Management Consulting

Hi all,

Thought I’d share my current work and future plans with everyone, and see if anyone else is in the same boat and/or has any useful suggestions.

I’m 29 and have been working for a management consulting firm in DC for four years as a senior associate. I have a Master’s degree in Applied Economics (some state school) and undergrad in Economics (good liberal arts school).

A bulk of my work involves building financial models and preparing financial plans for government agencies in transportation and infrastructure. A typical model involves macro-driven debt-sizing modules, and simple CAGR driven forecasts based on historical data. I also use my Econ background to do cost-benefit analysis, some regression analysis as required (usually simple OLS models), and Monte Carlo simulations. I’m very Excel-savvy and enjoy number crunching.

My company has pretty good defined career progression opportunities. In a couple years I’ll be set for a promotion as a consultant once I contribute towards some business development. It feels good to be the “quant/Excel guy” in the office, although I know for sure that I’d learn a lot more and be a better analyst if thrown in an environment with more like-minded people who took an interest in the global economy and financial markets.

Sometimes I don’t feel as savvy or smart as I’d like to. I don’t have an advanced degree from a big school, or any programming skills worth writing home about. I have a baby coming and am saving for a mortgage downpayment, so going back to school isn’t really an option at this point.

I took the CFA level 1 this June just as a refresher. Pass or fail (hopefully the former), I learnt a lot (specially FRA). I know that having the charter isn’t an auto-hire wherever you want, but at the very least I want a universally recognized charter next to my name that says I know a thing or two about finance. I’m happy for now continuing in management consulting, but what would you suggest as alternatives given my background and skills? What’s a skill you learnt recently that halped further your career?

sounds like you’re in a good place

so then you must like it, yes? you don’t really need much else from this point on if you want to climb the ladder (in terms of degrees) — you can just focus if you want to stay and build strong relationships internally (consulting execs) and externally (clients)

Don’t most management consultants get MBAs to move up?

yeah MBA is usually the standard but he already has a masters so it might suffice if you’re a badass you don’t need an MBA