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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Mikael

Looking for fellow Muslims who are working in/have worked at MBB

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(bismillah)
(salam)

Brothers/Sisters,

I have recently joined one of the MBB firms, and being new to management consulting, I feel I am in a ship lost in tumultuous seas. Every moment, there is something new to learn but a problem for me is that this learning occurs on job, and not in a safe, "clinical" environment. 
Personally, I do not prefer such a manner of learning because it

1. exposes us to people who are haughty yet are given the responsibility to mentor us
2. puts a dent in our self-confidence because we are expected not to make mistakes (although a lot of learning occurs due to making mistakes)

In such times, it is helpful to share mistakes and seek advice from like-minded people - those who know the importance of religion and faith and are not entirely driven by corporate mindset.
Sadly, I have not been able to find any at my firm's intranet/social groups.

I was wondering if some people from this online community are working at or have worked at MBB, whom I can seek out for support.

Thank you and Jazak Allah khair.

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On 12/31/2018 at 7:15 AM, Mikael said:

In such times, it is helpful to share mistakes and seek advice from like-minded people - those who know the importance of religion and faith and are not entirely driven by corporate mindset.

Can you expand on this?

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(bismillah)
(salam)

Thank you for asking, @Haji 2003!

We have prayers in which we ask God not to make us dependent on or subservient to people who are haughty and scornful, because they will look down upon one seeking to learn or get help from them.
And we pray that God grant us friendship of people whose hearts have not hardened, and who remember Him as they stand and sit.

What I have observed (at least at my company) is an acute shortage of religious people (as described above), and an abundance of smart but haughty people.

So, the reason I generated this thread was to find like-minded people and, God willing,
1. preserve my self-respect by learning from them
2. increase my affinity to religion, because religious circle of friends leads to religious habits

Hope this is clear. I am just in a hurry to get back to some work that I need to submit rather urgently!

(wasalam)

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Wa alaikum assalam brother,

I will PM you, in sha Allah tomorrow (or if you have any preferred timing, I can accommodate).

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:bismillah:

:salam:

I have communicated to brother @ShiaMan14, but just sharing my message here in case somebody else can contribute their suggestions ( @Haji 2003 , would be great to hear your thoughts if possible). 
 

Quote

 

My background

I have a background in AI and Machine Learning, so the transition to management consultancy (even though my role is focused on Data Analytics) has been rough. I relate my problems below, categorising them as Cultural and Attitudinal/Operational.

Cultural Problems

Work-life imbalance: Some colleagues tell me that there are limits that can be set regarding work hours (e.g., to work from 8AM until 9PM and leave to be with family), whereas others state there are really no limits. Personally, I have been working from 8AM until 1AM, and nobody from the team has expressed any concern about it.

For me, this is really impacting my family time as well as my spiritual and religious nourishment. At times I even end up missing prayers, let alone reading our religious books.

Work hard, party hard lifestyle: I suppose as a result of the stressful working routine, the culture here is really to party hard as one finds time. I cannot understand the point of partying hard, however. I do not seek enjoyment, just a normal life that is centered around religion, family, and occasional societal support.
But one gets pulled into the party-hard mindset as these parties often are held officially. Excusing oneself here leads to other colleagues saying that I am not a 'team-player'.


Attitudinal/Operational Problems

Being a solitary and less communicative person: My background (in Analytics) and previous work experience had made me a solitary person. I would attend meetings and then work alone (or at least quietly, even if with a team). The attitude in my current team is quite different, and they often think and work out loud. Although this is a problem I can cope with, what I am increasingly realising is that one is expected to be more vocal than to have the attitude of "letting one's work speak for them". The latter is more problematic for me, and I would like to confirm if my understanding is correct, in sha Allah.

Avoiding confrontation and making sacrifices: I have typically been a non-confrontational person, only speaking up/asserting my views once my reputation has been established and my mettle proven. But such an attitude seems inappropriate in consulting, because generally each time one works with a new team and project manager. Currently, I have been making sacrifices and being flexible with the requests of my team. I cannot keep making sacrifices, and I would like to learn if you faced a similar situation and how you coped with it.
I suppose this also depends on knowing one's rights at the company, of which I am quite oblivious.

------------

 

Has anybody experienced the above, or something similar to it? How did you cope with it?
Ultimately, I guess I am looking to hear from somebody with similar priorities (Religion, family, etc.), so that I may learn from them about how they maintained these priorities.

Jazak Allah khair, and thank you all for your time.
Wassalam

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OK what follows is very much a personal view, and while it is intendedly in a Muslim/Shia framework I am not an alim etc.

My understanding of our faith is that we have religious obligations to a number of different stakeholders (to put it into management speak).

In terms of people, this includes family members, broader society and so on, including obviously your employer. In terms of more abstract things, there are obligations to God in terms of prayers etc.

Now we all know that there are some industries, for example, consultancy & investment banking and even some national work cultures (Japan) where the employee can effectively be 'owned' by the employer and if you want any modicum of success you have to put in all the hours that are available.

The latter means sacrificing the time available for family and other commitments. It may not seem like it at the time, but there is a cost both to the individual and others around them. Now the consultant may come back and say that as a result of their efforts they are able to give to charity, take financial care of relatives and so on.

But I am not sure it's always possible to substitute time for money.

Then there's the issue of 'necessary sins(?)' (c)Haji 2003. These are sins which do lead to human progress. For me, the issue is this. If some non-believer is willing and indeed wants to do that work and the believers benefit from it, then its a win-win. So the insane hours consultants and others put in may lead to some wider social benefit at huge personal cost to the consultants - so the question is why should we be the consultants?

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Salaam,

I responded to OP message to me on PM.

3 hours ago, Haji 2003 said:

So the insane hours consultants and others put in may lead to some wider social benefit at huge personal cost to the consultants - so the question is why should we be the consultants?

This really depends on the age bracket of the consultant. Fresh out of college - yes be a consultant, work 80 hours per week, make a make for yourself. 

If you are married and with young children, then perhaps not.

But of you have already joined MBB, stick with it for 18-24 months before switching careers.

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51 minutes ago, ShiaMan14 said:

Fresh out of college - yes be a consultant, work 80 hours per week, make a make for yourself. 

If you are married and with young children, then perhaps not.

Makes sense. I guess the trick is to have the discipline to tune out at the right time and to ensure that you have picked up the right human capital that can be applied elsewhere.

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