Consulting is the practice of examining and proposing solutions to complicated organizational challenges. Consultants provide a vital service because they can provide an unbiased perspective on a problem and dedicate their whole focus to solving it.
Many businesses are looking for creative strategies to grow and expand their market share in today’s competitive business environment. A business may want to expand its operations, enter new markets, or even introduce a new product.
Consulting is a dynamic field that can give you opportunities in strategy or management consulting. Everyone has their reasons for choosing a field and for me consulting has always been my first choice since I started my program at Brandeis. I am a “figure things out” kind of person and consulting is just that. Looking at pressing issues of corporations and helping them with innovative solutions, ultimately leading to growth and success. For someone who wants to create an impact and be part of the forward looking world, consulting is an attractive career choice.
Things to know when considering this field:
- Proficiency in MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, MS Access, and other presentation/analysis tools
- Creative and logical thought process
- Ability to address ambiguous situations
- Exceptional communication skills
- Sound organizational and planning skills
Network! Network! Network!
To break into consulting, networking with people working in the field is essential. Consulting has such a broad scope, that researching about the different fields like general management consulting, strategy and analytics consulting, telecommunications consulting etc. should be your first step. Through talking to people about the intricacies of their role, you can gain real world knowledge and get deeper insights as to what this role looks like for different levels of companies (the big 4s, MBBs and mid-sized companies).
Case interviews are the most common forms of interviews in Consulting. Regardless of company size, a case interview will likely be part of the recruitment process. Learning the skill of casing takes time. I would recommend starting to practice case studies a semester before applying for your intended role. Brandeis’ Career Strategies and Engagement Center hosts Case Practices weekly. This is a great resource to polish your skills. Once well prepared, practicing interviews with industry professionals is a great way to make sure you are following the industry norms for interviewing.
Resources that will assist you in practicing Cases:
- Case Questions (CQ) Interactive
- Case in Point Book by Marc Consentino (Available from the CSE Library)
- Case Interview annual workshop lead by Marc Consentino
- Practice cases on youtube
- Victor Cheng case interview practice workshop and other reading material
- Vault Guides (accessed through CSE Connect)
Most consulting firms recruit in the fall for the summer. That means, consulting recruitment starts almost a year in advance. One must ensure to keep up-to-date with the deadlines for different consulting firms. Check out the CSE’s Early Recruiting Guide for more information.
Top Consulting firms
Below is a list of top consulting firms evaluated for their performance in several different categories:
- Boston Consulting Group,
- Bain & Company
- Oliver Wyman
- Booz Allen Hamilton
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (Strategy&)
- Ernst & Young
Consulting is a very rewarding career with multiple exit options. The opportunities in this field are endless and one can have any background to work in this profession. I will soon be starting my career in a consulting position and will be happy to help with any questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Good luck, the world is yours if you want it, all you have to do is take the first step!