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2009年7月份,我给一个老朋友(Simon FT-MBA,2010春季班)为申请MBA而写的Essay提了几点比较关键的修改建议。后来,她成功拿到Simon的Offer。再后来,她建议我做留学DIY咨询方面的工作,并向我介绍了我的第一个客户。最终,我的第一个客户也成功拿到几个TOP16商学院的面试并顺利拿到Duke Fuqua商学院MBA的录取。 本人毕业于上海复旦大学管理学院国际企业管理系,属于商科科班出身并且做过管理工作、有领导经验的人士。


留学参考:What Accenture Strategy Seeks In MBAs (PART1)  

2016-12-21 04:32:36|  分类: DIY留学综合信息 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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留学参考:What Accenture Strategy Seeks In MBAs (PART1)




A strong brand can be a mixed blessing. It opens doors and conveys expertise and dependability. But it doesn’t always reflect a firm’s full capabilities or long-term trajectory. Accenture is a case in point.

If you polled MBAs about Accenture, many would probably label it as an IT consulting firm that handles system migrations or security. That’s no surprise — Accenture owns this space. Within the Accenture umbrella, you’ll also find Accenture Strategy, a booming high-end strategy consulting firm. By the numbers, the firm employs 8,700 strategy professionals, manages over 1,700 clients, and generates $2 billion a year in revenue. That ranks it among the world’s largest strategy consulting firms.

However, it is Accenture Strategy’s futurist mindset that sets it apart from all other strategy consulting firms.


For one, the firm targets a different type of MBA — one with an “entrepreneurial disruptor mindset,” says Ravi Chanmugam, senior managing director for Accenture Strategy in North America. Chanmugam views Accenture Strategy as a disruptive force in the marketplace. To upend the status quo, the firm is looking for forward thinkers who aren’t afraid to tackle issues with few precedents. “They don’t have to be a techie or a coder,” Chanmugam says. “We already have 300,000 of those people at Accenture. At Accenture Strategy, we want people who have that curiosity about (things like), ‘What will driverless cars do to the property and casualty industry?’ Or, ‘How could you make money off of telemedicine?’ We’re looking for that intellectual curiosity and passion for that intersection (between traditional business issues and digital technology issues).”

To Chanmugam, a Harvard MBA who worked as a McKinsey consultant and an entrepreneur before joining Accenture Strategy, the strategy consulting model is ripe for disruption. And he clicks off a few key requirements for strategy consulting firms in the coming years. “It’s going to require scale, which means you need to be in every country, every industry, and every functional area of expertise. It’s going to require a lot of intellectual property in the form of data, assets, and tools and maybe even pre-baked products and solutions.” Chfanmugam observes, too, that clients are starting to ask for more than just stuffed spreadsheets and pretty PowerPoints.

“They want something that actually works — and to show them how it actually works. That’s a very different thing. It’s starting to move into execution, more about prototyping and piloting. It’s moving away from the theory of how it will work to ‘How will it actually work?’”


With its versatility and size, Accenture Strategy is poised to capitalize on these increasing client demands. In terms of scale, Accenture Strategy consultants can tap into a network of 375,000 people in 120 countries who work in everything from data analytics, digital marketing and web development to software engineering, project management, and R&D. Within Accenture Strategy, MBAs can work in 13 different focused industries, including digital media, energy, life sciences, banking, health, and public service. “You’re joining a true strategy consulting firm that is backed by an even bigger technology and outsourcing firm,” Chanmugam adds. More than that, they’re joining a culture that’s aggressively looking ahead and embracing change.

“We’re not being disrupted,” Chanmugam emphasizes. “That’s where we live.”

Accenture Strategy isn’t shy about making investments to grow and transform their business. Over the past three years, it has acquired consulting firms specializing in competitiveness, digital retail strategy, and upstream oil and gas. MBAs are also a major part of the equation. In 2016, Accenture Strategy will add 250 MBAs globally, including a 10% increase in North America. This summer, they also accepted 175 first-year interns, with 70%-80% expected to receive offers by the end of summer.

For many MBA interns, an Accenture Strategy internship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make an impact. Interns who participate in the joint Accenture-World Economic Forum Digital Transformation Initiative, for example, head to Davos, Switzerland for the WEF meeting. Similarly, interns can also take part in pro bono Accenture Development Partnerships. As examples, a Wharton intern will train Syrian refugees on entrepreneurship in Turkey; similarly, a Darden intern will be leaving for Ghana later this summer to join an effort to improve drinking water quality.


