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Kate spent 2.5 years as a strategy consultant before taking a secondment into the strategy team at Sainsbury’s. After an enjoyable and successful 6 months there, she decided to make the move permanent. She has some great advice on whether working in a corporate is likely to be a good fit for you.


Where do you work?

Sainsburys – in the non-food team

Where did you start your career?

OC&C Strategy Consultants

How many years into your career are you?

6 years

How many companies have you worked for so far in your career?


How many hours a week do you work (on average)?

40 – 45

What’s your role and whom do you report into?

Programme Manager (I have a team of project managers) for strategic change in non-food. I report into the Director of non-food.

Why did you decide to leave your previous job?

I initially moved on a secondment (something you might think about arranging) and thought it presented an interesting opportunity to try my hand at retail and work in a corporate.  I really enjoyed the lifestyle change. Also, I got good exposure to senior management and could see my ideas becoming reality.

What are the best bits about your current job?

Definitely the hours. And also seeing your ideas become reality.… I have done a strategy project since I’ve been here which has resulted in a whole new format for Sainsbury’s and a store on Fleet Street – very rewarding!

How does your experience from your previous job, help you in your new role?

I feel like I add a rigorous and robust approach to solving problems here which I think is often missing in a corporate.

Where do you see yourself at the height of your career?

Operating board either here or in another FTSE 100.

How does working in ‘industry’ differ to working in professional services?

(1) Shorter hours

(2) You are more likely to see your ideas become reality

(3) You work with a broader range of people

(4) Your (analytical) skill-set is very useful so you can add a lot of value relatively easily.

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