Management consulting is a job that requires a lot of travel. While 75 percent of consultants travel one day a week or less, 25 percent are tasked with traveling two to four days a week. The hours vary, but usually travel is Monday through Thursday and you return to the home office on Friday. Some companies may require five days of travel a week, but most require three to four days for non-local projects.
Travel is an integral part of the job, no matter which company you work for. From Bain to Accenture, from McKinsey to Alvarez & Marsal, consultants become familiar with airport acronyms such as LGA, LAX, and ORD. They also spend enough time in hotels for staff to recognize them by name. Under normal circumstances, consultants can expect to travel Monday through Thursday for more than 40 weeks in a year.
However, due to the current pandemic, customer-related trips may be delayed for 6 to 8 months. For those who have been in the business for a while, they may have accumulated important points and have a “status” in all major airlines and hotel chains. Consultants who work for regionally focused consulting firms with functional expertise (e.g. environment, taxes) may spend more time in those locations.
It's important to note that less than a quarter of consultants are completely out of London for more than two nights a week. Depending on your background and interests, you can influence personnel decisions starting on day one of your work at a management consulting firm. When it comes to travel rewards, many consultants maintain Delta Platinum Medallion and Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status even after leaving Bain. If you want to continue making travel a priority, having the status you have obtained in consulting is an excellent starting platform to continue doing it in style.
Overall, if you're in the consulting business, you should expect to travel with most companies but the level of travel will vary by company and project.