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  #1  
Old 06-18-2017, 11:39 PM
iridocyclitis iridocyclitis is offline
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Default Do consultants really travel a lot?

I've talked to a couple consultants (n = 4) in the past few months, and when asked about their travel experiences, none of them claimed to have any. I thought it was a common stereotype that consultants work long hours and travel. I'll just go ahead and say the people I've talked to worked at large consulting firms (Willis Towers Watson, The Segal Group, and Mercer). All of these people were close to getting their FSA's (maybe this is the reason they haven't traveled yet).

Question is: Do most consulting actuaries travel? If not, what type of consulting actuaries are more likely to travel. And by traveling I mean traveling far away enough that a plane is necessary and a hotel booking is provided.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:38 AM
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I probably travel 10 times per year, 3-4 of which are company meetings, and 1-2 are SOA meetings. Some of us travel more than I do, but a lot can be done without traveling.

Long hours: yes, during some times of the year.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:09 AM
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I think it really depends on what you work on. I used to work at a large consulting firm. The partners (principals) traveled a decent amount but rarely more than a night or two away from home... a lot of day trips to try to woo new clients or to the company's other offices to meet with other partners/principals.

When I worked on mergers & acquisitions there was more travel and for more nights away.

Working on virtually all recurring client work I have almost no travel. Pretty much everything can be done by video or conference call... you might visit a smaller client for a meeting every few years, the big clients depends on their preference. Almost all travel I do now is just out in the morning, meet for an hour or two, then back home in the afternoon/evening.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:33 AM
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Depends on the client. I have one client for which I can travel every couple of months if I want to (I prefer to call instead), and I don't travel at all for any of my other clients (because they're located in Atlanta or because I'm too junior to travel for them).

We also have a local staffing model, which helps.

Most of the travel is done for sales opportunities. We don't have to be on-site to present or do client work.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:35 AM
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Also - everyone outside consulting thinks traveling for work is awesome.

IT REALLY SUCKS.

Sit next to a sick person on the plane, have a kid kicking your seat, go straight to the client, back to the hotel room exhausted... repeat.

There's not time to actually explore the city or really do anything other than work.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:15 AM
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Depends on where your clients are located. I have one client in a neighbouring state and travel 2-3 times a year to meet with them. I'll drive up the night before and stay overnight, or stay the night after a meeting, but it's never more than one night away from home.

I have another client located down the street, and our team meets with them regularly. No travel.

Other clients are located several states away, but I never meet with them. Just communicate via email, mostly. They're small and don't need a lot, so no need to go to them.

Unless you're a pretty high-leveled executive, don't expect to travel within a few hours for most of your career. Companies tend to staff clients with a local office team. If you work in Chicago, you're not going to be flying to California or Seattle for a client meeting until you're an expert in your area or are a senior partner in the company, etc.

Work travel sucks regardless of the reason for it. It's not real travel, and it's highly stressful. If you do end up traveling frequently, it's not uncommon to fly into a city at 8 am and leave at 4 or 5 in the evening, and all you've seen is the inside of a conference room.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShivamS View Post
Also - everyone outside consulting thinks traveling for work is awesome.

IT REALLY SUCKS.

Sit next to a sick person on the plane, have a kid kicking your seat, go straight to the client, back to the hotel room exhausted... repeat.

There's not time to actually explore the city or really do anything other than work.
Very true.

My consulting experience was overnight travel 3-4 times/year, but most of our clients were relatively local. I also made 3-6 same day trips to clients that were only a few hours drive away.

Long hours, definitely. Busy seasons and/or deadlines with poor planning (or poor data), or demanding clients all mean long hours.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:19 AM
hjacjswo hjacjswo is online now
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On the other hand, I'm not a consultant but travel a couple of times a year to see our business partners.
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Old 06-24-2017, 03:24 PM
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Depends a lot on your level and role. When I did international pension consulting for Towers Watson I didn't travel much when I was junior. As I became the lead actuary for my clients I ended up travelling (mostly flying) every other week. I was based in Chicago but had to travel to see clients in Minneapolis, Columbus, Pittsburgh etc.

I then moved to be the in house actuary for a large manufacturing company. Now I only travel the 8 minutes from my house to my office everyday.
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Old 06-24-2017, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShivamS View Post
Also - everyone outside consulting thinks traveling for work is awesome.

IT REALLY SUCKS.


I explained this to a girl that I was interviewing a few years back, right after she mentioned that she wanted to be in consulting because she like traveling. A year or two later, we all went out for happy hour and I mentioned that in reference to a different person that I had interviewed that day, and she said "Did you know I got fogged in and slept on a baggage claim carousel that night?" lolz


And to the OP, many consultants travel, but it's all over the board - I've done the fly out every Monday, back on Thursday thing, I've done less. Currently in a consulting role where I've flown 3-4 times in the last year.
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