Career as Management Consultant


During our last OB class with Lori, Jeremy asked for her advice on how to become a management consultant like herself; it was a question that most of us had in mind too. The experience that Lori shared with us about her work as a management consultant caught our imagination: training top corporate executives in leadership; meeting with Citibank’s CEO; and earning millions along the way. It sounded like the dream job of every commerce student.

While we were taking mental notes about the recommended courses to take, Lori dropped the bombshell by saying a consulting job is not as glamorous as it seemed, and shared with us her life story as a management consultant.

Lori has to work more than 80 hours every week, meaning she almost never had a day off for the past 20 years. She gave a good analogy saying if Citibank’s CEO called you at three in the morning, you have to take his call regardless of where you are or what you are doing.

Her personal experiences were even more incredible. Last year, she had to attend a conference held in Singapore for three weeks; although she managed to get another professor stand in for her the first and third week, she felt that it was not in her students’ best interests if she missed the class for three consecutive weeks. So she took a 27-hour flight from Singapore back to Toronto during the second week, and while the plane was refilling at Pearson Airport, she rushed back to U of T to teach her class, then took another 27-hour flight back to Singapore. I’ve never met a professor more dedicated than her, who took a 54-hour roundtrip to teach a two-hour lecture. This also explains how she managed to accumulate more than two million frequent flyer miles last year.

I’ve always wanted to be a management consultant or financial analyst, and an 80-hour work week isn’t something that’ll discourage me from pursuing my dream. However, Dylan was right to point out such a hectic work schedule will lead to a lack of family time; and Lori did mention she went through a failed marriage.

But for now, I’ll keep my choices open by studying hard for my exams and getting good grades.

07 December 2003 · My Life

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