This Saturday, 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. Listening to his experiences has given me a lot of insight into what specifically I want to specialize in, in the future.
Something that Paul went into detail about was the two popular fields that business students tend to go into after they graduate: investment banking and consulting. The job of an investment banker is to be the middleman between companies and the people who want to buy them or invest in them. Many people decide to follow the path of investment banking because of the money that is available in the industry. The pros of this path would definitely be the absurd amount of money that you can make. However, this is a job that is relatively less rewarding for people who like to make an impact, and there are long working hours.
A consultant is someone who gives professional advice to companies on what kinds of strategies they should implement to increase their success. They analyze data and make recommendations about topics such as solving issues about dropping sales. This field requires someone to work with projects that are high stakes, and under lots of pressure. The pay is lower than that of investment banking, but the hours are not as demanding as well.
Around halfway through the Think Tank, there was an activity to give us a chance to think like a consultant ourselves. The exercise was to try and determine the market size of family-oriented red cars in Canada. We weren’t allowed to Google statistics which made it challenging, but through some careful consideration, we were able to come up with a decent estimate of the market size. Many numbers and aspects such as population, the popularity of red cars and the financial status of families were taken into account when our guesses were made, and it gave a taste of what consultants do as their job.
Overall, I would say that even though I am planning on studying business in the future, consulting is not a specialization that I have given much thought to. However, after working on a case myself and listening to Paul’s presentation, I think I should further research this profession to see if I should pursue it. The analysis aspect seemed really interesting and the potential travel opportunities are also very tempting for me. A big thank you to Paul for sharing such an insightful Think Tank with us, it has inspired me to do further research on the topics we learned about!