Hey FB fam! Got counseled out on Friday. Tech Strategy Senior Associate at Strategy& for 2 years, aligned to Healthcare vertical. Looking for my next stop in consulting. Thanks in advance

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I’m kind of confused. First of all, from what I understand there’s basically no one on the beach and S& is trying to staff up hard. Second, plenty of SA2s aren’t getting the manager bump but are instead going to SA3. I think it’s pretty much standard for the promotion to be SA3 to M (almost all manager promotions this year in FS were SA3s to M). Maybe things are different in healthcare?

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This is one of the issues we need to fix in Strategy&. We use a strategy development model (Eg up or out) but then we use PwC’s separation model (no six month “performance improvement pulse check”, no placement time/resources, same-day/same-week departure, and no time for internal transfers to other lines of service with different skillsets). It’s a very broken model and in my opinion one of the top issues where we are getting the worst of both worlds (strategy consulting and non-strategy practice management). Most strategy firms are aggressive on the counsel ons but give plenty of support before, during, and after. Most non strategy firms let the individual’s personal drive dictate their career progression, but cut ties quickly without warning because at that point the performance issues have been going on for longer/proven durations

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It often does have to do with how the firm is doing. The quality bar doesn’t change, but when the firm is busy people get plenty of at-bats and learning experiences. It’s tougher during slow times.

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Hey S1. I was just told by my Partner that the firm was looking for a different skill set at the Manager level and because they couldn’t promote me to Manager, the ‘Up or out’ model necessitated my departure. It was just a fancy way of saying I needed to step up my game

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Lol the casual lumping of MBB/S&

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Update: I accepted an offer from another Big 4 firm. Will be starting on Monday. Thank you everyone for the support and kind words.

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Booz 1. My understanding of the counsel out process involves a heads up about bad performance, so the person can look for exit opportunities. I had good feedback from all of my projects in the last 6 months. Great feedback from some. My Partner never hinted at anything catastrophic in the last 6 months. I was confident about a promotion either this cycle or the mid-year cycle in December. All feedback is recorded in a formal manner. So I didn’t misinterpret anything. And to top it all, I was let go on the same day. I found out at noon of my last day. I’m not complaining. It was a great 2 year opportunity. I just wish the exit had been handled a little better than an ethics violation case

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OP. That is REALLY disappointing. We owed you better than that. You’ll land on your feet. I know the readers of this post admire your positive attitude.

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Sorry to hear this sh*t is still happening. I’m almost out pending a formal offer and I’ll email you in once I’m there. Good riddance to this toxic place and the way it treats its employees.

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^🙄

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OP & SA1: the same situation happened to me as well *group hug*

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😊 Thank you for the encouraging words guys. It really means a lot

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S7, all of that may be true, but any other firm with a similar career model will notify OP and give him a runway to find a landing spot and some help to do it.

I’m glad this is aired publicly, maybe this will create some urgency for change.

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K1, re Your 5 year senior associate comment, that’s why we have “up or out.” We only want top performers who are hungry to get to the next level.

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SC1 exactly right. Aggressive up or out is not the issue but the separation process is problematic because it doesn’t treat our talent the way we should be treating them

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General observation: everyone outside of MBB/S& seems to be confused by the “up or out” concept. BA1, every year S& consultants who are not promoted to manger after 2 years post-MBA are asked to leave. It has nothing to do with how the company is doing.

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When’s your last day? How much time is the firm giving you to find something else?

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^Op - that’s exactly what happened to me. It sucks.

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Lmk if you want a referral at FB!

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Would you mind referring me?

S&6, I’m out of the Detroit Office. Considering the fact that I’m on an H1B visa and I have less than 60 days to find another job, I’m ready to relocate if necessary

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