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August 06, 2018

The Differences Between PwC Consulting And Strategy&

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This is a question that seems to come up quite often and is a crucial one for potential applicants. However, it is also a question which we have seen answered very incompletely or just plain inaccurately. Here, we have leveraged our industry contacts as well as trawling through the whole gamut of online resources to present the single best resource online to give you the low-down on how PwC and Strategy& really differ.

Let's dive straight in!

Strategy& and the PwC Network

Strategy& was previously independent consulting firm Booz and Company - one of the very oldest and best-regarded consulting firms. However, in 2014, Booz was acquired by PwC and rebranded as Strategy & to act as the dedicated strategy consulting element of the PwC Network. Strategy& has continued to be branded somewhat separately from PwC and is generally able to command higher prices for its work than for similar projects conducted more directly under the PwC umbrella. Speculation abounds as to whether Strategy& might eventually be fully rolled into PwC, but at present, there seems to be little indication of this on the horizon.

Strategy& is representative of the trend towards PwC and other Big 4 firms offering broader spectrum of services to their clients, with the eventual goal that clients will be abe to source all the services they need from a single entity.

Strategy&'s core objectives include assisting their clients in maximizing the efficiency of their supply chain, including includes logistics, assets, and resources. Their specialized field of extensive expertise is wide-ranging and also includes business, technology and organisation strategy. Together, PwC Consulting And Strategy& provide a combined experience across a diverse swathe of key industries. In particular, these include:

  • Automotive
  • Financial
  • Comprehensive health
  • Telecommunications
  • Entertainment 
  • Innovative technology

(Information extracted from Strategy & and PwC: What We Do)

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A major proviso to any comparison of large consultancies is that the particular office of Strategy& or PwC you end up working in can make as much difference to prevailing culture and the projects you are involved in as your choice of firm. We discuss these considerations in more depth in our comparison of the MBB firms, but the takeaway there is that you will really need to properly research - and ideally network within - the specific offices you are interested in. This is just as important in optimising your cover letter and subsequent fit interview performance as it is in making sure you are making the correct choice relative to your own preferences and goals. Office choice can also affect your exit opportunities.

PwC and Strategy& combined have a huge global presence, with a total of in excess of 150 locations. You will definitely want to research the differences between offices! Locations are found right across the following regions:

  • Africa
  • America 
  • Europe
  • Asia/Asia Pacific
  • Middle East 
  • Eurasia

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Start your Own Research

The following information is intended to conveniently provide you a fundamental idea of where to start your independent research rather than serve as established fact. 

  • Always remember that Strategy& is just one element within the PwC Network. 
  • Where you end up within the PwC Network will fundamentally depend upon a number of factors; including your geographical location, your particular area of expertise and the specific positions you wish to apply for. For example:
  • If you are applying for a position within a Forensics Graduate Program, you would be working under the PwC banner, if the position you were applying for is as a Strategy Graduate, then you will be under the Strategy& banner.
  • Through combined resources and experience, the PwC network offers a comprehensive combination of essential services from comprehensive analysis to implementation.
  • Official salaries will be traditionally based on the position you are applying for, your experience, as well as academic achievements.

How to land a job at either Strategy& or PwC consulting

Getting a job at any major consulting firm is going to require your making it through an arduous selection process. Some of the hurdles you will have to clear are much like those en route into other professions. However, the case interview in particular is both unlike anything you will experience in most industries and a great deal more challenging.

In case interviews, you will be asked to solve a complex business problem with no resources other than pen and paper and your own brain.  If you are not familiar with the format, start with our introduction to case interviews.

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There is no way around it - to land any consulting job, you are going to need to be able to reliably solve cases every time under severe time pressure. Don't panic, though, as MyConsultingCoach has you covered. Let us explain:

Our case interview method

Our MCC Academy case interview course was developed with a single goal in mind – to help candidates succeed by teaching them to think, act and communicate like a world-class strategy consultant. After completing our course, you’ll be equipped not only to ace the interview process, but also to hit the ground running on day one of the job.

The idea of getting hired by acquiring the fundamental skills associated with the job might seem obvious. However, our approach is actually in stark contrast to the old-fashioned case interview systems you have probably have run into already.

These other methods simply have you memorise perhaps a dozen “standard” frameworks. This shortlist of generic recipes is supposed to allow you to answer any case question the interviewer comes up with. This is in spite of the fact that that cases will be based on real engagements, where major firms were forced to call in consultants as they couldn’t solve the problem in-house… In short, frameworks are unlikely to give you correct answers.

Our unique Problem Driven Approach allows you to tackle each case on its own merits, developing a bespoke solution to capture all of the problem’s unique complexities – just like a real consultant! We equip you with everything you need to know, starting from the ground up. Specifically, we can support you in:

  1. Understanding business fundamentals: Get your mini-MBA with our Marketing, Strategy and Economics, Accounting & Finance modules
  2. Learning how to crack cases:  Identify the problem, build a bespoke problem driven structure, lead the analysis and how to provide recommendations.
  3. Accelerating your approach with our building blocks: Master profitability analysis, competitive dynamics, pricing discussions, among others to let you deal with recurring themes in cases without restricting you to simplistic frameworks.

Our coaching sessions

Coaching from a real MBB consultant can help even the best candidates pinpoint their weak points and turn them into strengths. As well as helping you master case studies, a coach will give you a new self-awareness of your profile and how best to position yourself for an MBB offer. Just as importantly, they will give you the confidence to know for sure you can succeed against such a formidable challenge!

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