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Seb Anthony

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How can I market myself to consultancy from the Corporate world?



I am 29, and I would ideally like to move into consultancy, ideally looking at strategic HRD, OD and/or change management.

I didn't do very well in my first degree (3rd) due to personal circumstances at the time, so I have worked my way up from the bottom.

I am currently an Area Development Manager, managing a team of regional training managers across the UK for a large retail opticians. I have experience in all elements of the training cycle in both the retail & contact centre industries, with specific expertise in Management Development & Coaching.

I have the Dip Training & Dev (Leicester), am an accredited NLP Practitioner & Coach, a qualified Life Orientations practitioner and am accredited to use other tools such as the Team Climate System. I am also currently studying for MBA at the moment.

But I am finding it incredibly hard to get into consultancies, with my first degree sadly letting me down.

Am I being realistic? Am I too young? Any advice would be most welcome.


Chris Jones
Chris Jones

4 Responses

  1. which type of consultancy?
    Hi Chris
    My experience is that it is generally the big four/six/three (whichever number there is this week) who are hung up about your degree.

    Smaller consultancies tend to look more at what you can do and what your six years of business experience gives you rather than what Uni you went to, what subject you studied or what class of degree you got.

    My advice would be to try to sell yourself to/as a niche specialist rather than trying to join a big name.

    I hope this is helpful


  2. Does the grade matter?
    Call me an unmarried marrage guidance councillor – i don’t have a degree – but I knw people who simply state they have a degree and don’t give a grade. If the client wants to know they will ask which they rarely do it seems.

    At the end of the day you have the qualification.

    Good luck

  3. Moving into consultancy
    Firstly, don’t get hung up about your first degree. It could be your anxiety about it is more of a barrier than the degree itself. I would regard your more recent qualifications, accreditations and CPD as far more relevant and indicative of your current capabilities. Leicester has a good reputation in T&D, though at an interview I might ask why you stopped at diploma and did not go on the their MSc. This is easily counterbalanced by the fact you are doing an MBA (if you are doing it at Henley by the way, drop me an email as I am often there).
    For many people it will be your experience that is most critical. You don’t say whether you have any internal consultanting experience and at what level. In your current role, and in line with trends in L&D, I would think you could build up some useful experience beyond that focused on the training cycle. Some big consultancies like to cherry pick high flying graduates – often with the MBA under their belts – and then hone their skills and shape them to their ways of working. But most smaller consultancies are interested in your track record, your personal credibilty and the specialist expertise you would bring with you. Remember, you will need to sell your services to clients so get used to focusing on your strengths and acheivements – but don’t oversell yourself, just speak with assured confidence based on genuine, hard won experience. And if qualifications are an issue, focus with pride on your MBA studies and, for interview purposes, treat your first degree with the same importance as you would your A levels.
    I probably appear to be being quite prescriptive here with my advice. This is not because I have the right answers. It is because I feel it will be helpful for you to reappraise what might really be holding you back; to challenge you. Maybe even inviting you to use your NLP coaching skills on yourself.
    Best of luck

  4. getting into consultancy
    Who needs a degree? Just tell a little porky pie like Lee from The Apprentice and you will be fine….

    (I am NOT advocating that in reality!)

    You dont need one to be succsessful in life, I dont have one and hope I never have to get one and I currently run a very succsessful consultancy in the L&D field.



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