It is this sense of mission, coupled with being part of a collegial team that’s revolutionizing strategy consulting, that still inspires Chanmugam after 15 years at Accenture Strategy. While he admits Accenture Strategy punches below its weight in the market, the firm’s deep resources, disruptive mindset, and high ceiling are certain to reshape the industry for years to come. And that spells opportunity for ambitious MBAs.

“We’re still fighting hard to change the business,” Chanmugam says. “We’re still the outsider coming in and that’s energizing. …We’ve come a long way, but we’ve got a long way to go. That’s very inspiring to me.”

Recently, Poets&Quants sat down with Chanmugam to learn more about Accenture Strategy’s MBA hiring. Wondering how you stand out from other candidates interviewing for the same internship? Want to learn about some of Accenture Strategy’s most exciting projects? Looking to learn more about the firm’s educational partnership with INSEAD? Check out our Q&A with Chanmugam to find the answers.

P&Q: What do you look for in a resume and background that many candidates might not consider?

Chanmugam: We’re building a strategy consulting firm for the 21st century. There is a history and legacy of great strategy consulting firms over the last 50-60 years. We think the market is changing, so we’re trying to build a different kind of strategy consulting firm.

So we’re looking for some people who are, first and foremost, entrepreneurial. They want to work for someone who is trying to disrupt strategy consulting, do it differently, think about it differently, and approach it from a different mindset. (They want to) grow something that is a top five firm into a top three firm. So we’re attacking from the outside of the mainstream strategy consulting — looking for that entrepreneurial disruptor mindset.

Second, we’re positioning ourselves around the intersection of traditional business issues with digital technology issues. So we’re looking for someone who has curiosity and passion for how IT, technology, and digital are going to change the way businesses interact with customers and how they’ll change how businesses run themselves. They don’t have to be a techie or a coder — we already have 300,000 of those people at Accenture. At Accenture Strategy, we want people who have that curiosity about (things like), ‘What will driverless cars do to the property and casualty industry?’ Or, ‘How could you make money off of telemedicine?’

We’re looking for that intellectual curiosity and passion for that intersection.
And the third thing we’re looking for is more cultural, which is that we think of ourselves as a practical, humble, non-hierarchical, and very collegial culture.  We’re less about pure pedigree (what school do you go to?) and more about, ‘Are you able to roll up your sleeves and get things done?’


P&Q: What kinds of skills does Accenture anticipate needing in the coming years that you may not possess enough of now (Languages, Technical Skills, etc.)? 

Chanmugam: Number one is someone who started a business or worked in a small business or developed a new concept or idea. At that point in their career, that jumps off the page for us because it gives us a sense of the entrepreneurial instincts of the person. Also, it shows us that they are very practical about how to get things done because in a small business you typically have less people to do the work.  Clients today do not want a folder with insights and recommendations. In today’s world you need to take the ideas to the next level, build prototypes, test your recommendations. We can leverage the broader Accenture network to build and launch products and services quickly on a trial and long term basis. No other strategy firm can take an idea to execution like we can. We provide strategic recommendations but also know “how the plumbing works” to make them viable and bring them to life.

Second, we are looking for people who’ve had to face some technological issues. For example, maybe they worked in a big company (or did a project for one) where they were attacked by an online company who were proficient with new technology. (As a result), they had to learn how to use it properly. So (we want) some experience — not directly in running the technology aspects of a company — but some first-hand experience in (applying) that technology.

And the third is a background in some industry that we’re focused on — banking, retail, energy, health care, consumer goods, insurance — where we’re really putting some extra effort behind it. If someone has some background or passion around that, it enhances their attractiveness to us.

One other thing that is a little less heralded but where we’ve had a lot of success is hiring people who have a military background within the MBA. We participate in the Military Veterans MBA Conference. We’ve found that this background fits very well with the cultural dimensions I described earlier: practical and collegial and able to put [their] ego aside for the good of the team. They’ve done really well in our practice so we have a special emphasis on trying to find more people with that background.

At Accenture Strategy, we’re going to hire 250 people globally who have an MBA [in 2016]. That’s about a 10% increase in North America. We also have 175 [MBA] interns globally, so some portion of those will come from military backgrounds.

