What Is Management Consulting?

What Exactly Is Management Consulting?

Management consulting is a bit of an amorphous professional field. In a nutshell, management consultants advise organizations and their executives to assist them in improving their performance to solve their business-related problems.

Education Required to Become a Management Consultant

At a minimum, you will need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. No specific major or degree program is required, but you may want to consider pursuing a master’s in business administration (MBA) after you complete your undergraduate studies. An MBA program will provide you with exposure to courses in corporate finance, organizational theory and management, financial and cost accounting, business law, financial markets, corporate strategy, asset valuation, federal income taxation and organizational leadership, among others.

Background Needed to Become a Management Consultant

People enter the management consulting field with backgrounds in almost every academic discipline: engineering, hard sciences, mathematics, economics, medicine, law, accounting, finance, the social sciences, the humanities and the arts. Whatever your background may be, you must possess the quantitative skills necessary to run regression analyses and perform a range of statistical calculations. Some degree of familiarity with economics and finance would also be beneficial. Clients, as you know, will expect you to be at least conversant in these subjects, and will also likely expect you to incorporate them into your analysis of the problems they hired you to eliminate, according to The Guardian.

Jobs Interviews in Management Consulting

Consulting job interviews are a little different than job interviews in other fields. Someone who is interviewing potential management consultants likely will not ask you to identify your strengths and weaknesses or ask you where you see yourself in five years. Instead, they will pose you with a series of seemingly impossible-to-answer questions about how many apples are sold in the United States each year, how much an empty commercial airliner weights or why manhole covers are round rather than rectangular. Interviewers value your answer, but what they value more that that is seeing how you reason through a problem that requires creativity to solve and does not have an obvious solution.

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Careers as a Management Consultant

Consulting firms are the most obvious answer. The top firms, McKinsey, Bain Capital and Boston Consulting Group, are among the most selective employers in any field. If you hope to work at any of these firms after you graduate, you must demonstrate that you are an elite candidate through your grades, your involvement in extracurricular activities and your interview performance.