Hello, and thank you for reading my first blog post!
My name is Lucy Watson (yes, I am familiar with Made in Chelsea. Thank you.), I’m 25 and I started on the Strategy & Consulting Graduate Programme at the beginning of October 2015.
My educational background is perhaps not very traditionally ‘consulting’, in that I studied English and French Literature, and then did a Law conversation, before working in a law firm for a year. I was initially apprehensive that I’d feel clueless in comparison to everyone else, having not come from either a business or technology background. In training, so many people were putting their hands up; making such informed and insightful comments, and questioning stuff I’d never even heard of – but it really, really doesn’t matter. I realised that almost immediately. As long as you tackle your application with a little bit of ‘commercial awareness’ (Hello buzzword – get used to them. Those and acronyms. So many acronyms.) , it’s all good. Just follow the news and read The Week. It isn’t an issue at all.
In the week prior to beginning our actual training (which took the form of two weeks in London, and two weeks in Chicago), the grad recruitment team arranged an event for us to all get together and meet in a more informal setting (i.e. with alcohol), so that Monday morning would feel slightly less daunting.
Since I hadn’t even officially moved to London at that point, I psyched myself up in my Air BnB room, snapchatted outfits to everyone I knew in an exercise to determine what exactly constitutes ‘smart casual’ (Pro tip: no-one knows, and few people really care. Don’t wear blue jeans. There we are.) and off I went. The event was, I think, called ‘Pizza Making and Networking Drinks’ and was essentially that. When we arrived, we were ushered to bar to pick up the first of many drinks and basically left to mingle, before all being seated in groups to start our competitive pizza making. It was genuinely really fun, and made me feel significantly better about the weeks ahead – I already had people I could message in a last minute panic on the Sunday night, over whether or not we needed our passports.
The next few weeks were an exhausting blur of memorising names and faces, endless PowerPoint presentations, karaoke, limos, caffeine, comments from the American bar staff on how the English are all obsessed with G&Ts, and a general consensus that deep dish pizza is a huge disappointment. Training differs slightly depending on whether you’re aligned to Management or Technology Consulting and, as I ended up in the former, hours were long. Occasionally tech people ran past the windows having a ball, as we pulled together our 12th presentation of the day, but we got Accenture branded water bottles and they didn’t. So swings and roundabouts. Kinda.
So, that’s it for now. I’ll try and update as regularly as I can, and next time I’ll touch upon being on the bench and then beginning your first role.