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Become a mentor. Support young people.

Take a break from routine to inspire youth

You can alternatively join our community as a mentor, if it is not the right time to become a pro bono consultant. Meet our volunteers at your convenience. Tell them your story. Help a group of ambitious young people make more informed career decisions. Change lives by simply sharing your knowledge.

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Practical solutions. Unbeatable value.

A better way to take your organisation to the next level.

Pioneering a new model of management consulting

Having a clear strategy is crucial for all organisations but many have little access to quality business support. We strive to help change this. Our unique model allows us to serve organisations of all sizes, from early stage ventures to corporates. And we work with the same level of drive in every engagement.

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Why we exist

You need jobs to gain experience. You need experience to gain a job.

Businesses struggle to find a sufficient number of recent graduates with the skills needed for the world of work; hundreds of graduate vacancies go unfilled; employers blame a lack of work experience and soft skills.

Nonetheless, most students and recent graduates have limited opportunity to gain hands-on experience and work-related skills. In fact, only about a third of UK employers offer work experience placements to young people in education.[1] As a result, an alarming number of recent graduates are now either entirely unemployed or working in low-skilled, non-graduate jobs.

We are here to help aspiring young people break the cycle of ‘no experience, no job – no job, no experience’ and develop the skills valued by employers. Our pro bono consultants can easily work on the consulting projects we run while studying or working full-time to gain meaningful work experience and build transferable skills.

Our social impact

A new way to build career skills, confidence and resilience in young people.

Helping young people get the best possible start in their careers

The majority (89%) of our volunteers report that they feel considerably more confident about their career prospects.[2] Tens of our former volunteers are now working at prestigious organisations and constantly tell us that working on our projects helped them get a decent job. This is what drives us.

Learn about our cause

Don’t just take our word for it.
Hear from our volunteers.

“I worked with the First Step Consulting team as a Pro-Bono-Consultant over the Summer of 2016. Despite living outside London, I was able to take an active role within the team and project both in person and remotely thanks to the flexible work organisation implemented by First Step Consulting. My project involved – research and creation of a 300-firm large comprehensive database offering insight into CPD (Continuous Professional Development) offerings for a prominent European professional association. This culminated in a presentation to a senior executive of the organisation, which eventually led to an overhaul of the client’s sales strategy for the CPD product. During this process I gained the chance to network with other students with similar mind-sets, professionals leading their respective fields, and freelance consultants that were working for our client. A truly indispensable opportunity.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, making friends and building networks with whom I still remain in regular contact. The experience definitely pointed out to me what companies are actually looking for in a prospective employee and how to best maximise your skills to your own advantage.

Also I can guarantee this experience helped me secure my summer internship in investment banking, not only did it show real life practical experience to recruiters, but also helped me to present myself and my qualifications and achievements in a professional manner. For example, in my interview I was asked to give a presentation to several MD’s of the investment bank, this harkened me back to my experience at First Step Consulting, where I learnt to give an effective and informative presentation to clients, during my project.

Has this experience been useful to my CV? Yes.
Did it help secure my internship? Yes.
Would I recommend this programme to others? Without doubt, a 100% yes.”

“I worked with First Step Consulting during a summer break. Volunteering with FSC taught me how people from different academic backgrounds can bring fresh and new perspectives to a project. It was also great to be able to function as a team to deliver our project to the client. Another learning point was how to add value to a client. And this is not restricted to consulting projects. Basically, knowledge of a client’s business goes a long way towards adding value to the client. This has enabled me to appreciate a client’s business and have some interesting discussion with the client.

It was an enjoyable experience and I would recommend FSC to anyone. This experience was a great addition to my CV. It can be a good talking point in any job interview.”

“I was part of a team that engaged with a health informatics client. We completed a detailed market analysis, surveyed potential customers, and highlighted marketing opportunities. I enjoyed working with a dynamic team on this project. We each had our strengths and were able to capitalize on these in a respectful, collaborative way. Learning to communicate with teammates on a complex project was an invaluable skill. The team dynamic was stressful at times, but navigating our challenges has helped shape my communication approaches with my new colleagues as well.

During an interview in the UK, I was asked about my experience with First Step Consulting at a pharmaceutical consulting firm. It was useful to discuss my knowledge and engagement on this project. Having the word “consulting” on my resume was exceedingly useful in opening doors to new positions!”

“At First Step Consulting, I worked on a project with a team of seven members to help a professional association improve their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme. The infrastructure at First Step Consulting encompasses both learning and practical experience. I personally enjoyed the whole process from the interview and assessment stage to working on the project, it was a holistic experience. Working with real clients on an actual project with critical objectives and tight deadlines was thoroughly exciting. Coming from a healthcare background, I felt that I got a real insight into the challenges and pressures of being a management consultant and the corporate world.

