What is Management Consulting? How Does it Work in 2022

Management Consulting is a highly sought-after profession with one of the most rigorous hiring processes in the business world.

Not only does it take a certain sort of person with specific personality attributes to get a job offer, but it also takes a certain type of person to succeed on the job.

If you’re driven, have a real interest in business, and have a few specialized raw skills (or are eager to develop them! ), a career in management consulting may be a good fit for you.

However, When it comes to starting a career in management consulting, it might be difficult to know how to stand out from the throng.

We’ll walk you through the benefits of working as a management consultant, as well as how to get started in management consulting.

What is Management Consulting?

According to Wikipedia, Management consulting is the practice of helping organizations to improve their performance.

Management consultants can be hired for a variety of reasons, including obtaining external (and supposedly objective) advice and access to consultants’ particular skills.

Consulting firms are often aware of industry “best practices” as a result of their exposure to and contacts with a variety of organizations.

However, depending on the circumstances, the ability or propriety of transferring such techniques from one organization to another may be limited.

After graduating from university, many intelligent people pursue a career in management consulting.

Because it’s simple to see why, with a decent salary, specialized training, and prospects to advance swiftly.

If you’re not sure what it is or how to get started, this simple tutorial will explain all you need to know.

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What Does a Management Consultant Do Exactly?

Management consultants help companies enhance their performance by offering expert advice on how to address challenges and expand.

They work with companies in a variety of fields, including corporate strategy, finance, human resources, and marketing.

A wide range of public and commercial organizations uses management consulting to enhance their processes and efficiency.

In its most basic form, the consultant’s job is to give an audit of present practices, recommendations for change, and a plan for execution to their customer.

A company can hire them to advise top management on a specific project or on the structure and practices of the company as a whole.

However, defining what a management consultant does exactly totally depends on the company and organizations they work in.

Management Consultant Duties & Responsibilities

Management consultants handle a wide range of responsibilities and tasks. They may perform tasks such as the following on any given workday:

  • To better grasp, the client’s business needs, learn about their business difficulties and technologies. Interview corporate personnel.
  • Examine data from the client’s internal systems, such as financial statements, payroll information, or existing computer systems.
  • Outline the project’s scope of work, as well as the schedules, milestones, and resources needed to accomplish the project’s goals.
  • Determine and convey the work product or results to be provided to the client at the end of the project.
  • Develop and implement communications for top stakeholders, company employees, and internal and external project teams.
  • Conduct any mandatory training classes for a variety of levels of personnel.
  • Provide constructive criticism to the company’s management.
  • As a result of the consulting project findings, work tactfully to encourage faster adoption, more utilization, and improved proficiency among employees regarding new ways of working.
  • Meet with the client to check that the solution offered is working.

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How Does a Management Consulting Job Work?

Often, a management consultant will be stepping in for a skills shortage in a company. External support can be far less expensive than hiring new people or even a team to oversee a project or task.

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A management consultant is likely to have knowledge in a field that a company may lack internally. They can also concentrate on the project at hand rather than being distracted by the day-to-day operations of the company.
Consultancies offer a variety of services, with larger businesses giving end-to-end solutions and smaller firms specializing in a single sector.

A management consultant’s work usually entails a lot of data analysis because they are frequently providing advice on a specific topic.

Typically, a project will go like this:

  • What is the problem that we are attempting to solve?
  • Approach — What method will we use to study this issue?
  • Data collection — Learn everything we can about the problem.
  • What does our data suggest, according to our analysis?
  • Advice – Based on our data and knowledge, what is the best solution?
  • Implementation – Put the recommendations into action to make a positive difference.

Is Management Consulting a Good Career?

In terms of both job satisfaction and income, management consulting may be a very rewarding career.

According to Indeed.com, the average compensation for a consultant in the United States is US$83,408 per year.

Salaries for consulting employment, on the other hand, can be significantly higher. With MBA graduates from Wharton’s MBA, you can get median salary of US$150,000.

While large pay is attractive to aspiring consultants, they are simply one factor to consider while deciding on this career path.

Individuals who thrive on diversity will enjoy consulting because days may be exciting and unpredictable. For example, you may be called to client sites at the last minute, there is a lot of travel, and you will meet a diverse range of intriguing people.

