What’s a day like of a Consultant?
Consulting is often the default career option of most graduating students. Companies such as McKinsey, KPMG, BCG, Bain and Co. are the dream job of many. Ever wondered how a consultant spends the day? Ever wondered what they do? A consultant is a professional advisor in different fields such as management, education, accounting, IT, human resources, marketing, finance, engineering, amongst other areas. As an outsider, they are often able to offer a fresh and unique perspective to a company and solve internal problems from the outside in.
Let us understand their skill set:
- Intellectual curiosity: Being hungry to learn is an important skill required in consulting. Being an ardent reader will help you go a long way. Inculcate the habit of reading relevant magazines, books and being aware of the general trends in industry. As you will provide an outside lens to the company, it is advisable to be knowledgeable and aware to give unique insights!
- Communication and teamwork: Consulting involves working in a team. One of the most important skills is the ability to work well with others. You have to be able to get along with, listen to, speak to, and handle other people in order to consult. Your communication and interpersonal skills must be effective in order to be patient with varied personality types. You will also need to influence different people, some who might be older than you, and that is often a challenge!
- Problem-solving and structuring: You will deal with different types of businesses and unique issues. You will need to break down the issues into bite sized pieces and then work in a team to solve them. Structuring the solution and putting it together in a presentation is also often part of the role. How to present your findings in a way that your manager and client understand is critical.
- Patience: As a consultant, leadership skills and the ability to take be patient are critical. You will need to motivate your client to make changes to the way they are working, and if you are not driven and excited about the work you will lose interest very quickly!
Let’s see what the clock of a consultant’s life holds. You will often be required to meet your clients daily and work at the client sites. For example, you may have to work at a bank branch or office if you’re consulting a bank. Travel is a must as you will have to visit the client wherever they are. An MBA from a good business school or an undergraduate degree from a Tier 1 college is where most management consulting firms hire from. So now that you know what consulting is about, if you’re interested, get ready to prepare for case interviews and many rounds of personal interviews before you get hired!