Do consultants have to travel?

Some consultants may never have to leave home, while others may spend much more time on the road. Even within the same company, different consultants may play very different roles when it comes to travel. Travel is a defining feature of management consulting, regardless of your company. From Bain to Accenture, from McKinsey to Alvarez & Marsal.

If you're a consultant, you'll be familiar with acronyms like LGA, LAX, and ORD. You can expect to spend enough time at hotels for staff to recognize and greet you by name. If you are a consultant, you would expect to travel in most companies, but the level of travel will vary depending on the company and the project. Consulting has traditionally been an itinerant profession.

The main responsibility of the job is to become a “trusted advisor” for the customer. That requires direct engagement with the customer and their team. And that means that the consultant must be wherever the client is. Some boutiques don't travel much.

One in which I did an internship and the other where I interviewed during the trip only when necessary, that is, when the client required it or when it was necessary for the project. Consultants from these companies rarely travel 4 to 5 days a week, and the norm is 1 to 2 trips a month. Somehow, BCG gets a high score everywhere, but its consultants travel much more on average than Bain. I don't have any experience, I'm just thinking about the future, since getting into major consulting firms requires a lot of time and work.

Many consultants will accumulate important points, especially the longer you have been a consultant and the longer you are, and they will have “status” with all major airlines and hotel chains. Companies based in Paris (Texas) also need consultants, but most likely they cannot afford the services of the big three firms. My colleague at MC has maintained the Delta Platinum Medallion and the Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite more than 10 years after leaving Bain. If you want to continue making travel a priority, having the prestige you have earned in consulting is an excellent launching pad from which to continue doing so in style.

Government consulting, especially if you can obtain a professional certificate, is both lucrative and ensures job security for the rest of your career. It's a customer-oriented function, and a lot of times, things don't happen unless the consultants are there pushing the ball uphill. Because you have to be available to the customer, flying comes naturally in the consulting industry. Based on your background, your interests, your stated preferences (and your ability to establish relationships with company leaders), you can influence staffing decisions from the first day of your job at a management consulting firm.

This is going to be a long post because there are many types of consultancies with specific travel and work requirements. Strategic consulting seems like a very interesting job, but I haven't been too dedicated to consulting because I don't really want to travel too much.

Dylan Nemecek
Dylan Nemecek

Typical social media ninja. Professional pop culture nerd. Unapologetic bacon advocate. Proud pop culture guru. Incurable social media nerd.

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