I am an IIT graduate, started my career with Consulting, three years back. I worked with a Big4 for more than 2 years, before switching to a global investment bank. After working for 6 months, I again switched back to consulting.
A person who likes change, learning everyday, travelling and a generalist, should try consulting as a career.
As a consultant what is your typical day like?
My job is to work on the problems faced by different firms which they bring to us. It can be anything, which is an interesting part of my job. I don’t know where I will be working or what I will be working on next week. It is very dynamic. I need to learn everyday (about the firms, their problems and solutions), hence it is a very fruitful and great experience.
The best part is, consultants mostly work end-to-end on the projects and we can see the impact we make in few weeks, which is very satisfying.
About my work place, my office is located in one of the most happening places in India. However for a consultant, client place is his workplace, which changes with every project.
What do you love about your job?
- Growth – Great future prospects. You are catering to changes in the world and learning everyday. I can easily move to other roles, because there are lot of exit options.
- Travel – I get to travel a lot for work purposes.
- Working Hours – I can choose how aggressive I want to be. As a consultant I have the option to take projects, volunteer for projects and hence choose my own work life.
- Change – The major dissatisfying factor in most jobs for many people is repetition, doing the same work everyday. Consulting is one of the job which offer change and no matter how good or bad.
What are the challenges you face in this career?
The job is dynamic, you need to live on the edge, learning new things everyday, which sometimes people don’t prefer after an age.
Many people prefer well structured, static and peaceful job. Also the working hours are not fixed, they may change with clients and projects. I don’t really find them as a challenge though.
The major challenge I faced during my early days is to figure out my interests. I started my career with consulting. Though I enjoyed it a lot, I thought maybe banking is better. So after few months and a lot of struggle, I joined a global investment bank as an Analyst.
Luckily after few months, now that I have worked in both consulting and finance, I realised that I am more interested in consulting.
What was your role as an Analyst? Why did you switch back to Consulting?
An Analyst, by designation is the first level in the bank. In terms of responsibilities, he is expected to perform daily tasks smartly and without any mistakes. It is less on the management front and more task oriented. It didn’t match my personality. I like to learn everyday, and prefer a dynamic and challenging job.
The analyst job was challenging initially, however its the same task everyday, hence it becomes easy and dull after sometime.
What do you wish you knew before you started preparing for this career?
I wish that I knew my interest – Consulting from college itself, which would have helped me prepare and pursue it more aggressively.
Can you please summarise your career journey?
- +2 Science
- Textile Engineering- IIT
- Consulting – Big 4
- Investment Bank
- CFA Level 1, FRM Level 1
What sort of experiences helped prepare you most?
IIT is a great brand name. Recruiters especially in banks, prefer IITians, as they have strong maths and science background and an aptitude to adjust to the culture and learn anything, most efficiently. Consulting experience and CFA made me to switch from Consulting to Finance.
What did you want to be when you were in college?
Honestly, I didn’t knew my interest back in college. I thought about many options. I choose Textile Engineering as it is one of the areas which is not really developed in India and has a lot of room for development in the future.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Watching movies, travelling and spending time with family.
What do you think everyone leaving higher secondary school should know?
Everyone leaving school should strive hard to find their interests and should know that it’s OK to fail.
I believe that it’s difficult to find your interest without living it. Try hard to find your interest. Grow personally and learn everyday.
How should one choose their career?
Hence I would suggest to shortlist few options which you feel inclined to, and then try few of them to realise your interest.
- Try to explore as much as you can in college. Do not try to follow the trend, your seniors, friends or family blindly when it comes to career. Exploration can be in terms of studies (try to study different subjects like Economics, Maths, Science, Computers, Management etc).
- Participate in competitions, case studies, etc
- Read books
- Know yourself – Your strength, weakness, what makes you happy, what keeps you going, what challenges you etc. Then try to match your personality with the nature of the job.
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