If you're in the consulting business, you can expect to travel with most companies, but the level of travel will vary depending on the company and project. Consulting is an attractive option for those who want to work with different clients in various industries and help them solve a range of problems. To make the most of consulting, it's important to find a balance between seeking new experiences, managing your time, and being prepared for long nights or occasional weekends. There are also people who stay with their consulting firm for years and progress in their career.
Sheila is a senior consultant in the health counseling practice of Ernst & Young, where she works with health organizations across the country to improve operational efficiency. The “Big Four” consulting or accounting firms are Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC. The typical path for consultants is to work at a large consulting firm for two years and then pursue other opportunities such as working in a startup or internally in a large organization. Consulting is an excellent way to gain experience in many areas, but it also requires you to be flexible with your skills, time and work style.
Some people gain work experience in an industry, get an MBA, and then join a consulting firm. Consultants are exposed to a wide range of experiences and learn how to apply lessons from other situations to their own. Most companies try to accommodate special circumstances, but travel is still an important part of the job description. The “Big Four” are accounting firms that also offer consulting services, while there are other large consulting firms that specialize in management consulting, particularly strategic consulting.
In the typical consulting role or at the “Big Four” firms, consultants work on a project for three to six months. When I heard about consulting in college, these were the key firms that people were trying to get into. From Kalon, the luxury brand consultant for The Bachelorette who made his grand entrance by helicopter (yes, even I can't defend you Kalon) to the popular phrase “consultants pick up your watch and tell you what time it is”, the image isn't always positive. Consulting will help you develop a wealth of skills (including how to make the most of a delayed flight).