The roles of a manager and a consultant may seem similar, but there are some key differences between the two. A manager is responsible for organizing and directing the collaborative efforts of a project, while a consultant is responsible for directing and managing a project, as well as being accountable for all delivery. Managers are usually promoted from within the company, while consultants are hired because of their expertise in solving a specific problem. Managers and consultants both have the primary task of communicating and meeting customer needs.
They also both need certain skills to fulfill their responsibilities. While most managers and consultants have a college degree, it is possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED. The next step for a successful manager is promotion to senior manager. Senior managers act as leaders for both case teams and clients, taking responsibility for solving clients' most difficult problems and presenting their ideas in a convincing manner that convinces the customer to take action.
Internally, senior managers have a place and a voice at the leadership table, performing various leadership roles, increasing their practice area experience, and supporting consultants and associate consultants. Successful top managers move on to the role of associate partner. Associate partners take a global approach to solving customers' most difficult business problems. They share the roles of manager and partner, with responsibilities ranging from inspiring and guiding a team on a daily basis to cultivating Bain's relationship with senior clients, from having a strategic vision to forcing customers to act.
Associate partners are usually promoted internally from the senior management position and are considered to be future leaders of the company, whose next step is the role of partner. If you're interested in becoming a manager or consultant, one of the first things you should consider is the amount of education you need. Joining a consulting firm as an analyst is the typical entry point after graduating from college. After two to five years as an analyst, candidates who prove their worth can get promoted to associate analyst or consultant. Called Organizational Development, which I found very enlightening to understand the role of a consultant and how he can be more productive for his clients. Joining Bain as an experienced professional will allow you to achieve significant results for your clients as part of a team of talented consultants, managers and partners who will foster their long-term success.