Q&A: Being a Management Consultant
Management consulting is one of those careers that is hard to articulate and explain. It is not banking and it is not accounting so what exactly is it? What are the working hours like and is it only for Economics or other social science students?
René and I often get asked lots of questions by students about being a management consultant so we thought we would answer some of the most common ones here as part of our #StudentSeries blogs.
You can check out our previous blog from this series covering How to Make the most of your University Experience below.
How to Make the Most of your University Experience
University was honestly the best 3 years of my life. But looking back on the experience now, (especially when I see…
In this blog post, we answer some common questions providing insight into life as a management consultant. The first three questions and answers are here and the final three over on René’s Medium blog.
1. Why did you want to be a management consultant?
MA: For me, deciding to become a management consultant was via a process of trial and error. I had experience doing internships in other financial services companies and for me, the balance of client-facing and team-based work as a consultant appealed to me. I would advise students deciding on what they want to do to not stand still but to instead try as much as possible via work experience or at the very least reading and studying the options available to them.
RG: Prior to working in Management consulting I spent 2 years at a US Investment Bank and one of the things I really craved was variety. Variety in opportunities, what I was learning, the people I worked with. Because of this, when I decided I wanted to do something different, consulting was the obvious choice. In the year and a half I’ve been in consulting, I’ve worked across two different clients, acting as a project manager, technical support analyst, focusing on User experience, customer channels, Adobe experience manager, and the Open Banking regulation. I think Management Consulting is a great career choice if, like me, you like to try different things and maybe you’re still undecided about the industry and skills you’d like to specialize in
2. What does your typical day look like?
MA: This is a hard question to answer as every day is truly different as a management consultant! On average I aim to get to work for 8.30am to have breakfast and address any emails I haven’t answered first thing (or sometimes during my morning commute on the train). I then usually have a few meetings with my team as well as one or two with the client. Overall, I would say preparation is key as sometimes the day goes by so quickly and you have conversations on multiple different topics. As a result, you learn to manage your energy pretty quickly
RG: I agree with Mary in that every day is different so there isn’t really a typical day and a lot of it is very role dependent. When I was in a project management role, I spent most of my days on calls, bringing various teams together to get updates or I was leading/attending workshops. In my current role as a technical support analyst, I respond to queries from the client via email/phone and provide technical training sessions.
3. What would you say is the best thing about the job?
MA: The best thing about my job is the exciting and interesting projects I get to work on. These are often projects with big reputable companies and I love getting an insight into the firm’s culture and helping them solve problems. To me, consulting is great because you are always trying to solve complex problems and preempt what the client truly needs. It feels great to be part of that kind of forward-thinking work.
RG: The best thing about my job is that working at a technology consultancy, I get to be part of some really innovative projects and work with people who really try to think outside of the box and help clients to. Working with different clients means I’m exposed to different working cultures and ways of doing things, which I really appreciate and can learn from.
Read the next three questions over on René’s Medium blog below:
Hopefully, this is an insightful post for students who are interested in pursuing a career as a Management consultant or those looking for a career change. If you have any follow-up questions for either of us feel free to reach out.