Manchester Metropolitan University – 26th March 2019

Howard Jackson from IBM spoke to over 20 1st and 2nd year undergrads at Manchester Metropolitan University on what it is like to work in Management Consulting, providing an organisation agnostic view of the consulting profession. The session was based around the MCA, specifically the Young MCA and the Manchester Network and what they are trying to achieve. Following on from the Intro the session started to look at the key areas that Young MCA survey respondents had worked on from both an industry and consulting practice perspective.

The talk started with some information about the Young MCA and what it aims to achieve, helping the students to understand the benefits of a network which consists of other member firms outside of the immediate organisation. Following on, the floor was opened to the students to explain what they think Management Consulting is.

The figures showing the % change in number of young consultants coming from non-Oxbridge or Russel Group universities was discussed, as firms are continually looking to identify and recruit the best talent regardless of place of study, whilst also trying to improve social mobility. Interestingly, recruiting and retaining talent was a client problem that was identified from MCA surveys, and was highlighted as a real challenge for the more traditionally appealing firms as they are disrupted by tech savvy and digitally native organisations. ‘Becoming more agile’ was a service that was discussed as being in high demand at the moment, as organisations now start to recognise the benefits that the movement along the agile transformation journey can bring.

The attractions of working in a Management Consultancy firm were discussed and what undergrads could expect in their first Consulting roles was explained. This was then discussed in the context of the trends for 2019 which included AI, Automation and Cyber Security. Some real-life examples of the work that IBM is doing in these fields were provided to help provided context and demonstrate actual use cases of these technologies in practice. Again, the floor was opened to students for an informal Q&A to which some really good questions were asked.

The Young MCA Manchester network will be looking to continue this relationship with MMU and have some ideas and next steps that may be of use to the undergrads for future sessions so watch this space.