Management Consulting Prep

Management Consulting 101 Best Education Field for Consulting

A few days ago I got a very interesting question from a dear audience named Pritanshu about which education field would best prepare us for a consulting career. This may be something many others would also wonder about so I’ve decided to blog about it.

Here is the original question:

I am a great fan of your consulting prep initiative! I recently joined your Facebook page and got to know, what exactly your team are into. Really great and very very helpful website. Though I have one doubt, viz. I am planning for MBA, in order to make my career in Management Consulting exclusively, which specialization do I choose while pursuing MBA (Marketing, Finance,Operations,HR) which would help me better in Management Consulting run…. Regards!

For the greater benefit of the larger audience, I would like to generalize the question a bit. What field of study in school (not just specializations within the Business field) would be best to: 

(1) Prepare you to get into management consulting and 

(2) Survive in management consulting.

 

An important insight is that it is not the knowledge that matters, but it is the skills that do. Of course, a bit of business knowledge will be helpful for you at the beginning (both in the preparation and survival process), but you will find out that only very basic business knowledge is required. What is heavily tested during the recruiting process is your consulting skills, not your business knowledge. Also, the key determining factor for your success within consulting firms is also your consulting skills, not your knowledge from school (because you will always need to pick up new knowledge every day, knowledge from school is nowhere near enough).

 

Remember: It is not the KNOWLEDGE that matters, SKILLS do!

 

 

So to address the question, I have to say there is no single best field or emphasis of study for everyone in management consulting preparation and survival. The best field or emphasis of study for each of you is one that will help you fill the missing piece to your consulting skill portfolio.

 

Each of us has our own “best-field-for-consulting”, depending on our current skills portfolio!

 

 

Now it is natural to ask what some of the key consulting skills are? In the limited scope of this post, here is a quick version, structured around the 2 key processes.

1. Consulting Preparation

Structuring

 

Logical reasoning

 

 

Communication

 

2. Surviving in Consulting

All of the above

 

Work/Time Management

 

Leadership/ Influencing

 

Quick Learning

(there is also things to learn every day)

 

So take a look at these above skills, see where you need improvement, and pick the option that would best help up fill the missing piece!

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