Jona

Topic Contributions

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Exit opportunities after management consulting

Would add to the list:

  • get funded from the EA infrastructure fund to figure out what your high impact career path is
  • work in grant making

Organizations I talked to, which seem to be especially excited about hiring former consultants (and also have many) include OpenPhil, Charity Entrepreneurship and the Centre for Effective Altruism (not speaking on their behalf though)

It may be easier than normal to get into McKinsey/BCG/Bain right now

Agree. You can also look at the effective altruism and consulting network homepage for more advice and reach out for career advice. Eac-network.com here are also more considerations whether you should enter consulting: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/AY9bWEtSgguRC9gTL/considerations-and-advice-on-entering-management-consulting

Considerations and advice on entering management consulting

Re 2): I  believe that the lack of time to inform oneself about other career options is definitely one reason why consultants don't leave earlier. This is something we are trying to solve with the EACN.

Considerations and advice on entering management consulting

Thank you so much! If you are unsure whether you should apply for consulting, you can also reach out to Jan-Willem van Putten, who does a fantastic job in giving insights to students on behalf of the EACN

EA needs consultancies

Agree. We already organized several events with 180° as part of the effective altruism and consulting network (as well as several 180° consultants supporting us to build the network). I believe there is room for more collaboration and synergies as people were super excited about the EA mindset

EA needs consultancies

Hi Peter,

I already created a directory for EA aligned consultants.

Best,

Jona

EA needs consultancies

Love the idea of a having call and a pilot project (if this is what is most useful). We might even explore the options for pro bono work in the EACN as I know that some partners in BCG are looking for strong partnerships in their regions. I imagine that might also be the case for McKinsey, Accenture, Bain, ... .

I also agree that almost all consultancies already do EA-aligned work (not to the extent, we would like them to of course) and have expertise in many relevant fields. E.g., my last project was to do an impact assessment (incl. counterfactual impact etc.) of a 300+M€ government grant, which addressed an EA cause area.  At Accenture, BCG and Capgemini members of the EACN are actively reaching out to partners to push EA relevant topics even more. So we have a broad network of contact persons within the EACN and the different firms we could reach out to depending on the needs.

EA needs consultancies

Posting as an individual who is a consultant, not on behalf of my employer

Thanks for the great post and the insightful comments! Building on your thoughts some additional comments from a consultants perspective (Worked two years at BCG on 10+ projects in the public, private and social sector; founded the Effective Altruism and Consulting Network; was Vice-Pres. for EA Austria):

  1. On the need for consulting services: Generally speaking, I agree that consultancy can in specific circumstances (e.g., clearly defined objective, no expertise or free resources inhouse, enough capacity on the client-side to provide input and guidance, ...) unlock value for the EA community and we already got several requests from different EA orgs via the effective altruism and consulting network (e.g., on calculating a business case, researching some data, assessing the feasibility of some planned projects).  I also believe that investments in consultancies can be a waste of money if the project isn't clearly defined. There is also a variance of quality in the market (the same general principle as with every purchasing decision apply: you need to find the right fit for your needs, the more money you spent the higher the likelihood of high-quality output, ...). Additional efficiency gains for the EA community (esp. for local groups) might lay in setting up a shared service centre for EA orgs . Shared service centres offer standardized services (some of them mentioned above) such as support with marketing/layouts, HR services, reviews/translations, ... . The difference to consultancy services is that a shared service centre covers much more the routine tasks every org has to deal with and is meant to be long-term support (vs. short-term/project engagements of consultants).
  2. On the need for an EA-specific consultancy: While I generally believe that there might be specific services, where it is useful to have EA experience and build expertise over the years (e.g., EA trainings, the great work RP is doing), I would generally argue that many of the tasks listed above can be done by non-EA consultancies as
    1. many of them need little to none EA specific input (e.g., the technical side of web development)
    2. customization is needed for almost every client and a lot of the required input can be provided by the EA org/client with little time invest (see also the comment of JeremyR; e.g., for standard HR processes every org has)
    3. you can benefit from years of experience from different industries normal consultants bring to the table
    4. you as the client are in the driver seat of structuring the project so you get out of it, what you want (see also next bullet)
  3. On the value of consulting services and the role the client plays: Additionally on the points mentioned above on the mixed quality of providers and projects, I would also argue that most people underestimate the role the clients play in delivering a successful project. This starts by assessing whether a consulting engagement is the right solution for the problem, deciding how much money you spent and choosing the consultancy/team. Clients have immense power to tailor the team and project set-up as well as deliverables based on their needs. Examples of good practices I have seen were partnering client and consulting team members to make sure knowledge transfer takes place in both directions as well as the client asking for ways how we could be wrong.
  4. One way to drive this further would be to (1) assess and structure the different (future) needs and concerns etc.,  (2) identify relevant segments for external support, (3) define the best delivery model for the prioritized needs (inhouse, shared service centre, EA consultancy, freelancer,  normal consultancy)
Learnings from scaling the Effective Altruism and Consulting Network/ an EA group for one profession as umbrella for different workplace groups

Thanks for the great questions!

Re 1:  

  1. I started by talking to colleagues about EA to see if they are interested at all
  2. Created slack channel/whatsapp group and added people who are interested
  3. Organized events/gave EA intro talks to gain traction

Re 2:

  1. Set-up homepage, directory and facebook group
  2. Added people I knew, who would be interested in this

Both quite easy and can be managed very efficiently.

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