This is the full report on which our Management Consulting career profile is based.

What is this career path?

Management consultants provide advice to organisations to help improve performance. Consultants divide into two broad types: strategy and operations. Strategy consultants advise management teams on top-level decisions like prioritizing new markets to enter, developing price strategy, mergers and acquisitions, how much to invest in research and development, how to structure the organisation and how to deal with competitive threats. Operations consulting is more about how to implement strategy, for instance; how to improve the efficiency of the recruitment process, or implement a new sales strategy. Consultants may also specialise in highly technical areas. The industry is divided into the ‘Big 3’ strategy consulting firms (McKinsey, Bain, BCG), the ‘Big 4′ professional services firms (PwC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, KPMG) who primarily do operations consulting (as well as auditing and accounting), and a large number of small ’boutique’ companies, who often specialise in a particular type of situation or subject matter.

The entry level title for undergraduates varies from firm to firm, but “analyst” is a common title. People in these positions often work for 2-3 years1 and then move on or go get MBAs (sometimes funded by the company they work for).

“Associate” is a common title for new MBAs, or others entering with comparable qualifications. This can be a long-term position, but many people entering at this level move on after 2-3 years.2

What is the work like day-to-day?

We recommend viewing an answer to this question on Quora. The WetFeet 2011 guide we relied on for this survey also had a helpful answer to this question, but we can’t publish it here.

Potential for immediate impact

Direct impact potential

Consultants affect the organizations they work with by:

  1. Sharing best practices within and across industries
  2. Bringing in smart outside perspectives to offer strategic improvements
  3. Helping to settle strategic disagreements within organizations

On the positive side, each of these changes can increase organizational efficiency. Sometimes, consultants increase efficiency through downsizing. This is controversial due to negative effects on employees, though some would argue that it usually has good long-run consequences.

It is sometimes argued that consultants are brought in to “rubber stamp” or otherwise lend prestige to a strategic decision supported by one part of the company but opposed by another. This kind of activity would likely have more limited impact since it would probably be less connected with strategic improvements and involve complex power dynamics.

We have considerable uncertainty about both (i) how much consultants increase the efficiency of the organizations they work with, and (ii) how valuable such increases in efficiency are. Our uncertainty about the importance of increases in efficiency improvements are related to uncertainty about how much these efficiency improvements help the global poor and how substantial their long-term consequences are. For further discussion of (ii), see GiveWell’s discussion of “flow-through effects”. The remainder of this section will focus on how much consulting increases organizational efficiency.

In his book on the history of McKinsey, Duff McDonald concluded that it is hard to identify specific pieces of advice McKinsey gave that had transformative impacts on organizations though he also concluded that “through its objectivist, skeptical, fact-based, integrative, and analytical approach to solving its clients’ problems, McKinsey has certainly made the world a more efficient, rational, and objective place than it might otherwise have been.”3 A potential limitation of this argument is that McKinsey is highly secretive about its engagements, so we might not expect to hear about substantial achievements. However, McKinsey has pointed to some engagements—such as an engagement with General Electric—as examples of major successes.4 Our intuition is that McDuff’s analysis would be about as applicable (or inapplicable) to McKinsey as it is to other top strategy consulting firms.

One consultant we interviewed argued that there can be potential for major impact because strategy consulting firms are often changing the behavior of very large companies or other institutions. Someone in his firm helped change healthcare programs in a way that he believes decreased healthcare costs while improving health care. Strategy consulting firms sometimes advise poor country governments on things like natural resource strategy, which could have important impacts. Lots of the work could have positive impacts on GDP. Moreover, despite high competition, a lot of this work may be less replaceable than it seems at first. Employees have a lot of say in project selection, and the work that gets done is fairly responsive to what employees think is important.

Our intuition is that 80,000 Hours’ other top career recommendations have more substantial effects on efficiency and productivity. This intuition is partly based on conventional wisdom, and partly based on comparing the number of people working in notable consulting companies, the number of people working in other industries/notable organizations, the higher plausibility of market failures in other areas, and our rough impressions of their outputs. For example, as of December 2013, McKinsey had roughly 17,000 employees,5 and, based on their “up or out policy”, we’d guess that they hire about 2,000 new employees per year. In contrast, there are about 10,000 software engineers at Google, Y Combinator had funded 716 companies as of July 2014 (suggesting about 1400-2000 founders),6 and about 34,000 science PhDs are granted per year in OECD countries (as of 2008).7 Our intuition is that the value created per Google software engineer, Y Combinator-backed founder, or science PhD is significantly greater than the value created per McKinsey employee per year. However, this judgment is speculative and open to revision.

