Management Consulting for Dummies

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It only takes expertise for a person to be labeled a consultant. As long as you have the know-how on a specific topic, you can be called that way. However, when somebody hires you to be part of a globally established firm, what does it truly entail? Below are five questions beginners often ask to grasp the area of management consulting.

What is Management Consulting?

Management consulting is the practice of analyzing business problems and offering  advice to improve business performance. It all started when Frederick Taylor, the father of scientific management, studied time requirements of a manufacturing process in 1880′s. It eventually led to the emergence of other consultants. One of them was James McKinsey, the founder of the global consulting firm McKinsey and Co. Because he and his expert colleagues were able to help companies recover from economic crisis, the profession became more popular.

What Are the Characteristics of Good Consultants?

Because the nature of the job is intellectual and critical, management consultants need to possess excellent problem-solving, logical and communication skills. These are necessary in meeting requirements of clients. Consultants must also have a flair for interacting with different people since they conduct meetings with clients, facilitate focused group discussions and interview a number of employees. Further, they must also be able to endure long working hours and must be willing to travel in different cities or countries from time to time.

How Are Candidates Assessed for Management Consulting Positions?

Recruiters evaluate candidates in three ways. First, they pre-select candidates who have the right skills, experience and knowledge through resume and cover letter screening. Those who get selected are then called for testing. Not all firms adopt this method, though. Lastly, they conduct experiential and case interviews to further gauge the candidate’s ability to think critically and express opinions clearly. Case interview questions may include situational business dilemmas, brainteasers and estimation questions. To know the basic facts of management consulting case interviews, check this post.

What Are the Educational Requirements for Management Consulting Positions?

Any person with a university degree can apply for a position in well-known firms like Monitor, Booz and BCG. Graduates of Management, Marketing, Economics and Business Administration have an edge because they’ve already learned the concepts of organizational management, cost and benefit analysis and marketing strategies at school. Though it isn’t a requirement, many consultants hold an MBA degree. This achievement somehow indicates that they’re willing to go an extra scholastic mile to be of better service to the firm and clients.

What Are the Typical Duties and Responsibilities of Management Consultants?

Activities of management consultants vary from firm to firm. It mainly depends on the client’s company, business status and requested services. Consultants usually tailor their approaches according to these factors. In general, the process includes examining the client’s problem, breaking down the factors affecting it, researching data through studies and interviews, analyzing information and recommending solutions to the top management. The final decision lies with the client. The consultants just guide them to the right direction.

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