Is Management Consulting Really for You? Let’s Help You Find Out
So, you’re thinking about becoming a management consultant but not sure if it’s the right path?
Consulting is indeed a challenging as well as a rewarding profession. But it’s not for everyone.
Well, then how to tell if management consulting is the right choice of profession or not?
Rest assured, this article is not going to be like hundreds of other articles on the internet which tell you that you need to be “motivated”, “educated”, etc. to be a successful consultant.
In this article, we will discuss how to get into consulting, why go into consulting, and what a career in consulting looks like. And once you have this knowledge, you will be informed enough to decide whether management consulting is really for you or not.
So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Why Go Into Consulting
It always makes sense to start with the ‘why’ first. Why go into consulting? Why not hospitality or teaching or politics or any other profession?
A career in consulting means that you will work with some of the smartest people with high IQs. A career in consulting means that high-ranking executives in top companies will know who you are and seek your counsel. A career in consulting means that you will learn how to handle some of the most complex problems in the world, and solving them will give you a sense of accomplishment like no other.
So, if you were wondering why go into consulting, the paragraph above answers that question briefly. But, of course, there is way more to management consulting than what you just read. Since we have discussed the glamorous part already, let’s discuss the challenging part now. Consulting can be a very competitive industry at times. You may have to put in more than the average 40 hours of work every week. And keeping clients happy, well, that’s a whole different challenge in itself.
But hey, if it was that easy, everyone would do it, right?
How to Get Into Consulting
Education is key to becoming a management consultant. A bachelor’s degree is a must, but some top-tier consulting firms only hire candidates who have an MBA from a renowned university. Even though education is important, it’s only a small part of the process. There are a few more factors that decide whether you will become a successful management consultant or not. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Your personal traits
Are you a highly driven individual who likes to solve problems? Do you look forward to facing obstacles without fear? Are you committed to reaching goals? If the answer to all these questions is a yes, then management consulting could be the right career choice for you.
All that drive and education may be of no use if you’re not good with people. A high level of emotional intelligence is necessary to climb the ladder in management consulting. You could be the most talented consultant, but if people don’t feel comfortable with you, they may choose not to work with you, in which case, you won’t be able to reach the level that you want to in your career.
Interviews are your opportunity to showcase your education, personal traits, and people’s skills. Unlike other professions in which interviews are rather simple, consulting interviews are a lot more tricky. Some consulting firms will require you to pass a PST (Problem Solving Test) before they even let you in the interview room. Then, you should expect some more riddles, teasers, and case studies in the actual interview. You will have to use the right consulting frameworks and do lots of calculations live during the interview.
Great. Now that you know how to get into consulting, let’s quickly give you a sneak peek at how management consultants actually solve problems.
What Management Consultants Do at Work
Consultants are hired to solve complex business problems in specialized areas. They may also be hired to give an expert third-party opinion on a company’s internal decision. But how exactly do consultants do this? Let’s walk you through a management consultant’s tasks and demonstrate how they provide value to clients. It all begins with collecting data. Sounds easy? Well, it’s not. Consultants don’t just google stuff, they conduct in-depth research through interviews, surveys, focus groups, and by reading financial statements and other documents.
It’s Your Turn to Make the Decision
All right. Now that you know the advantages and challenges of a career in management consulting, and are aware of how consultants conduct their job duties, you can make a decision.
Do you think management consulting is the right profession for you? The decision is yours to make, and this habit of making decisions will be beneficial if you become a management consultant one day.
If a career in management consulting seems the right choice, you should begin with earning certifications in various consulting frameworks, even if you’re only a university student right now. Ideally, you should have a thorough knowledge of frameworks like 3 C’s, the BCG Matrix, MECE, Porter’s Five Forces, etc. before you graduate from university.
And how can you do this?
Well, there are several courses, modestly priced for students, that you can take to have a competitive edge over other candidates.
At the Consultport Academy, highly experienced consultants, with backgrounds in top-tier firms like BCG, have created short management consulting courses that will prepare you for the future.
Keen to learn more? Check out the Consultport Academy.