Earnings potential

Consulting is among the highest-paid paths (either if you pursue partner positions, or exit into executive track positions in industry). Because you can enter without additional training, earnings tend to be higher than law at comparable stages. On the other hand, several sources indicated that consultants generally make less than investment bankers in comparable positions.8

The clearest presentation of earnings in consulting that we have seen is available here:

Level (Experience)Compensation
Research Associate
(No Bachelors)
$40,000-80,000
First Year Analyst
(Bachelor’s degree)
$55,000-80,000
(plus bonus of $5,000-$10,000)
Second Year Analyst:
(Bachelor’s degree)
$60,000-120,000
(plus bonus of $10,000-20,000)
Management Consultant
(MBA)
$80,000 – 170,000
Senior Consultant
(MBA + 2-5 years)
$280,000
Junior Partner
(MBA/Ph.D + 5 years or more)
$450,000
Senior Partner
(MBA/Ph.D + 5-20 years)
$600,000
(bonus: up to $3,000,000)

These figures are broadly consistent with what we have heard from other sources and private interviews, though we have been told that advanced degrees are not required for senior positions at some firms. Some salary estimates broadly consistent with this are as follows:

SourceClaim
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, *Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition,* Management Analysts. “The median annual wage for management analysts was $78,600 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $44,370, and the top 10 percent earned more than $142,580.”
University of Oxford Careers Service, “Management Consultancy.” “New entrants can earn £25,000-£40,000 rising to over £50,000 within a couple of years. The sector is attractive because the most senior partners in firms can achieve seven figure salaries.”
Harvard Business School, “Employment Statistics.” 25th percentile, median, and 75th percentile base salaries for students in the HBS 2013 graduating class taking jobs in consulting were $125,750, $135,000, and $135,000, respectively, with a median signing bonus of $25,000.

Advocacy potential

As discussed below, consulting is good for networking, and therefore seems like it will provide relatively strong opportunities to influence people with powerful or otherwise influential people.

Potential for long-run impact

Career capital

Consulting is often pursued in order to build career capital while keeping options open, and overall, we think it’s a strong option if that’s your aim.

The information below is generally applicable to analysts and associates working at top strategy consulting firms such as McKinsey, Bain, or BCG. It is probably less applicable to specialist consultancies or the professional services firms, such as Accenture.

Opportunities following work as a consultant

Consulting experience is often attractive to large, successful companies.9 You can generally advance more quickly in industry by starting in consulting then entering industry several years later. Consulting is sometimes recommended for people who want to transfer from one industry to another.10

By one plausible estimate, McKinsey alumni have a roughly 1 in 690 chance of eventually becoming a CEO of one of the 1,187 publicly-traded companies with at least $2 billion in market capitalization,11 higher than any other company in the survey.

We’ve also found it recommended as a good first step for entering many other sectors, such as policy and social enterprise.

A substantial fraction of people leave the industry for after 2-3 years.12 Both of these tendencies are partly driven by “up or out” policies that are common—but not universal—at top firms, where the bottom fifth or so of employees are jettisoned or “counseled out” of the firm every couple of years. Consultants we interviewed was unaware of publicly available breakdown for where people go next, but it’s clear that they successfully pursue a wide range of paths.

One consultant within a top tier firm reported that some common paths following a 2-3 year stint as an analyst at a top strategy firm are as follows (in no particular order):

  1. Attend an MBA program, paid for by the company on the condition that the employee work at the company for at least 18 months following graduation. People would rarely do MBAs without the company paying for it. Anecdotally, roughly 25-50% do this.

  2. Become an associate at the same company without doing an MBA. This would happen after 18 months to 3 years, depending on how well the person was doing. Roughly 10-20% do this.)

  3. Occupy a “chief of staff” position for a senior/influential public official or a CEO of a large company. This work is often somewhat administrative, but higher status and gives you a helpful mentor.

  4. Work on a “strategy team” for some other company. For example, a colleague recently got a job of this kind at Google.

  5. Work on the front lines in some organization that you served as a consultant. It’s valuable to take the skills/knowledge back into consulting later.

  6. Policy/civil service.

  7. Entrepreneurship. Most of the people he knows who did this got funding from angel investors or VCs.

  8. Venture capital/private equity.

The most common destinations vary by firm.

Associates—consultants on the MBA track—also often work for 2-3 years before moving on. The same consultant identified some common next steps at that stage as follows (in no particular order):

  1. Being promoted to a project manager within the company.

  2. Working at a large company. It’s fairly common for people promoted to a project manager position to move on to a VP level at a large company (e.g. Fortune 500 or top 1000).

