Penn Justice Dems | Management consulting won’t save the world
At Penn’s career survey For the 2020 class, more than 50% of graduates who entered the job market directly turned to some form of finance, including 20% in consulting. Penn’s pre-professional culture places great prestige on careers in finance, putting pressure on many Penn students who would otherwise pursue different careers in consulting. Wharton’s influence on Penn’s reputation, both on campus and around the world, certainly bolsters that prestige. There are dozens of student counseling and counseling related organizations listed on Penn club, all influencing the wide-eyed early years. And with Penn’s ever-increasing tuition fees, students are forced to seek jobs with high starting salaries like the board.
The appeal of prestige and profitability cannot be underestimated as incentives for a career in consulting. However, another reason that many college students pursue consulting careers is that they fall into the idea that they are create positive change in the world. This narrative is driven by idealistic but vague mission statements from consulting firms; for example, the Boston Consulting Group mission statement uses phrases like “Social impact”, “integrity” and “transformation”. McKinsey & Company says its goal is “to help create positive and lasting change in the world”. Firms countless diversity initiatives this false sense of progress, although rarely really make a difference. Optimistic students are often the perfect prey for this pretext, and we’re here to warn Penn students that profiteering consulting firms are disguising themselves as altruistic pioneers.
Consulting firms often argue that their business solutions have a side effect of improving society. The ability of businesses to improve their products or services for their clients or the economy as a whole after engaging a consulting firm is questionable. Yet the one thing that companies consistently succeed in is to increase shareholder value, at the expense of the payroll and benefits of workers, and millions of people around the world.
McKinsey played a huge role in the proliferation of opioid addictions in the United States, killing 450,000 Americans and affecting the livelihoods of many more. Bain & Company is well known for advising Guinness on their stock market fraud In the 1980s. Several American consulting firms also helped Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a ruthless dictator known for torture and kill dissidents, consolidate power in Saudi Arabia with support of the american army. In bin Salman’s case, these consulting firms used the same tactic of adopting minor social advancements to maintain their reputation while continuing to exploit the general population, as Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on women to drive but continue to detain women’s rights activists. All of this exploitation enriches these consulting firms and their clients, all to the detriment of the people many current students entering consulting claim to want to help.
This pursuit of profit, one might say, only applies to the private sector, where the intentions of companies are almost solely to maximize profits. Certainly these consulting companies do a great job otherwise, don’t they? Well, the same techniques of exploitation and cost reduction are used in the public sector and NGOs. McKinsey was a great supporter of the common core, a Dear education initiative that employed consultants from McKinsey and other companies with no real education experience and failed to produce meaningful results.
McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group have well known about their involvement in the fight against global health problems, claiming to take charge of many pro bono cases. However, the two companies were paid over $ 300 million from 2006 to 2017 by the Gates Foundation and WHO, which far exceeds the health budgets of many of the countries these consulting companies claim to help. As with educational counseling, many health officials complained that the consultants were not health care experts and did not understand the context of their local health issues. Also, although this is one of the issues they bring to the fore, the actual number of consultants from these firms working on global health issues is quite low. This last point is important; even though these companies are tackling projects that genuinely improve society, there are so few of these projects that it is unlikely that an individual choosing to go into consulting to try to solve these problems will actually be able to do it. to do.
We strongly urge Penn students not to fall into the consultation trap. If students are truly committed to making a positive difference in the world, it cannot be done through counseling. This pervasive notion that real social and economic change can be achieved while prioritizing profits is a lie. Penn’s pre-professional culture leads many students to equate the prestige of counseling with social impact. However, often the least glamorous and lucrative careers are the ones that bring about the most meaningful and effective change in our communities and around the world.
PENN JUSTICE DEMOCRATS is the leftist political organization led by students. Their email is email@example.com.