Skills form part of management consulting competencies. Without them, it would be impossible to perform a job with excellence. Below is a list of 15 skills you need to develop to land a job in top tier management consulting firms like Booz, BCG, McKinsey and Monitor.
1. Critical Thinking
Most of the time, your duties will include breaking down of complex problems in an organized way. You will use management consulting frameworks and other tools for thorough analysis of business cases.
The management expects you to come up with recommendations to resolve a problem or a threat. If you lack this skill, you won’t be able to justify the main reason why consultants are hired.
3. Written Communication
Your clients will require regular written reports to monitor the progress of your project. You must have the ability to produce documents with concise and comprehensible information.
4. Verbal Communication
You must be able to speak clearly and confidently with clients during meetings and presentations, with employees during data gathering and with the other people involved in the project. Being tactful will prevent issues of miscommunication and confusion.
5. Numerical Reasoning
Numbers are inevitable in a management consulting position. You will go through financial reports, market studies and other documents with mathematical figures. Because of this, you must improve your numerical reasoning skills even before you submit your application.
6. Interpersonal Relations
The ability to establish rapport and build relationships with the people you meet in your consulting job will put you at an advantage. If you exhibit emotional intelligence consistently, you won’t only attract cooperation but also valuable friendship.
Completing a management consulting project is not a one-man show. Teaming up with other consultants leads to more efficient progress. Everyone can complement with each other’s competencies and such will yield better results.
You won’t be required to paint, but you need creativity to be able to think outside the box. A management consultant needs this skill because resolutions don’t always have to be conventional in nature.
9. Decision Making
Based on your analysis, you will make everyday decisions that will lead you to your goal. You must know how to brainstorm possible options and draw possible consequences. You will also encounter unavoidable conflicts that can be effectively handled with this skill.
All recommendations must have credible bases. Hence, management consultants always conduct research on market trends, best industry practices, competitor’s status and other topics relevant to the business problem.
According to management consulting job descriptions, a consultant usually works for more than 50 hours per week. Because of this busy schedule, you must be skilled in managing your time, distinguishing high priority tasks and planning of activities.
12. Stress Management
Having heavy and much workload can lead to stress and over fatigue. Thus, you must learn how to manage it for your health and happiness. Though your plate is always full, always find a way to achieve the balance of work and play.
Part of your responsibilities will be to travel to different cities and places. Thus, you will not enjoy your job if you’re not open to new cultures, offices, food, climate, etc. You must be ready to face any changes in the working environment.
14. Computer Proficiency
This is a basic requirement of most jobs nowadays. In management consulting, your computer is an important tool in making reports, making calculations and presenting recommendations to top management.
If you’ll be employed in hybrid consulting companies, you must learn the skill of introducing other products of your company to your clients.