Interested in Management Consulting? Read This.
Getting into management consulting can be a lot easier if you have an MBA, experts say.
Ilana Kowarski, a reporter for US News, recently spoke to consulting experts on how an MBA can be a major advantage when competing for management consulting jobs.
“MBA programs are generally designed to help refine certain hard and soft skills that professionals might not otherwise have the opportunity to exercise,” Karrie C. Prehm, founder and CEO of Global Regulation Advisers Corp., tells US News. “It is those skills in analysis, collaboration, application, problem-solving, partnering, and communication that really catapult a consulting career, and also pave a path for other leadership or entrepreneurial opportunities down the road.”
Management consultants, according to Kowarski, “discover the root causes of whatever issues a client faces and use that information to come up with a fix. The consultant must then present his or her proposal to the clients and tell them how to solve their leadership quandary.”
Typically, according to the balance careers, management consultants require at least a bachelor’s degree.
“Management consultants often major in business administration, economics, finance, psychology, management, marketing, accounting, or computer and information science.”
HOW AN MBA CAN HELP
Experts say that while college grads can enter management consulting post-undergrad, most will need to go back to b-school and pursue an MBA in order to move up the ladder.
“I believe consulting is the perennial top choice for MBAs because it allows you to delay the question of what you want to be when you grow up while still giving you really valuable skills to apply when you figure that out,” Angela Guido, founder of MBA Career Coaches, tells Poets & Quants.
And if your goal is to work at a top consulting firm, it’s critical that you attend a prestigious MBA program.
“Hiring managers typically are focused on the top national MBA schools partially because of the strengths of the programs but also because these schools only accept top candidates from a GPA, GMAT, and past work experience perspective,” David Magnani, president of consulting services with M&A Executive Search, a Minnesota-based global recruiting and consulting firm, tells US News. “So if you are interested in an initial consulting career with a major management consulting firm you should focus on getting an MBA from one of the top-name schools.”
However, Magnani says, it is possible to switch into consulting if you can prove you have advanced knowledge in another industry.
“Many of the major management consultancies have moved away from strictly hiring generalists with MBAs and have put more emphasis on hiring specialists from an industry or functional perspective,” he tells US News. “This has been driven by their clients who want deep knowledge and expertise in areas where they are lacking in their organization.”