There is no doubt that the consulting industry is one of the top recruiters of MBA graduates. One of the common questions that run inside is how to become a business consultant, what are the principles of consulting, or the tools & techniques used in this field.
As the narrowest definition of the word, management consultant qualifications refer to the act of providing knowledge, services, and insight that is accessed upon request by business management consulting firms or individuals.
It is common for companies to face issues or unimaginable targets that require them to take a fresh viewpoint to solve them.
To help you get a better understanding of what the daily work of a consultant looks like let’s look at this example:
Walmart wants to test home delivery for its customers. They hire a Consulting firm for this project. The Consulting firm proposes to analyze customer demographics and make recommendations on whether to proceed with Home Delivery. They agree to a 3-month assessment. They then deploy a team of 6 consultants with experience in grocery retail and logistics who will work on Walmart’s project. If you have an interest, learn consulting online courses.
The consulting manager holds a weekly status meeting with a small group of decision-makers from Walmart. If you are preparing for an interview, never miss to check out the common interview questions and their answerable solutions.
Qualities that Make a Good Consultant
There are some KEY qualities you need to possess if you are interested in becoming a professional consultant or just trying to get a well-paid job! Here are some of the management consultant job descriptions:
- Time Management – Make sure you manage all your tasks daily
- Quick & Flexible – Clients need to change anytime which means you need to be quick and flexible.
- Communication – This includes everything from emails to PPTs to Phone calls make sure it’s clear and concise!
- Basic Business Knowledge– You might not be an expert in all different sorts of industries like retail, healthcare, and many more but your clients can be from various industries.
- Analytical thinking skills – This includes both qualitative and quantitative! A lot of times your job will require you to look into huge data or specific reports of the company. You need to be able to interpret the data whether they are numbers or words!
Other skills include being organized, being a team player, and having social skills!
Consulting Career Path
You are sniffing in the right spot if you enjoy solving problems and working in a variety of industries, and enjoying the perks of a lifestyle that has the big luxuries of life.
Consulting firms typically have six roles, from entry-level to partner.
- Business Analyst
- Junior or Associate Consultant
- Senior Consultant
- Team Lead / Engagement Manager
Moving from one position to the next typically takes 1 to 3 years. As you move up the ladder your role will change:
Entry-level consultants tend to do a lot of analysis and presentations, while mid-level managers tend to ensure projects run smoothly and promote accountability.
Principles and partners focus on client relationships and closing new business.
In addition, unlike other in-house roles that are more specialized and probably possess a deeper level of expertise, consulting firms and their employees are blessed with a broad base of expertise.
Types of consulting careers? And what do consultants do?
When talking about career jobs in consulting cover a large variety of industries and most consulting firms focus on a particular service or business activity, such as strategy or operations consulting, or more niche fields like real estate or design.
If you were a consultant, you would deal with one of these functional areas as part of your job.
- Strategy consulting has become the most glamorous of them all due to the emergence of elite firms such as McKinsey, Bain, and the Boston Consulting Group. These service providers help big companies deal with bigger challenges – such as entry into or exit from markets, portfolio management, mergers & acquisitions, and so forth. Join the consulting courses by Seekho to understand the various consulting strategy frameworks.
- All matters relating to technology or information technology will fall into the IT Consulting category.
- In the majority of cases, Operations consulting is implemented in the manufacturing sector, e.g. reducing assembly line defects by reducing costs.
- HR & Human Capital Consulting assists companies in defining employee-friendly HR policies, guidelines, and mandates, improving their performance management systems, to improve productivity.
- Then there are Real Estate Consultants who assist companies with valuations, property-related legislation, and locating and renovating a business at a limited cost.
Some other types of popular consulting include Health or Pharma consulting, Software consulting, Sales consulting, Finance, or Risk Advisory.
There is a huge ocean of Consulting opportunities out there!
The Best Consulting Firms in India
Consulting firms are one of the biggest recruiters for MBA graduates, and it’s no surprise that top names in consulting recruit some of the brightest MBA graduates from some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the world, and they pay top salaries to their consultants while guiding, shaping, and directing their careers.
Even if you’re new to consulting you have most probably heard of the MBBs. MBB is an acronym for McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Company, which are considered the Big 3 management consulting firms. Getting into a consultancy work and business consulting career path is perfect if you are much into business.
Then there are four traditional Big Four accounting firms – Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers – that have gradually increased their consulting business to compete with the Top 3.
There are also a lot of Consulting companies that are quite popular in India including Accenture, Kearney, Oliver Wyman, EY-Parthenon, Alvarez and Marsal, and Arthur D.Little.
There are other Indian consulting firms like Praxis Global Alliance and ZS Associates which are delivering great value to their clients
Is a Consulting job worth it?
At this point, you’re probably set on getting into the consulting field. Having a career as a consultant, no doubt has plenty of positives. Joining a consulting firm is one of the quickest and most effective ways if you are looking to build a vast and valuable network. Nevertheless, the negatives serve as a strong argument for why it is important to carefully examine the options available.
- Long Hours A consultant works close to 80 hours a week and is plagued with stress and in off-hours – about work, clients, competition, deadlines, and endless other concerns
- Work-life balance – There is no such thing as a work-life balance. You end up sacrificing a lot of personal interests in order to cater to clients.
- Expertise Mismatch – You may work on projects that do not match your expertise. For instance, you might have a marketing degree, but might be tasked with helping a client implement an engineering project.
- High standards – There is a culture of constant feedback amongst consultants at all levels. Whether it be from clients, peers, or bosses. These factors decide your paycheck and can result in an overall stressful environment.
- Competition – Additionally, you may find that office politics may interfere with the most visible or challenging projects while stepping on another’s toes.
What Consulting Companies Do? /
A consulting firm offers many services starting from scratch. They work on from the strategy to problem-solving followed by planning. Getting into consultancy is one of the perfect career options since there is a lot of scope of work that can often include project management skills and solutions. Consulting firms usually charge high rates for their services, since there is a lot to include in the scheme and can be extremely profitable businesses.
You need to see for yourself if consulting is the right career path by weighing its costs and benefits.