  • Exhibit a drive to effect positive change where it is needed
  • Possess the tenacity to work through the details as well as the vision to keep clients’ goals and the “big picture” in mind

People who succeed at Strategy& have demonstrated strong team and thought-leadership skills in their previous jobs or on campus. They are analytical in approach, thorough in charting a course and, most importantly, have a curiosity and passion for solving problems. As long as you excel at what you do, almost any academic or industry background can be a good fit at Strategy& — our business spans most industries and functional disciplines.

Why Strategy&?

At Strategy& you’ll be energised and challenged. Every day you’ll make an impact on a variety of interesting projects, learn new things, and teach others. You’ll feel the excitement as you work with the best and brightest people for the most prestigious clients. And you’ll be rewarded with world-class compensation and benefits programmes.

What is the culture like at Strategy&?

We succeed because of the way we work. In setting the standards of our profession, our approach is noticeably different. We think ahead; we are undaunted by tough challenges; we are direct, honest and unambiguous; practical, pragmatic and committed to making things happen; and we bring the best people in the world together, realising the power of our multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural teams to make the greatest impact.

Some companies produce things, but at Strategy& our only commodity is the innovation and know-how of our people. That’s why we hire the best and the brightest and why we do everything we can to keep them.

One way is by providing a culture in which people at all levels are encouraged to think out of the box and raise issues. We applaud innovative ideas, encourage feedback about the firm, and recognise exceptional efforts through a multi-tiered awards programme and a 360-degree appraisal process that helps ensure your efforts don’t go unnoticed.

What can I expect from my career at Strategy&?

Professional development begins on your first day at Strategy& and continues throughout your career. All new hires undergo an extensive orientation, which imparts Strategy&’s heritage, culture, and approach to consulting. You will continue to find opportunities for personal and professional growth including:

  • Targeted courses in consulting, management, and business development
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Cross-functional assignments
  • Immersion programmes to help you develop skills as you progress through your career
  • Tuition assistance for academic and technical certification

From your first day with our firm, we’ll continually add to your "toolbox" of skills and capabilities. This toolbox will serve you on every Strategy& assignment and provide an invaluable foundation for your future.
At Strategy&, you will create your own destiny and carve out your own individual career path. The firm will support your decisions through our world-class training, career development, and mentoring programmes.

But perhaps the most important way you’ll grow will be in your interactions with colleagues and clients over the course of your time with us. Once you become part of Strategy&, you’ll begin building relationships that will stay with you forever. You’ll refine your consulting skills through day-to-day interaction with senior members of your team, and you’ll work alongside the movers and shakers of industry and government—our clients. Time and time again, our alumni tell us that it’s the people, at Strategy& and among our clients, that they miss the most once they move on, and it’s the number-one reason many alumni choose to return to the firm.

How can I balance my career and my life?

Strategy& realises that there’s more to life than work and that we all benefit when employees are happy, healthy, and leading a well-balanced life. That’s why it’s important to Strategy& that you are able to rejuvenate through personal activities that are important to you; that you are involved—not only in the business community, but also in the community where you make your home.

Strategy& has programmes for your personal well-being, opportunities for flexible work arrangements, and impressive benefits packages. If you want to join a professional association, or go back to university for another degree or a certification, we’ll help cover the costs. The firm supports your need for community involvement with a full-time community relations department. To take your mind off work, many offices field sports teams and plan other after-work activities.

I hear you have a well-established mentoring program at Strategy&; how does that work?

At Strategy&, we recognize that everyone needs someone to talk with about their careers, someone they can use as a sounding board, someone with more experience with the firm who can give them advice. Therefore, we have a formal mentoring program in place that’s worked very well.

When new employees join the firm, they are assigned a Junior and Senior Mentor. Junior Mentors are people to reach for regarding anything from how to book your travel and where to stay to writing a self-assessment during your appraisal cycle. Your Senior Mentor is someone who can provide insights into your long-term growth at Strategy& and who often works to ensure that your development needs are being met through your staffing assignments. In addition to your formal mentors, you can certainly form less formal mentoring relationships with other colleagues based on your personal or professional interactions.

Every company is talking about diversity. What does diversity mean at Strategy&?

Our people are our greatest asset. Strategy& recognizes that it takes exceptional individuals with different talents and perspectives to develop the innovative solutions our clients expect. And we believe the most effective teams reflect diverse backgrounds and ideas. We constantly strive for better ways to understand what diversity means and what challenges it poses in a multinational and multiethnic workforce such as ours.

Strategy&’s commitment to diversity in the workforce is evident at every level of the firm and in our partnerships with other groups that share this commitment. Our fundamental equal employment policy is to identify, attract, retain, and advance the most qualified persons, regardless of race, religion, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.

Women at Strategy& is a global initiative which facilitates and supports the advancement and development of women across their career lifecycles at Strategy&. Our global network fosters a sense of community and provides opportunities for women to build their networks and balance their personal and professional lives.