The Take

An Interview With A Grad26/04/18

Publications Director Alex Conroy takes a break from his busy filming schedule for The Chat to do something different – sit down and have a chat with a graduate from a major professional services firm in this week’s edition of The Take:

Over the last few weeks, The Take has discussed how the majority of millennials want to work for a small business or start-up over a large company such as a member of a ‘big 4’ be it banking or professional services. So, we decided to sit down with a member of this new minority to discuss what drove them to accept a graduate role with a big 4 firm, what it has been like so far and get their take on the government consulting splurge that has been in the media as of late. For privacy reasons the graduate has asked that we withhold their name and which company they work for.

Alex:
How have you found working for a larger firm, and do you have any comment on the statistics saying 80% of people your age don’t want to work for a company such as the one you work for ?

Graduate:
Working for my firm is great as the larger company allows me access to more resources, this works for both the clients and myself as it gives me the room to grow and learn at an accelerated pace, it is one factor in which I believe a larger company has an advantage over a small or start-up company.

The concern everyone has about being overworked and underappreciated is not my experience, my colleagues greet me every morning and have a genuine interest in my social life and wellbeing. I have found the work itself challenging but I feel the workload itself has not lived up to its bad reputation.

Alex:
The big four consulting firms have been in the news lately regarding their dealings with the government, For instance, Sen. Xenophon believes there is enough experience within the commonwealth’s public servants that there shouldn’t be a need for specialist consultants like yourself to be used, he then continues questioning the spending on the contracts where every other facet of the government is reducing spending. Have you had any dealings with government clients and if so, how have you found the experience and what are your thoughts on Sen. Xenophon’s comments?

Graduate:
I have had dealings with public sector clients and I believe that the senators in some instances and reports in general on this issue have been quite harsh in their assessment of the situation. In a bit of a response to these statements, I would like anyone interested to really evaluate what these both mean when placed together. The government in its current form has cut public servant jobs – effectively getting rid of their internal ability to complete these specialist jobs. Meaning that they [the governmental departments] are unable to handle the things that we do for the government themselves in their current form. The Government will have to completely restructure and hire more personnel if they wish to do this. Regarding the comment that despite this personnel shortage they should also be able to complete this specialist work without the specialists, I believe Sen. Xenophon should be pointed to the ‘eat his cake and have it too’ school of business.

Alex:
So, we have discussed why you see there is a need for the contracts, what do you say to the comments made about these contracts being extended needlessly?

Graduate:
I can only speak to my experience directly, and in my experience, I can say that we in no way treat our public and private sector clients any differently. What I mean by that is at the end of the day we are being employed to do a job, consulting is a significant arm of my company, it is not a charity. It costs money for our services, we do not charge someone more or less if they are in the public sector or private sector. In certain instances when my team has requested data or some other piece of information from a public-sector client this information is delivered late, incomplete or in a form that isn’t readily usable to us. In these instances, the actions of the public-sector client were the cause of a delayed or extension to the process which has contributed to the overspend on the contract. I can say that to my knowledge I have not seen a client’s contract finish date extended in any malicious way by anyone in my company, and I believe that anything inferred along these lines is people just seeing what they want to see.

Alex:
So, to sum up:
A lot of the negatives that you had been told about working for a large company such as yours have been in your experience wrong. You have quite a warm and friendly work environment and you believe that while it is a busy environment the stories of overworking are embellished. You have also found working for a company with large resources has stepped your career off on the right foot. Furthermore, you disagree on how both the parliament and media have portrayed private consultants in the wake of the $1 billion spending report.

Graduate:
Absolutely, While I know that this type of work environment isn’t for everyone I just wanted to share my experience with everyone, so they are able to weigh up all their options this grad/vac application season.

Alex is the Publications Director at QUTEFS. If you are interested in writing an article for The Take, contact publications@qutefs.org