Including my First Step Consulting experience on my CV improved the impression I was projecting and made me stand out from the crowd. To this end, I secured a role on a graduate scheme. During my assessment centre, I was questioned about my experience at First Step Consulting and the responses I provided received a lot of positive feedback. I learned valuable skills such as: conducting thorough research, preparing presentations for the client, personal conduct during client meetings and effective time management skills. All the above have smoothed my transition into my current role and enabled me to make meaningful contributions in a short space of time.”

“My team and I helped to develop the growth strategy of an early-stage startup in Kenya. Coming from a humanities degree background and wishing to gain some knowledge of how businesses operate, my experience as a volunteer at First Step Consultancy gave me much more confidence going into interviews that I knew what I was talking about when it came to business issues. It was great to work in a team of committed and intelligent colleagues who were keen to learn about the business as much as me. I really liked the fact that you get to work on a real business case and learn a lot about an industry that you previously knew nothing about. The experience of working in a team and focussing on business problems as a volunteer also made me more comfortable when doing the same in my current workplace. I would also say that presenting to the business owner has helped me when presenting to colleagues at work.

I have been asked multiple times at interview about my experience at First Step Consulting and I believe it has been useful in showing potential employers that I am eager to develop my business acumen, something which is really important to show as someone from a humanities background. It is a quality that not many graduates have so it allows you to stand out more easily from the crowd.”

“I have recently graduated from Cass Business School and during my time at First Step Consulting I was put in a team of five, assisting a foreign venture capitalist client in analysing and understanding the Silicon Valley start-up ecosystem, in hopes to invest and spread their portfolio into the most lucrative and popular categories to gain a return on investment. Volunteering has been very helpful to me, as it gave me an opportunity to put theory into practice. I was able to apply much of my teachings from my lectures into a real life scenario, which motivated me to work harder at University and on the project. The process was very enjoyable. I was able to meet and work with like-minded individuals and have an insight into how a consulting project was run.

The experience itself has benefitted me greatly. I have had many opportunities to talk to recruiters about the project I completed with First Step Consulting, and it has been a great way to allow me to highlight my strengths. I have been asked numerous times in my job interviews regarding my project at FSC. It’s a great talking point, allowing me to talk about my strengths in a tangible way!”

Alan Le, Campaign coordinator at Sojern

“I applied to First Step Consulting to gain first-hand experience working in a team on a consulting project so that I could confidently answer the ‘why consulting’ question in future interviews. Since completing the FSC project, I have secured a role within financial services consulting and would say that my experiences at FSC were crucial to my success.

The project lead treated all members of the team as competent individuals and gave us full responsibility of the project from the start. For example, we were expected to lead client meetings, produce high quality work within strict deadlines and navigate team discussions with highly opinionated people. Although I had similar experiences as part of my PhD, during job interviews, it was helpful to directly link to consulting situations and added weight to my interview answers.

Secondly, taking part in the FSC project helped me understand why certain skills, such as problem solving, were key requirements for a consultant. Equipped with a deeper understanding of why these skills were required, I was able to put my PhD and life experiences into the perspective of a consultant and make it clear to interviewers that I understood exactly what the role entailed and why I was the best candidate. Finally, the FSC project I was assigned to was mentally stimulating and allowed me to sink my teeth into a completely new field which I enjoyed doing. It gave me a lot more confidence in my interviews and reinforced my decision to leave academia for a future in management consulting.”

Dr. Radhika Patel, Consultant at Capco

“I found my experience at First Step Consulting to be very rewarding. I have been able to learn a lot and it has also gone a long way in helping me to get my internship. It was great working with our engagement manager and all the other team members, we all worked very well together despite having busy schedules, and I’m very proud of what we accomplished.

Regarding the skills I was able to pick up from working at First Step Consulting, I was able to learn how to work in a professional setting as well as improving my teamwork and communication skills. I was also able to get the relevant project management experience I was looking for. Furthermore, I discovered new areas of marketing that I wanted to pursue in the future, such as digital marketing. Overall, I had an amazing experience working with First Step Consulting, and I would definitely love to do it again in the future.”

“During my time with First Step Consulting, I worked with a client offering a personalised transport service to customers in various European cities and as part of my team I was working in analysing possible cities for the client to expand their operations into.

Volunteering with First Step Consulting enabled me to develop a skill set which I hadn’t had a chance to demonstrate in previous roles. The highly client-facing nature of the work is something very rare for university students to experience and this was one of the most valuable aspects of the role for me. I had a lot of fun on the project I was working on and was able to take a leadership role on my team, which allowed me to flex my time management and organisational abilities. Overall, the skills I gained as a volunteer has helped me in the trainee accountant role that I have now, as this work is also very client-facing and this is one of the most important skills I developed as a volunteer.”

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