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Diving into The World of Management Consultants

Hi everyone! My name is Anson Lee and I am a Grade 11 student at Agincourt Collegiate Institute. Last weekend, I had the privilege of attending Paul Okundaye’s Think Tank on “Management Consulting” as a part of the Associate National Lead program. Paul Okundaye graduated with his MBA from Harvard business school, was a senior associate consultant at Bain and Company and was a Growth Strategy Manager at Microsoft.

During the session, I had a chance to hear about management consulting, do an activity on market sizing, and ask about the differences between investment banking and consulting.

Firstly, Paul covered the 4 main types of consultants:

  • Strategy firms: Bain & Company, McKinsey, BCG

  • Functional Specialists: Atkearney, Hewitt, booz&co., Deloitte

  • IT/BPO Specialists: Accenture, IBM

  • Accounting Firms: KPMG, EY

Each firm would specialized in their own consulting area and provide expertise on those problems. Management consultants however, cover a wide range of experiences. They work on cases from diverse industries (e.g. Consumer Products and Retail, Industrial Goods and Services, etc.) and many different types of cases (e.g. M&A, Strategy and Consumer, Performance Improvement, etc).

Investment Banking

We also learned that consulting is VERY different from investment banking. IB is more finance and transaction oriented. They generally focus on M&A and face time and very long hours with little control.

  • You typically work from 9 am to 2 am… but it pays more than management consulting

  • You need to do a lot of internal reflection to decide what u want to do for future

  • Look for role models in the place you work at, do you want to become like those people?

  • Work is very transaction-based. Buying and selling a company/stock. You’re just the middleman, you don’t really add much value.

  • There is not too much impact on the world. But consulting, you can do more things.

Management Consulting

Consulting needs more of a leadership skillset, involves many different areas (strategy, marketing, finance, ops, etc.) and you can get case experience across many industries. Similar to IB, you still work long hours but it is slightly shorter for consulting.

  • Management consulting is a very busy career. They work 9-8, 9-9, 9-10 or even 9-12. It is also one of the highest paying careers however.

  • Company culture is depending on who you’re working with. Stakes are very high and it is very high pressure since you’re working with very large global companies

  • It also has a lot of perks. Sometimes you might travel places, also good bonus and insurance and food covered.

In short, investment banking is mostly in M&A and stock market, while consulting is broader is scope and helps companies solve their pressing problems

Market Sizing Activity

A good market sizing consultant can help you understand your target market, determine what products or services to offer, and spot new areas of growth.

Here's what my group did to find the TAM of family oriented red cars:

Top-Down Approach: # of Canadian Families * percentage of families with cars * # cars per family * price per car * percentage of cars that are red

Our result:

Canadian Family Car market… $337.5 billion dollars CAD

Estimated TAM for red cars is… $67.5 billions dollars CAD

Our SWAGs (Scientific Wild Ass Guesses):

40 mil ppl = estimated 5 mil families

Cars per families = 1.5 cars per family

$45,000 per car

20% cars are red


Moving forward from this session, I will remember the things I've learned from IB vs. Consulting and Market Sizing with Paul and implement them in the conference student recruitment and outreach plan. I will also be considering consulting rather than IB as a future career path thanks to Paul's insights! I would like to thank Paul for giving us a view on IB vs. Consulting, the market sizing activity, and for Illuminate Universe for hosting this session!


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