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Starting a consulting career and grooming consulting talent early on

Tethys was initially conceived with a focus on engineering students but very quickly the fundamental capabilities of the platform attracted a few projects of a more traditional consulting nature. Interestingly, the first student that was involved on those projects was a Junior in High School. Since then and 5-6 projects later, it is clear that with a little bit of coaching and weekly supervision it is very possible for consulting organization large and small to make students on campus a significant part of their operating model.

In this article, we want to cover the reasons why grooming talent early on Tethys make sense. The fundamental premise shouldn’t be new to anyone, attracting and retaining the right talent is by far the best competitive advantage an organization, whose primary asset is people, can have. 

It's remarkable how much of a productivity kicker an organization gets from top talent. A recent study of more than 600,000 researchers, entertainers, politicians, and athletes found that high performers are 400 percent more productive than average ones.2 Studies of businesses not only show similar results but also reveal that the gap rises with a job's complexity. In highly complex occupations—the information- and interaction-intensive work of managers, software developers, and the like—high performers are an astounding 800 percent mor`e productive

Attracting and retaining the right talent - McKinsey Quarterly, Nov 2017

What is the right talent?

Naturally the question to wrestle with is “What is the right talent?” for today and tomorrow’s consulting world. The answer to this question is changing rapidly with new technologies, the increase in global competition, the emergence of “digital” business models, and the unique characteristics of the employment market in a millennial and post-millennial era. For that, I have always gone back to the fundamental principle that talent can be built with the right “deliberate training”. The book “Talent is Overrated” by Geoff Colvin provides insights on what separates world-class performers from everyone else, beautifully summarized by Paul Wolfe ( as :

- Exceptional talent is a function of hard work over time
- There is a blueprint you can follow to get talented
- You can develop talent (expertise) in any discipline
- Developing talent is hard work too
- You can use the 'talent blueprint' as a teaching guide
- You don't have to get to virtuoso level to outrank your competitors

As Paul Wolfe further asserts, “Those who only read a book don't grow and improve – those who implement truly learn and thrive." The hard reality though is that time plays a big role in this equation, deliberate training is needed but needed in the appropriate quantity in order to achieve various levels of excellence. Tiger Woods and Mozart would not have reached the performances they have if they hadn’t started their deliberate training with their respective fathers who both played a very intended and focused role of trainer and mentor. So what does this mean for consulting?  We should all recognize that behind the greatest talent and the best team, there is an amazing coach and a rigorous training program. The world-leading consulting firms know this better than anyone else. They all have perfected, over the years, a very selective recruiting process and an intense apprenticeship journey that accelerates learning, develops leadership skills early, fosters a peer-to-peer apprenticeship model, focuses on the constant creation of distinctive insights, and pushes young talent to live through a stressful up-or-out talent management policy.

Time is of the essence!

The right trainer and training regiment is not enough to achieve peak performance; it often takes among other things: the right mindset, the right competitive environment, the right culture, and a ton of time.  There is no magic number when it comes to the number of hours needed to bring someone to peak performance. Andres Ericsson's well-regarded studies in this field provide some clues and guide us to focus on the overall environment needed to achieve "deliberate practice" over thousands of hours. This is not something easy to do but evidence exists that when setup properly it can be repeated time and time again. In consulting, it is no different. The "deliberate practice" that takes place within the largest and most prestigious firms has been fine tuned over the years and is built on a set period of time during which practical experience of increasing complexity is acquired to progress to the next level. The hard reality though is that time has become the most precious commodity here. Achieving excellence in a very competitive world will benefit from establishing and driving this "deliberate practice" earlier in someone's learning journey. This is with Tethys can play a major role in creating a form of deliberate practice for future consultants starting in freshmen year...or sooner.

Why Tethys?

It is not a mystery that China's education system creates young talent that simply dominates any other nations, including the US, in the fundamental prowess in mathematics. They start early, have more home work than anyone else, and believe that reaching a certain performance level is all about working harder, not some innate gift.

On Tethys, we want students to be given the chance to work on real world problems of increasing complexity early on. We believe that direct, immediate and constructive feedback from coaches and experts combined with thousands of hours of hard work will graduate young talent better prepared and certainly closer to peak performance in any given domain and discipline. To make that possible we have assembled a platform that allows to build apprenticeship experiences that will at least cover the following elements - Data and Analytics, Problem Solving, Resourcefulness, Communication and Collaboration

Data and Analytics

We provide the cloud-based environment to run the most sophisticated analytical software that exists and make it available on-demand to students

Collaboration and communication

Collaborating across time-zone, cultural differences and functional groups is more complex today then it was 20 years ago and place even more importance on one's ability to communicate succinctly, clearly and efficiently. Tethys has created a modern and rich collaboration platform to help students fine tune those skills

Problem Solving

We create the project management environment to allow all participants to manage the intricacies of solving complex problems as a team


Experiences comes from an individual's effort to accomplish something. With the right coaching and the right exposure, students will learn how to be creative, proactive, resilient, curious and create the resourceful skills required to start a successful career

Visit or send inquiries at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to work with us, build the consulting environment, and launch the consulting projects that will help groom the next generation of distinctive problem solvers and advisors

Hexagon x Georgia Tech Ambassador Program
My Experience on Tethys Engineering


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Thursday, 23 March 2023

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