  3. Policy/civil service (though this is more common for analysts).

  4. Venture capital/private equity.

Of particular interest to people interested in social impact, some people work at the Gates Foundation or the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, or Malaria. There’s an interview about one such case here. The Global Fund was started by people at McKinsey. A consultant reviewing this document suggested that, in her experience, consultants leaving at the associate level have similar options to consultants leaving after a 2-3 years of work as analysts, though the rate of the options varies and the associates are likely to be qualified for more senior positions.

Opportunities for advancement within consulting

A consultant we interviewed gave the following rough and tentative picture for people who want to climb the ladder within consulting. About 50% of people make each promotion grade. There are three promotion grades leading to partner from associate: project manager, junior partner, and partner. So maybe one eighth of associates who want to make it to partner eventually make it. The climb would usually take several years, but this seems to be more driven by skill development than “put in your time” considerations. Making it this far tends to require extreme commitment to one’s career. Of associates hired in general (who aren’t necessarily aiming to advance as high as possible), much fewer than 1/8 would ever make it to partner. In the very long run, people who stay in the corporate world make it reasonably high up. Unlike working at start-ups, most people who put in time at top consulting firms and then go the corporate world make it to senior director positions or higher.

This roughly fits with McDonald’s book on McKinsey, which said that, at least during the 1990s, only 1 in 6 associates stayed on for more than 5 years,13 only 1 in 5 associates made principal, and only half of them became directors.14

Networking

According to WetFeet, “More often than not, consultants work in teams that report directly to the client’s CEO or other top management.”15 This may be an effective way to learn about how top management thinks.16 However, a consultant we interviewed said it was unusual to report to the CEO and get to see how he/she thinks.. Usually the relationship with the consulting company is handled by the director of client services (DCS). Typically, the CEO or the DCS focus primarily on the general direction of the project, leaving details to more junior people. More senior consultants tend to deal with more senior staff at client organizations.

Colleagues are generally high-achieving and drawn from top business schools and undergraduate programs, and as we’ve just seen, pursue a diverse range of paths afterwards.17 An interviewee mentioned that the quality of the colleagues is generally seen as a major benefit of the job. Other alumni of the firm and contacts from individual projects give consultants a large number of valuable business contacts.18

Skill development

Consulting firms take the training of the staff seriously – most consultants receive regular feedback, opportunities for mentorship and opportunities to seek advice from senior consultants.

Although a significant portion of your time will be spent on preparing powerpoint presentations, email, and “grunt” tasks, such as creating databases, junior consultants gain responsibility relatively quickly, and work on solving challenging business problems. You’ll also have to get good at “general professionalism” and “getting stuff done” – dealing with clients, running meetings, and producing lots of work to tight deadlines.

All the junior consultants we’ve spoken to say they learned a lot from the experience.

Exploration value

Consultants usually work on a series of one to two month projects across a variety of sectors, companies, and divisions within companies (including government and non-profit organizations),19 making it one of the most attractive options if you want to quickly learn about many different types of work.

Personal fit

As with many other careers, the best way to test for personal fit is to spend some time in the job. College students with a strong interest in consulting should apply for a summer internship the year before they complete their studies. Internships and prior experience, however, not requirements for applying.

Entry requirements

The standard route to entry for an analyst position is an undergraduate degree from an elite university, and an MBA from an elite university for an associate position. However, many consulting firms also hire MDs, PhDs, and JDs at the associate level.20

Consulting jobs at top firms are highly competitive, with acceptance rates around 1-3%.21

We can get a rough sense of how hard it is to get these jobs by looking at what fraction of students from various graduating classes actually get them. According to a survey of Harvard’s undergraduate class of 2014, about 15% of students took jobs in consulting.22 22% of the graduating class of Harvard Business School (their MBA program) took up jobs in consulting.23 I compared this with employment statistics at a less elite college, the University of Minnesota, whose business school is ranked #33 in the US by the US News and World Report, and whose undergraduate program is ranked #69 (among “national universities”). According to the Carlson School of Management (the University of Minnesota Business School), 21% of graduates of their MBA program took jobs in consulting24 and 11% of the graduates from the business program for undergraduates took jobs in consulting.25 From this information, it’s hard to infer what fraction of people who want these jobs can get them because we don’t know what fraction of students wanted jobs like these. But the information does suggest that a significant fraction of graduates from programs like these can get consulting jobs if they want them. One shortcoming of the data, however, is that we don’t know what types of consulting jobs these people are getting (top strategy firms, operations consulting, IT consulting, etc.).

