If you're looking for a career path that can generate good income, becoming a business consultant is a great option. Consulting involves working with data and facts, and making decisions that may not always be the right ones. To become a successful consultant, you must be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. If you make an error in judgment, don't beat yourself up and don't try to fix it on your own.
Instead, seek out experienced resources such as your mentor or boss to understand what went wrong and how to fix it. Being a consultant can also lay the groundwork for success in any future career you may pursue. If you have worked with leading organizations around the world to solve complex problems, you will be much more attractive to other companies. There may come a time when you no longer want to be a consultant, due to the exhausting travel, overwhelming stress, and long hours.
However, having a consulting background is still important. Joining a consulting firm is one of the fastest and most effective ways to build a large and valuable network. You will work with multiple clients and stakeholders throughout your different projects, allowing you to establish relationships with various organizations (with generally high-level people) that can be converted into job offers, other consulting hires, or even mentoring. Consulting can be a rewarding career that allows professionals to focus solely on their areas of expertise and have a direct impact on the bottom line. Before becoming a consultant, there are some steps you should take.
Pursuing a career in consulting can be difficult, but for MBA graduates with the right skills, consulting provides an excellent and lucrative career path with many world-renowned firms to work for. If you are considering applying to major consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG, or Bain, then you must ask yourself if you are the type of person who would thrive in consulting. At other consulting firms, sometimes you will enter as an analyst, then become a senior analyst, and then an associate consultant. In the typical consultancy representation or with the “Big Four Firms”, consultants work on a project for three to six months or so. The typical path that people see in consulting is that they work in a large consulting firm for two years and then leave to do something else such as working at a startup or working internally in a large organization on the client side. Education consultants work in the education industry to advise on various topics in early childhood, elementary, secondary and higher education or they can work in many industries to help organizations with their educational objectives.
Consultants often specialize in one area and those who are not independent contractors can work for larger consulting firms that hire their services. At the highest level, consultants are experts in something who help other people whether it's an individual or an organization. Sarah Carroll (pictured), an MBA student at UT Dallas and senior consultant at Ernest & Young had experience in social work and nonprofits before doing her MBA with no real consulting experience. Here's a YouTube video of Mika Kim, a former consultant at one of the Big Four firms talking about why she found her consulting career worthwhile personally. There are also many smaller companies that hire consultants with specialties such as operations, finance, IT, business strategy, social media and sales & marketing. Clients of major consulting firms pay large sums for consultants so they expect highly committed personalities.
These are also large consulting firms that are more focused on management consulting specifically strategy consulting while the “Big Four” are accounting firms that also have consulting services. When considering which type of consulting job to apply for Yolanda suggests going to larger consulting firms like Accenture EY or PwC if you don't know what area to specialize in.