Most consultants enter the field by working for an established consulting firm. This way they can gain experience and develop a portfolio and a list of references before venturing out on their own as an independent consultant or moving to a different firm in a higher position. Graduates with BA or BS degrees are often employed in 2-3 year entry-level positions – titles like Research Analyst or Junior Consultant are common for these types of positions, depending on industry. Afterward, many go on to business school, other graduate/professional schools, or positions with client companies. As their careers progress consultants usually specialize in a certain industry or type of consulting.
The daily activities of an analyst might include:
- interviewing clients for case information
- sharing information on client cases with other team members
- researching client-related industries
- locating data needed for cases through library and internet resources
- creating financial models in excel
- performing competitor benchmarking analyses and identifying savings opportunities or possible product/service enhancements
- conducting activity-based analyses of key business processes: gathering and organizing information on problems and procedures, analyzing data, developing solutions or alternative methods of proceeding
- writing and presenting final recommendations to management
- creating client presentations
Most consultants travel frequently, as they go and work at the clients' work sites, which may be in another city, state, or country. Consultants often spend several weeks or months away from home in order to complete their projects. Working long hours to meet tight deadlines is typical.
Consulting is a field with a wide variety of exit-options including graduate/business school, internal consulting, jobs in finance, non-profits or the public sector, and entrepreneurial ventures.
Is consulting right for you? careers-in-business.com/consulting/mcyou.htm