A consultant we spoke with said there are more highly qualified people than there are jobs at top strategy consulting firms, and it would be hard to be more than 50% confident that you could get one of these jobs regardless of how qualified you were. The standard profile of a person getting one of these jobs at a top firm is:

  1. Ivy League (or equivalent) education for the US, Oxford, Cambridge, or LSE for the UK.

  2. Top 25% of the class in terms of grades.

  3. Did something extracurricular that shows initiative. Running your college’s Engineers without Borders chapters or starting a Giving What We Can chapter are examples of the kinds of things they like. This is often more important than your grades, though many firms have minimal requirements for academic achievement.

And these traits reflect those that recruiters most commonly look for.

“Case studies” play an important role in hiring. These are basically conversations about market sizing, an intellectual topic, or an imaginary project with limited time/info. They test for whether you can think/communicate quickly and clearly under pressure.

What does it take to progress?

We didn’t get a great sense of the answer to this question. We think it suits someone with a well-rounded profile of good analytical skills, social skills, teamwork, and the ability to work hard. Compared to the other careers in the list, the verbal and social skills seem particularly important since you need to interact with and persuade clients from the start.

A consultant we interviewed suggested that it is very hard to tell who is going to be great at the job and highly committed to it, and recommended not putting much weight on this consideration when deciding whether to enter consulting.

Job satisfaction

The work is probably more interesting than many other corporate jobs, including the early years of finance, because it involves more problem solving and variety. Consultants often like the challenge and variety of their work, as well as the people they work with.26

Competitive people would probably have an easier time with “up or out” policies at top consulting firms, where as much as a quarter of people are laid off or “counselled out” of top firms.

Common complaints from consultants include:

  • Long hours: 60-hour work weeks are standard
  • Extensive travel: consultants generally work where their client is based, and this often requires being out of town a substantial fraction of the time (though this does not apply to all consulting jobs)
  • Lack of opportunities to implement strategies developed27
  • Spending too much time making PowerPoint presentations and writing emails28

A consultant we interviewed echoed many of these points. Overall, of people we’ve coached, around one in four of the people who entered consulting found it stressful and unenjoyable, one in four enjoyed it, and the remainder thought it was a positive experience with significant challenges.

Questions for further investigation

  1. Are statistics available on what consultants typically do when they move on?

  2. How much value has the consulting industry as a whole created?

  3. How is consulting work outside of McKinsey, BCG, and Bain similar to or different from the picture painted here?

  4. Is it possible to specialize in an area of consulting that might have unusually high impact, such as advising major foundations, policymakers, or especially promising industries?

  5. Are there some simple ways to tell if getting a job at a top consulting firm is not a realistic possibility for someone? If so, what are they?

Our process

The main inputs to our analysis were an interview with an analyst at a top strategy consulting firm, the WetFeet Guide to Management Consulting, and The Firm by Duff McDonald. We also considered the following sources.

Take action

Further reading

  • Find out about consulting jobs and firms by using this list of firms.
  • The WetFeet guide to Management Consulting was the best source of general information about consulting that we found. It is about 100 pages long, costs $20, and has a lot of detail that isn’t included in this review.
  • The Vault Guide to Consulting is a good guide on how to get in. The case interview is a particularly significant part of the selection process, and you can find out more about that here and on the consultancy company websites.
  • CareerHoot.com has interviews with several people who spent some time working in consulting.
  • The Wall Street Oasis forum on consulting has useful information.
  • The Firm by Duff McDonald is an in-depth history of McKinsey. We found it valuable as a source for getting a rough sense of the culture of the industry.

Next steps

If interested in consulting as an undergraduate, then apply for internships. If you’ve got an MBA or comparable experience, then apply for associate positions.

Sources

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Management Analysts, URL:http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm. Accessed: 2014-10-30. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6TiDe6FhS)

CareerHoot. “Why this cardiologist left medicine for the business world, and how one of his patients who died defined what matters most to him.” URL:http://careerhoot.com/tarun-mahajan-boston-consulting-group/. Accessed: 2014-10-30. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6TiTB9lM9)

Carlson School of Management. “2013 Employment Report.” URL:http://www.carlsonschool.umn.edu/publications/employmentreport/. Accessed: 2014-07-31. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6RTYSEY6D)

Cyranoski, D., Gilbert, N., Ledford, H., Nayar, A., & Yahia, M. 2011. “Education: the PhD factory.” Nature 472:276-279. URL:http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110420/full/472276a.html. Accessed: 2014-10-30. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6TiQozYDN)

Forbes. America’s Largest Private Companies. “McKinsey & Company.”