While the tight deadlines and high-pressure setting may be off-putting to some, for individuals with a consultant’s mindset, it may enhance the experience.

As a junior consultant, you’ll be working with senior clients and given a lot of responsibility early on in your career because of the steep learning curve.

Training and learning are ingrained in the culture, and opportunities for advancement abound.

If you work for a non-specialized company, you’ll learn a lot about industries you’ve never heard of before.

If you decide to change careers in the future, the abilities you learn in consulting, such as strategy, research, and communication, will be transferrable.

Because it’s such a competitive field to break into, you’ll almost certainly be surrounded by top-notch coworkers who share your intelligence and way of thinking.

While the hours can be notoriously long and anti-social, the upside is that you’ll form strong friendships with your coworkers. And most consulting firms provide excellent benefits like corporate cars, free meals, sabbatical chances, and gym memberships.

According to consultancy.uk, the consulting industry’s growth is tightly tied to global economic changes.

When the economy is growing, companies have larger budgets and spend more on consultants; yet, when the economy is struggling, the converse is true.

Despite a slowdown during the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, the business has been gradually growing since 2011, reaching a global value of US$251 billion in 2016.

Is Management Consulting Hard to Get Into?

For MBA students, management consulting is the most common career option, and consulting positions are exceedingly competitive.

This indicates that there are a lot of people who are willing to put in a lot of effort in order to get some really prestigious professions.

People frequently inquire as to why consulting is so difficult to break into. And it’s actually quite difficult.

Due to the limited number of generalist consultants available, consulting firms typically recruit only one sort of generalist consultant.

As a result, if you don’t suit this all-purpose generic model, you may face difficulties. People who are little to the left or right of this ideal generalist are also sought by consultancies.

That means they’re likely looking for a particular number of economists, engineers, and a good gender balance, among other things. The odds are stacked against you.

It is also true that when a consultant is not working on a project, his or her time is idle. A junior banker, on the other hand, might be updating the bank’s stock book or drafting a proposal for a new client.

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A spare consultant is a firm’s loss-making instrument. This means that a consultancy will hire only as many consultants as it requires.

The third obstacle is that there are several opportunities for students to succeed or fail during the recruiting process.

It is also true that when a consultant is not working on a project, his or her time is idle. A junior banker, on the other hand, might be updating the bank’s stock book or drafting a proposal for a new client.

A spare consultant is a firm’s loss-making instrument. This means that a consultancy will hire only as many consultants as it requires.

What Skills are Needed for Management Consulting?

The following soft skills, which are personal attributes that can help you succeed in your profession, are required of management consultants:

1. Organizational Skills:

Clients expect management consultants to be extremely organized in their approach to solving the client’s problem. And also implementing the solution, especially since management consultants’ work is generally billed by the hour.

2. Self-Motivation and Self-Discipline:

Management consultants must be self-motivated and self-disciplined because they often work at the client site without supervision.

They must be self-motivated to finish work in a timely manner with minimum supervision.

3. Listening, Verbal Communication, and Interpersonal Skills:

Consultants must deal with a large number of clients’ personnel at various levels of the business, and they must be able to do so diplomatically and effectively.

4. Analytical, Problem Solving, and Critical Thinking Skills:

Consultants must be able to absorb a large amount of information about the client’s business, analyze the data, and provide clear and helpful recommendations.

5. Time Management Skills:

Management consultants must actively manage their time to stay within budget because they frequently bill by the hour or work under a fixed-fee agreement.

6. Flexibility and Creativity:

Consultants must be able to handle any conditions that happen while executing solutions for clients, such as a solution that doesn’t work as intended or a problem that has other, unanticipated circumstances.

7. Writing Skills:

Management consultants generally deliver their job results in the form of reports, manuals, and other types of paperwork, all of which necessitate excellent writing abilities.

How Do I Become a Management Consultant?

Many bright minds wonder, “How can I become a management consultant?”

Today, consulting is one of the most in-demand occupations for management graduates. It’s not only a fun field to work in, but it also pays well.

Management consulting certification programs have grown in popularity in recent years, demonstrating that it is a lucrative and satisfying vocation.

With so many hopefuls on the field, it might be difficult to stand out. So, here are some pointers on how to get started in the field:

1) Completing a bachelor’s degree program is the first step.

