Hult alumni at the world’s 4 biggest consulting firms: Q&A
Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst&Young (EY), and KPMG hold the biggest share of global consultancy income, with a combined 40% of the market and have maintained consistent growth in the face of the global economic crises.
For many students wanting to forge a global career in management consulting, getting a job at one of the “Big 4” consulting firms is a top priority. We spoke to 4 alumni who are now working in each of the Big 4 firms to find out how they landed their current job, and what Hult did to help.
Introducing our Big 4 alumni:
Michael Poy is a Canadian national and Master of International Business alum who now works in London, U.K., as a Consultant at EY and is on a two-year graduate program there. Class of 2015.
Michele Bianchi is an Italian Master of Finance graduate currently working in Milan, Italy, as an Analyst for Deloitte. Class of 2015.
Wen-Jie Cheok, a Master of International Business grad, now works in Frankfurt, Germany, as an Associate in Financial Services at KPMG. Class of 2015.
Marc Seipp is currently a Management Consultant with a focus on Financial Services at PwC in Munich, Germany, having graduated from Hult’s Master of International Business program. Class of 2013.
Did you come to Hult with aspirations to join one of the ‘Big 4’ consulting firms?
Michael, EY: I knew my end goal was to go into consulting but as I didn’t have any experience in that field and had a background in finance, I thought I would have to go the finance route. While I was at Hult, being a part of extra curricular clubs and networking with people in the industry helped persuade me to apply for consulting.
Wen-Jie, KPMG: It was one option of a few. Hult’s Career Development team were really instrumental in helping me narrow my focus and choose consulting as the best fit for me.
How did Hult’s Career Services support you in finding your current position?
Michele, Deloitte: I wanted a school that would prioritize helping me get a job. Hult taught me how to effectively job-hunt, and how to interview successfully to seal the deal. These skills helped me get my current job at Deloitte and will stand me in good stead for any future job-search. Hult didn’t give me a job, they gave me the knowledge and the skills to go and find my own. Not just upon graduation, but for the rest of my life. It’s like that saying: “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man how to fish and he’ll never go hungry again.”
Wen-Jie, KPMG: Hult’s Career Open House really stood out as a key date in the Career Development event calendar. I met with people from one of the Big 4 there, talked to people in the financial sector, got to know the companies. It was really interesting to get a peak into the life and culture of the companies and get a broad overview of the market.
Michael, EY: Graduate programs start recruiting in September so I needed to be focused and have everything in place to start applying. I did the Career Fast Track program to solidify my career plan and work on my resume before I arrived on campus, and I had an appointment with my personal careers advisor in my first week. My careers advisor was very supportive. I could bounce ideas off her any time and check I was on track with my job applications. Hult’s Career Development team helped with making sure my resume and cover letter were of a certain professional standard and there were some useful classes networking and the hidden job market.
Marc, PwC: They did a great job with the networking events and bringing speakers onto campus. The 1-on-1 tutoring, soft skills workshops, resume screening, and career plan – it was all really helpful.
What would your advice be to students looking to enter your industry?
Michael, EY: My number one piece of advice would be: have a clear idea of the career path you want to pursue. Then, get to know the industry and learn the lingo, network as much as you possibly can, and build your confidence so that you’re comfortable speaking to anyone. In terms of the business, the Big 4 are all pretty similar – they all provide similar services. The difference is in culture. So see which one you are the best fit for and target your efforts on that one.
Wen-Jie, KPMG: Be a “yes” person – take every opportunity to network and be proactive, get to know the industry.
What were the strengths of the Hult program?
Michael, EY: The soft skills element, the career focus, the clubs, and the internal network. I went to as many events as possible and I met a lot of students on other programs, including MBA and EMBA students, many of whom were knowledgeable, experienced, and well connected in an industry I wasn’t familiar with.
Marc, PwC: There is a huge network being established that we can all leverage and build. It’s not just about receiving; it’s about contributing and creating a community of like-minded professionals. A business school is not just about education, it’s also about the network and the opportunity.
Michele, Deloitte: The student diversity at Hult is outstanding. Being in a classroom and on a campus with people so diverse is one of Hult’s most unique features. It’s like you’re travelling the world without leaving the classroom. I could gain the perspective of someone from the United Kingdom, Canada, Angola, China, and Columbia – all in the same day.
Wen-Jie, KPMG: Hult really care about individual development. They taught me what I was capable of. Self-motivation is really important at Hult. There are many young talented people who want to work in the industry who have experience – the confidence I gained at Hult helped me standout in a crowded market.
How does what you learnt in class help you in your day-to-day role?
Michael, EY: The things I learned in my Project Management elective are directly applicable to what I’m doing right now. Our Scenario Planning project simulated the sort of high-pressure environment I face as a consultant – we had four days to analyze and propose a solution to a complex business issue, working in a diverse team with members from different programs and many nationalities.
The skill set I gained at Hult – working towards a common goal in cross-functional and culturally diverse teams at Hult on projects with a fast turn-around time – was excellent practice for my role as a consultant in one of the Big 4 firms.
Wen-Jie, KPMG: It’s really rare to find an institution that actually teaches you to utilize your theory. Hult tried to provide the most realistic working environment. I learnt how to access and utilize my existing knowledge, deliver pitches, and the case-study method we used in class has many parallels with consulting.
Michele, Deloitte: I participated in the Hult Prize. It was one of the most interesting and compelling experiences of my life. The idea of creating something sustainable and socially impactful at the same time is so important.
For me, it was an opportunity to better understand what I like doing, and what I am capable of, both as an individual and in a team. At the same time it was a true entrepreneurial experience.
Marc, PwC: The Business Challenge project is where you’re linked with a company and work on something in the industry. We devised a market entry strategy for a U.S. company into Europe. It was an exciting, hands-on experience, and an invaluable lesson in teamwork.
We’d like to thank Michael, Michele, Marc, and Wen-Jie for taking time out of their extremely busy schedules to share their insights with us and for representing Hult alumni in the global consulting world.
Hult is ranked #1 for Diversity of Industries Recruiting Graduates in 2015, according to The Economist. We are proud that Hult alumni are represented in every major industry and region in the world. Find out more about our alumni, our programs and campuses, and the Hult student experience in these articles:
Find out how we help students arrive on campus ready to start their job search with our Career Fast Track Program
Hult students learn how to get a job at Google
If you would like to find out more about Hult’s global business programs, download a brochure here.