Consulting- The What, Why and How
Why is consulting regarded as one of the most sought-after jobs after an MBA?
Why are only a small number of people able to get into top consulting firms?
What qualities do the successful ones possess to impress the big consulting firms?
How is the life of a consultant?
Let me try and answer your questions to the best of my knowledge.
People pursue MBA either to further accentuate their professional growth or to change their field of work, majority lying in the latter. When people join MBA course, they are very uncertain as to which field or domain is right for them, especially freshers. Thus, consulting domain becomes the choice for every MBA candidate as consulting provides exposure to diverse fields & industries. Add to that, the glamorous consultant life!
A consulting firm’s greatest asset is people. Consulting companies use people’s credential & ability to sell their name to clients. Thus, consulting firms recruit only from top B schools and top ranker CA/CFAs, thereby limiting access. But within these B schools, consulting firms recruit on a decent scale as compared to finance and general management companies.
Consulting firm look for people who are above average in all areas – Education, Work Experience, POR & ECA. Additionally, on top of that, these big companies also require some distinct talent or passion that drive you as an individual and sets you apart from other candidates.
Life of a consultant is a roller coaster ride. As mentioned earlier, it is the most diverse role as there can be. One can work in more number of industries than one can imagine – Social, NBFC, Finance, FMCG, Metals, Digital Analytics, AI, Auto, etc. As well as across every functional role such as sales, marketing, operations, customer service, etc. Consultants work with their client day in and day out. They understand the business of their client, analyse the data & information, recommend solutions as well implement the agreed suggestions to solve client’s problem statement and create impact on an organisation-wide level. Also, a consulting life is considered to be very hectic as consultants have to regularly take flights, stay in hotels and work on the go.
I hope the above answers your question.
Mckinsey PPO holder
To put it in simple words, consulting is finding answers to the real life problems of companies that keep their CEOs awake at night. Consulting encompasses a broad umbrella of functions like Supply chain, marketing, finance and process optimization. The rigour associated with consulting roles is high majorly because the problems and challenges are quite open ended and answers need to be found after a thorough drill down of the industry not only locally but also globally. Consultants are people who have a deep understanding of all the spheres precisely because their work role needs them to apply concepts from almost all the business areas to arrive at the most optimum solution for the problem at hand. The answers need to be implementable in a real world, relevant and up to date with the latest technology. This is the reason why consulting companies look for people who have been exceptional in their career or academics throughout their life because only these types of people can actually handle the rigour that this job brings along. No doubt the learning curve associated with the field is tremendous and networking opportunities are numerous but the kind of work that goes into developing a business proposition for a high end company when a lot is at stake for your client is not a cakewalk. It is lucrative not just because of the perks that come along but also because it tests your resilience to challenging situations and thirst for learning.
Student Member, Inside IIM Team 4 | IIM Bangalore PGP1
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