Since the rise of consulting in the ’60's and ’70's, management consulting has been seen by many as one of the most interesting, fulfilling and rewarding industries to work in. The consulting industry is generally associated with a high degree of variety, high-impact positions, a steep learning curve, personal development, international travel, high salaries and more. To a certain extent this is true – the sector continues to be voted the best industry to enter as a graduate and some of the world’s most well-known consulting firms are regarded as some of the most prestigious workplaces of the globe.
Yet there is a downside to working in consulting too, characterised by many as a highly competitive work environment, long working hours, a strain on social life (in particular when working abroad) and the feeling of not really ‘belonging’ to an organisation as consultants typically see their clients more than their own colleagues. For those that aspire a job in consultancy, it is key to gain understanding of the field: what key activities do consultants perform and what does this means for, among others, work-life and career development?
The section ‘Working in consulting’ walks consultants through all steps that relate to joining the industry. The section kicks off with considering why consulting may be a good career choice, and then allows professionals to test if they possess the right skills, qualities and character to become a consultant. For those that pass the test, then two main questions are looked at: which consultancy segment matches my aspirations? And which consulting firm is a good fit for me?
For students, business courses and campus events are an ideal way to get acquainted with the consulting industry and the various players in the landscape. For starters an apprenticeship may be the ideal springboard to starting a career in consulting, while graduates commonly can apply for graduate schemes. The section ‘Working in consultancy’ sheds light on the main areas that form a consultant’s life, while 'Career path' presents the typical route, and the activities that go along with it, to reach the top.