To succeed in the highly competitive world of management consulting, you need a very specific set of professional skills and personal characteristics.
But what exactly does it take?
Top executives from Monocle – one of South Africa’s fastest growing independent management consulting firms – provide their unique perspectives on what you need to excel in a consulting career.
Over the last 20 years the company has grown from a pragmatic start-up to a preferred execution partner with a focus on implementing regulatory and data-driven changes at their industry-leading banking and insurance clients, locally and abroad.
1. A desire to learn
Knowledge is power – and nowhere is this truer than in the dynamic world of consulting.
To succeed as a consultant, you must have an inquisitive mind that is always absorbing knowledge and analysing new information.
“Our people are Monocle’s greatest assets,” explains Patrick Byrne, Monocle’s Head of People and Culture, “and our specialised skillset is a very detailed understanding of the banking and insurance landscape.”
Monocle invests heavily in its training and development programmes, ensuring every employee has the chance to continually upskill themselves in a range of competencies, including the business subject matter involved and specifically hard technical skills such as coding.
Consultants also have the unique opportunity to gain invaluable exposure to a variety of financial institutions and business areas the company operates in such as finance, risk, treasury, and compliance.
2. A willingness to get your hands dirty
“We sell a very unique service,” says David Buckham, Monocle’s founder and CEO.
“A deep knowledge of banking and insurance, coupled with a desire to get one’s hands dirty with the data and systems that actually make these financial organisations work.”
This is what makes Monocle different from other management consulting firms.
Monocle not only specialises in the strategic design of business change, but it also ensures that every consultant is equipped to implement these complex changes at a data and system level, when executing the bespoke implementation solutions that the company provides its clients.
3. The right attitude
In the world of consulting, no one day looks like another, and each day brings a new challenge. Successful consultants never give up.
“We look for well-rounded individuals with a very positive attitude, who are willing to roll up their sleeves and keep going to get the job done, no matter how tough it gets,” says Patrick Byrne.
These are people who are naturally competitive and determined, but who also work well with others and seek to succeed in a manner that benefits their team as a whole.
“We like to employ nice people,” says David Buckham.
“That may sound naïve, but it’s true. We employ people who work well with others.”
Consulting is ultimately a people-centric business – to be an exceptional consultant, you must be a team player, whilst also using your initiative and intuition to complete complex and challenging tasks.
So far this year, Monocle has increased its staff compliment by 25%.
With demand for its services growing locally and internationally, the company is looking to add 100 more people to its ranks in the next six months.
At Monocle, consultants gain a breadth and depth of exposure in the banking and insurance industries that is unparalleled in the consulting landscape.
Monocle is uniquely positioned to undertake projects across the most critical areas of the financial industry, working with cutting-edge technologies to implement dynamic solutions at some of the largest and most prestigious banks and insurers in South Africa and across Europe, from Monocle’s offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, London and Amsterdam.
What Monocle offers:
- An opportunity to accelerate your career in management consulting.
- Engagement in rewarding project work at the heart of the financial services industry.
- Progressive transfer to our international offices based on performance.
- Internal training programmes that develop both business and technical skills.
- A key focus on formal certifications with full study support in pursuing professional qualifications such as FRM, CFA, and CIMA.
- Individual career development plans and a formal mentorship programme to help guide you on your path to becoming a top management consultant.
- Maintaining a work life balance, including numerous sporting clubs and company social events.
- Local and international consulting opportunities.
If you are interested in taking your career to a whole new level, with opportunities to work on a wide variety of exciting consulting projects across industry-leading financial institutions, visit the company’s website to find out how to apply or view their job posts on LinkedIn.