Deloitte Consulting gave a presentation today for campus recruitment. Apparantly, we have to be in business suits to sit in any of the presentations! But luckily, since Deloitte has an informal culture, they said ‘business casual’ was OK. I squeaked past with just a tie. Need to buy a suit!
The hall could seat about 100 people, and was full. Of course, you had to sign 24 hours in advance to get in, and they take attendance outside the hall. I took a copy of their annual report (which they were distributing outside) and sat in the front row. A huge contingent had come for the presentation: 1 big shot from manufacturing, 1 senior HR person, the liason for LBS and DC, 3 managers, 2 senior consultants, and 2-5 others who had recently joined!
After about 20 minutes of a snappy presentation (the usual stuff, telling us about the companies), I took out my notebook. I wanted to see if LBS was really as ‘aggressive’ in asking questions as all these people made them out to be. Once the floor was thrown open to questions, no one jumped up. Slowly, one guy stood up, and said, “I’m in the Masters in Finance programme. I want to know how you can use us people in Deloitte Consulting. Or are you here for recruiting MBAs only?” To which they said they’ve got financial services consulting, their own corporate finance department, and they value the analytical skills & valuation capabilities of finance people anyway.
The other questions (and answers) were:
- When you joined Deloitte Consulting, you must have had an impression about consulting. How has that changed? (“Good question.” Then they proceeded to give a vague answer.)
- How are projects and consultants assigned to each other? (I asked this. They told me their system. Sounds pretty much like what we had at IBM. Meaning, you know the right guys, you get what you want. Apart from that, keep trying.)
- Do you really do implementation? (Yes, yes, yes. They were emphatic. Seems to be their key point.)
- We’ve heard the same thing from all consulting companies. What distinguishes you? (End-to-end consulting, willingness to listen to customers. The same guy then said, “It sounds the same…”)
- How do you segment your services? (They’d covered this in the presentation, and went through it again. Basically, by function, by industry, by geography.)
- Could you comment on your turnover? (It’s 20%. It’s shot-up, largely because of the dot-com fever. But lots of people who left are coming back. They handled this question extremely well.)
- What will the SEC say to your staying together as a firm? (Good question. DC believes there’s value in staying together.)
My observations are: no, they’re not that much more aggressive. But their questions were better. In the sense, they were asking stuff that they really wanted to know, and they wanted to know a lot. Secondly, the good questions were either those that addressed something a lot of people wanted to know, or pointed out something interesting about the company that might affect our careers. Guess research pays — both into the company as well as into ourselves!
Anyway, today we had a class on ‘Advanced Financial Analysis and Shareholder Value’. I don’t know why, but Prof. Chris Higson reminded me quite a bit of Dustin Hoffman in ‘Hook’. The same accent: something to do with the way he held his teeth, I think. Anyway, the class was interesting.
One thing about the classrooms is, they’re closed and sound-proof. So sound really travels. Which means, of course, that there must be pin-drop silence in the class. The lecturer is heard even when mumbling, and so are the front-benchers (who thereby avoid cries of ‘Loudly, please!’ 🙂
Incidentally, Prof. Higson mentioned that Gary Hamel (whose room I walked passed and nearly fell at the doorstep) has patented the word ‘core competence’. So every time we use it for non-academic purposes, he can send an invoice!
Projects are starting up. We’ve had 3 classes so far, formed 3 groups, and are looking for 3 companies to do projects on. Some things never change!