In terms of educational prerequisites, most consulting firms require at least a bachelor’s degree.

You should strive to major in your chosen field – marketing, finance, human resource development, and so on – and augment it with appropriate minors and courses.

Picking a certain industry, such as education, healthcare, agriculture, or e-commerce, is an excellent option.

You can use the extra courses to expand your knowledge and skills in that field.

2) Acquire practical experience

Management consulting jobs in India typically demand two to three years of expertise.

Aside from consulting experience, having worked in other business and project management positions, such as in the social sector or the public sector, may be advantageous.

Some people begin their careers as junior employees and work their way up to consulting positions within the same company.

Work experience is intended to acquaint you with the realities of working life.

Taking on greater responsibilities and completing a variety of duties comes with a high learning curve!

3) Obtain Certification

Although certification programs for management consultants are not required in many circumstances, they can provide you an advantage throughout the hiring process.

They serve as a testament to your education and experience, as well as a supplement to your existing practical expertise of management consulting.

In fact, they can be a terrific way to differentiate yourself and show off your specializations to potential employers!

There are various types of certifications available today, ranging from entry-level to those designed for high-level managers that interact directly with clients.

4) Plan for Interview

Interviews for management consulting jobs are notorious for being lengthy and multi-staged.
The goal of the entire exercise is to learn how you operate in a group, how you approach a given topic, how well you communicate, and how well you explain your solution, among other things.

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Case studies, real-life consulting challenges, and face-to-face dialogues are also used by employers to assess your time management, analytical, and critical thinking capabilities.

5) Never stop learning

Continuing your professional development is another important step in being a great management consultant.

This includes using formal events to network and engage with other consultants in your area, as well as using corporate presentations to display your talents to potential clients.

What are the Steps to Getting a Consulting Job?

Understanding what the work entails is the first step.

If you can do that, you can assess whether you are the right person for the job and practice articulating your qualifications.

Getting in front of a recruiter is another huge stumbling block for many people. These are some of the world’s most exclusive companies, and they don’t just put up a sign that says “hiring.”

Many of them have specified recruitment channels, with one of the most important being the utilization of a set of “core” business schools.

In reality, many students chose a top B-school because they want to get an interview with a company like McKinsey.

When you arrive at such a school, there will be a full calendar of events to help you get to know the firm, meet the numerous alumni currently on campus, and begin practicing your interviews.

The other big stumbling block is the interview itself—companies use a specific type of interview called a case interview.

From the time they enroll in business school until their January internship interviews, students will typically devote a significant amount of time to case practice.

It’s not unusual for a candidate to do over 100 practice interviews, in addition to giving just as many to friends and classmates.

How Can You Find a Job as a Management Consultant?

The majority of consultants are graduate students with a good academic background. Every year, top companies hire hundreds of the smartest and brightest graduates for their graduate programs.

Graduates will be known as “analysts” and will assist senior consultants. Many schemes use a rotation structure, which allows you to gain exposure to a variety of consulting practices and sectors.

MBA graduates will be able to enroll at a better level than those who have worked in another profession. This type of entry-level position is known as “experience hire.”

Although having an MBA or a master’s degree in management would increase your chances of being employed as a consultant, it is still a very competitive work market.

Consultancy firms are recognized to be among the most active recruiters at universities, and they are an excellent place to start your consulting career.

Many large corporations provide summer internships and “taster” postings to assist you to get your foot in the door.

Networking is an important aspect of landing a job as a management consultant, as it is in most competitive careers. This is especially true in consulting, where networking is a necessary component of the job.

Most large consulting firms will host a number of networking events for prospective students. Office hours and company presentations, as well as general networking events, are examples.

Final Thoughts

We’re talking about something more particular when we say Management Consulting. It refers to a cottage industry of businesses that put together a team of smart, analytical brains to help clients solve tough business problems.
This definition is still broad, but it is more specific than the more generic term “consulting.”

If you want to break into management consulting, you need to acquire an appropriate bachelor’s or postgraduate degree, MBA program, valuable work experience, or networking. These are all checkpoints on the road to success in management consulting.

Meanwhile, the advice given above will undoubtedly assist you in getting a head start!

Reference

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