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Careers in Consulting

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According to the Fuqua School of Business Consulting Club "Consulting is the business of providing advice to firms in trouble, on the move, or trying to do what they do better, faster, and more cheaply. It is one of the fastest growing industries in today's corporate world and one of the most popular career choices for new MBA's."

Application Process

Consulting firms often focus their recruiting early in the academic year with the bulk of activity during the fall and winter months. Deadlines for applicants can be as early as the later part of November. There are also some firms who will still be screening candidates in the Spring. Start as early as possible to maximize your chances of getting hired in this competitive field. Contact employers to identify deadlines and the optimal time to begin submitting resumes.

Consulting firms often require other documents in addition to your resume and cover letter. Many firms will ask for items such as GPA, transcript, standardized test scores (GRE or SAT) and writing samples. Make sure you check with employers regarding the materials which they require in order to screen candidates.

Typical Job Titles

Research Assistant, Research Associate, Analyst, Business Analyst, Research Analyst, Associate Consultant

Role

Graduates with BA or BS degrees are often employed in 2 -3 year entry level positions. After this time many employees go on to Business school, other graduate/professional school or positions with client companies. The activity of a first year analyst will often be focused on background research or number crunching (if the area of consulting is quantitatively oriented). During the second year analysts are more likely to take a responsible role with problem solving and client contact.

Daily activities of an analyst might include:

  • Creating financial models in Excel
  • Interviewing clients for case information
  • Locating data needed for cases through library and internet resources
  • Sharing information with other team members on client cases
  • Researching client-related industries
  • Performing competitor benchmarking analysis and identifying savings opportunities or possible product/service enhancements
  • Conducting activity-based analysis of key business processes, identifying quick hits that resulted in 15 percent efficiency gains, and writing and presenting final recommendations to management
  • Creating Powerpoint slides for client presentations

    Qualifications

    The following qualities and skills are often valued by recruiters in consulting. The priorities and requirements of individual employers will vary significantly given the focus of their consulting activity. It is not necessary for candidates to be highly qualified in each of these areas. Check with targeted employers to determine the specific requirements for their positions.

  • record of academic achievement
  • problem solving skills
  • logical reasoning
  • business acumen
  • team orientation
  • writing skills
  • presentation skills
  • ability to cultivate relationships
  • facility with computer software
  • quantitative and statistical skills
  • energy/stamina
  • pattern of leadership

    Interviewing

    The process typically involves a series of rigorous interviews and forms of questioning which are not common when interviewing in other industries. Candidates are often required to analyze cases and /or respond to analytical questions regarding hypothetical situations (How many rolls of paper towels would it take to span the state of New Jersey?).

    How to Get a Job as a Consultant
    Interested in working as a consultant? Here's information on education and experience requirements, where to find job listings, how consulting firms recruit and tips for acing an interview.

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