I knew that management consulting was a generalist calling, but I had no idea how generalist.
On Friday, I overheard one of my coworkers talking to his supervisor about the work he was doing. They were conducting some basic strategic diligence for a private equity client (translation: making sure the company the private equity firm is thinking about buying is strategically sound). They spoke of innovations in some sort of new plastic to prevent it from leeching into the liquid it contained. Thinking this was some sort of materials or chemicals company, I asked him what industry the target was in.
HIM: “Breast pumps.”
HIM “No, we’re doing porn.”
HIM: “No you idiot, we’re doing breast pumps.”
I later learned that, apparently, breast pumps are actually a very well-tracked industry as there are really only three drivers for it:
- birth rate (the more births, the more breast pumps)
- disposable income (the more income, the more breast pumps)
- “innovation” (marketing? new “form factors”?)
And thus I learned what the recruiting team meant when they said that I would learn a lot on this job.