Are you considering a career in management consulting? It's a great way to boost your career and gain exposure to decision-making processes at the highest level. But it's not a 9-to-5 job and it can be exhausting. To help you decide if it's the right fit for you, here's what you need to know. Consulting is not a job for those who crave stability and structure.
You'll need to create your own work structures and be responsible for their impact. Joining management consulting is one of the most common options for MBA graduates, but it's not the only one. Tony Hunter, President of TWH, says the best type of management consultants have an innate, strong and consistent intellectual curiosity. Not only do they ask the right questions, but they are always looking for solutions.
This means that problem solving is a soft, non-negotiable skill for this industry. When you combine this practical mindset with the ability to understand people and organizational dynamics, you're in the best position to succeed. Many people choose a career in consulting because they are not sure what they want to do. This is a good reason to be a consultant. You can learn and explore a lot while you get paid.
As an added benefit, working as a management consultant greatly expands your network and provides training in expert fields, making you a much more attractive candidate when you are ready to look for a job. In consulting, you'll work with a lot of data and facts, and you'll have to make a lot of decisions. One way to mitigate this problem is to start looking at alternatives to consulting before senior year, so you can do cheap tests and determine if there is anything better than consulting earlier during the undergraduate degree. Think about the roles of a new consultant: problem solving, quantitative analysis, brainstorming as part of a high-powered team, creating PowerPoint presentations that will align the client on the way forward, etc. All major MBA programs will have a consulting club that focuses on helping you prepare for this career path. Far from existing within the “dark side” of doctoral work, management consulting represents a bright future for academics who are ready for significant change. If you're considering management consulting as your next career move, make sure it's the right fit for you.
It offers great opportunities but also comes with its own set of challenges. Consider all your options before making your decision.