P&Q: What advice would you give to students who have their hearts set on working for you? How can they enhance their job prospects?

Chanmugam: The first thing we say is, ‘Try before you buy.’ Interview with us for an internship. It’s the best way to get to know what Accenture Strategy is like. As I mentioned before, we’re building a different kind of strategy consulting firm. We are separate from the rest of Accenture, so they may have a perception of Accenture being the big company that does a lot of technology and outsourcing. By coming to work with us, they can see we are a separate entity: one like a strategy consulting firm, yet connected with a larger and very powerful technology business that can help us with data and expertise.

Even if you don’t get an internship, come to the presentations in the following fall; learn about the projects we’re doing; and get a sense for the culture and collegiality. It’s very competitive interview process and you’ll learn a lot about us. Often, people who just miss out on an internship in year one, often come back to us in year two, and because they’re better informed and understand us better (and we understand them), they get a full time offer then.  So if you don’t get an internship, stay in touch with us. Come to our presentations over the summer in many of the big cities. Meet our Accenture Strategy ambassadors who come to campus in the fall. Talk to alumni from your school.

And the last thing is, take a look at the publications that we’re putting forward. See if any of those are things you find intellectually interesting. Ask yourself: do you see things you want to work on? That just gives you another thing to talk about with us: ‘I saw your article on the future of remote monitoring of patients in healthcare and that’s something I’m very passionate about.’ Or, it could be, ‘I saw your article on the future of television and advertising. I have a background in media and this is how I can add to that.’ So bring something that connects to our intellectual capital and the positioning of our ideas.

[As far as extracurriculars and coursework], we like people who have done field projects. There are always traditional courses, but some schools have theme projects where students go out and help a company or a not-for-profit to solve a problem — very similar to our consulting engagement. That attracts us. Some schools have something more entrepreneurial where they have students go start a company or work on business ideas or a business plan for a company.  That appeals to us from the entrepreneurial side.

P&Q: Recruiting can be a two-way street. What has Accenture done to make itself more appealing to MBA candidates? (i.e. new initiatives being rolled out)

Chanmugam: I’ll pick up on some perks, which are a small part of it. We certainly offer very competitive compensation and benefits. However, there is a very strong focus on inclusion and diversity at in Accenture Strategy. It comes from our Board of Directors and CEO to all of the leaders in our various businesses. We’re extremely focused on it. We were one of the first consulting firms in the United States to publish our diversity statistics…Most consulting firms are fairly opaque about that. We publish the percentage of people we have in diverse categories. By exposing that, we are showing that we are committed to improving on this. We are doing well. Our industry typically doesn’t have a good track record in this area.

The result of that is we’ve said, ‘How do we change why people may be leaving?’ We’ve improved the maternity leave. We have a program for when you come back from being the primary care giver where you’re staffed locally for a year after that. We also have mentoring programs and unconscious bias training that everyone has to go through. And those benefits tend to change the culture within an industry that didn’t historically reach out to be more inclusive. And we’re trying to do that and lead the pack — and that make things better for everyone and it’s good for business.

The last thing is, because of our size, we have enormous ability to do training by being part of this bigger company — Accenture. We have our own physical training facility, a former college, in St. Charles, Illinois. And we run our strategy college there. [It’s] an intensive two week, in-person program that gives people what I call good core skills and capabilities for being a strategy consultant. We fly people from all over the world to be trained there. It’s not a hotel and it’s been in the company for 40 years. And it has its own culture, vibe and camaraderie.

We also have a special deal with INSEAD where you can get online training if you don’t have an MBA degree or you’re looking for a refresher or learn more about issues coming up. We are the only firm, to our knowledge, that has formed an exclusive relationship with a top-tier MBA school to do an online MBA or supplemental MBA training covering a wide variety of topics. The program taught by INSEAD faculty and coached by Accenture strategists.

And then we have specialized programs that you can do at your own pace. They’re basically computer-based training modules on specific topics that are very relevant like the impact of digital technology in a certain industry. Or, we’ll talk about our point of view: the trends; how does this impact the value chain of a company; how is this creating winners and losers in the industry. Also, people can take advantage of any other training that the rest of Accenture offers, such as big data and data science.

These are some of the things we can do because of our scale and our global reach.







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