The job functions of an entry-level consultant focus on providing advice to companies, agencies and organizations. In this career, your responsibilities vary depending on the industry and specialty in which you work. It can evaluate a business or company and provide information that can improve operational efficiency or profitability. In some positions, it can serve as a liaison between a customer and other companies, regulators, or external service providers.
As a beginning consultant, your roles are likely to revolve around conducting research and analysis to help develop a strategy as part of a consulting team. Titles for entry-level positions include associate business analyst, consulting executive, or management executive. Before applying for any consulting position, you should be well aware of its structure and future trajectory. The qualifications you need to start working as an entry-level consultant include a degree and skills in analysis, research, strategy development and communications.
At Boston Consulting Group, partners are known as “managing directors” and, if they have held that position for 5 to 10 years, they can be promoted to senior managing directors. Companies are always interested in their fiscal health and are often looking for financial consultants to help them protect, restructure or maximize their bottom line. In terms of responsibilities and time in office, the functions of the three main consulting firms (McKinsey, Bain and BCG) are very similar. In consulting projects, there are only three levels: they roughly correspond to job titles, with slight variations here and there. If you're considering a career in consulting or have just received an offer from McKinsey, BCG, Bain or another major firm and want to know what it's like to be an entry-level consultant, then you've come to the right place.
You can check the websites of consulting firms which often include job offers and submit an online application directly to the company. The shift from a graduate position which focuses on data analysis and execution to the position of project manager is the most difficult thing in consulting. As expected this means that consultants work much longer hours and with much greater intensity than any other typical entry-level job. Companies often hire management consultants with specialized experience to help during a transition or expansion. Below that level titles may indicate the person's particular area of expertise such as a business analyst, marketing consultant or human relations consultant.
You may also be hired as a contract consultant in a company and then offered a permanent position. Some offices also offer a “friend” - a more senior colleague from your office who can help you manage the non-project-related part of being a consultant. Many consulting firms have different names for the same type of function but the biggest difference is simply in the name.