Management Consulting Essentials for Graduate Students

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Are you an undergraduate or MBA student planning to engage in management consulting after graduation? Have a look at this article. We will answer some of the essential questions that graduates have in regards to a management consulting career.

What is Expected from Management Consultants?

Consultants are expected to help organizations improve through research, critical analyses and sound recommendations. They are usually experts in the field of operations, marketing, human resources, project management and finance. It is imperative for them to acquire analytic, decision making and logical thinking skills to be able to perform their job. They must also have the ability to communicate with different kinds of people – from the CEO down to the frontline employees of the company. As an indicator of their professionalism, they must exhibit emotional intelligence when dealing with people around them.

What Are the Tools Used by Management Consultants?

Consultants use a lot of different tools in their everyday work. The two most important pieces of software are Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint. As a consultant, you will spend countless hours in these two software applications!

Other than that, you will use several frameworks and practices that are specific for your consulting firm. You will learn these during your initial consulting training/boot-camp. Frameworks provide a step-by-step structure on how to analyze different problems. A common example of a framework is Porter’s Five Forces Analysis developed by Michael Porter of Harvard Business School in 1979. It’s used for analyzing competition among companies in a specific industry by assessing the new entrants, the substitutes to the products, the power of suppliers, the power of buyers and the existing company rivalry.

How Much Do Management Consultants Earn?

It depends on the size of the firm and the level of the position. Global consulting firms, such as Bain, BCG and McKinsey, usually have more rewarding packages than small boutique firms. The salaries are so different across countries, firms, starting positions, etc. that we cannot give you any exact figures. One thing is for sure: you will get a salary that is substantially higher-than-average!

What Are the Causes of Stress in Management Consulting?

Working for long hours is one of the disadvantages of working for a consulting firm. Consultants are absorbed in their work for at least 10 hours a day. Their daily schedule usually includes client meetings, team sessions, data gathering and other mind-stirring activities. During the recruitment period, management consultants were assessed to be able to handle this kind of pressure but at times, working for long periods is too exhausting. The schedule also gets in the way of the consultants’ relationships with their family and friends. Not having enough time for loved ones may be a cause of arguments, emotional gaps and other serious issues.

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