Management consultants provide strategic advice to corporate, government and non-profit clients on a range of issues to help them make business decisions that will improve their business performance. The issues upon which consultants advise range anywhere from marketplace performance to internal operations.
Management consulting firms may focus on the high-level strategic issues facing a client or related issues around information technology, operations and other functional areas that support strategy.
MBA students and graduates who pursue management consulting careers will interact with C-level personnel at client firms, advising them on important strategic issues. Management consultants receive a high base pay for their work, which is competitive relative to other opportunities available to MBA graduates. Consultants gain exposure to a variety of cases, and the strong network they join at brand-name consulting firms can be useful throughout their careers. There are also numerous attractive opportunities available after a stint at a management consulting firm. For example, a number of consultants will join large corporations in a leadership position, join tech firms or start their own entrepreneurial ventures. The work environment is a meritocracy.
What Is Unattractive About Management Consulting
Management consulting frequently entails somewhat long hours, with 55- to 60-hour work weeks quite typical. The work itself is generally concentrated during the week. The first four days of the week are often spent at client sites, which means that many consultants travel extensively—and often to client sites located in out-of-the-way places. Fridays are usually reserved for in-office time. Client engagements only last a few months, which means the consultants don’t always see the full implementation of the client’s project.