Harvard Business School. “Employment Statistics.” URL:http://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/mba/data-and-statistics/employment-statistics.html. Accessed: 2014-07-31. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6RTWbm21R)

Harvard Crimson, The. “Class of 2014 by the numbers.” Accessed: 2014-07-31. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6RTWsxTEe)

Kwak, James. “Management Consulting for Humanities Ph.D.s.”

Management Consulted. “The truth behind management consulting salaries: from analyst thru partner.” URL:http://managementconsulted.com/summer-internship/the-truth-behind-consulting-salaries-from-analyst-thru-partner/. Accessed: 2014-07-31. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6RTZ0GjRr)

McDonald, Duff. 2013. The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business. Simon and Schuster.

University of Oxford Careers Service. “Management Consultancy.” URL:http://www.careers.ox.ac.uk/options-and-occupations/sectors-and-occupations/management-consultancy/. Accessed: 2014-10-30. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6TiDjqoGg)

USA Today. 2008. “Some firms’ fertile soil grows crop of future CEOs.” URL:http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2008-01-08-ceo-companies_N.htm. Accessed: 2014-07-31. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6RTvPHezb)

US News and World Report. “Best Business Schools.” URL:http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/mba-rankings/. Accessed: 2014-07-31. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6RTYRTcf9)

US News and World Report. “National University Rankings.” URL:http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/. Accessed: 2014-07-31. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6RTgmWotw)

Y Combinator Posthaven. 2014. “YC Portfolio Stats.” URL:http://blog.ycombinator.com/yc-portfolio-stats/. Accessed: 2014-10-30. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6TiQH4Bc0)

WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting.

Notes and references

  1. ““Analyst/Research Associate/Staff Consultant"This is the position at the bottom of the professional pyramid. The vast bulk of analysts are young, talented, hungry college graduates. Many firms structure this position to last for two to three years, after which the analyst is expected to move on—perhaps to graduate school or another employer." WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting, p. 50.
  2. “Associate/Consultant/Senior Consultant"This is the typical port of entry for newly minted MBAs and increasingly for other graduate students. Senior consultants often perform research and analysis, formulate recommendations, and present findings to the client. Although this is usually a tenure-track [long-term] position, a fair number of consultants will leave the business after two or three years to pursue entrepreneurial or industry positions." WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting, p. 50.
  3. McDonald 2013, pp. 333-334.
  4. "Former McKinsey consultant Mike Allen argued that McKinsey’s work at General Electric laid the groundwork for Jack Welch’s acclaimed career. "'Without McKinsey, he would not have had an organization that worked,' said Allen. 'He would have no strategic planning or organizational structure to work with. We helped put him on the map. It was the high point of our interaction with GE, from a creative standpoint.'"" McDonald 2013, pp. 114-115.
  5. Forbes.
  6. "Number of companies funded by YC so far: 716." Y Combinator Posthaven.
  7. "The number of science doctorates earned each year grew by nearly 40% between 1998 and 2008, to some 34,000, in countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)." From "Education: The PhD Factory" in Nature News.
  8. "At almost every level, your salary will be 30-50% lower than a comparable position in investment banking. This is variable by year and median salaries in non-banking departments (such as research, asset management, sales & trading) are lower than in banking. But as mentioned in the consulting versus banking post, consulting is not a profession to make big bucks." Management Consulted. "The truth behind management consulting salaries: from analyst thru partner."
  9. "Many people enter consulting with the idea that they’ll do it for a few years and then move on to something else. 'It’s hands-down the best job for someone [planning to start] a business or work at a Fortune 500 company,' says an insider. 'You can get behind the thought processes of key executives.' Although it may not be wise to highlight this motivation during your interview, a consulting firm is an excellent training ground regardless of the type of work you ultimately wish to pursue, and many firms work hard to stay in touch with their alumni networks. Consulting gives people a chance to learn about different organizations and industries and provides a long list of contacts with whom they can network when they decide they’re ready to move on." WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting, p. 66.This point was echoed in an interview.
  10. "Best reasons for going into consulting […] Want to make a transition from one industry to another." WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting, p. 77.
  11. "One in every five CEOs running the 1,187 publicly traded corporations with a market value of at least $2 billion have at one time held a job at one of just 20 companies.""GE has a large workforce of 300,000, which means that its employees have had a 1-in-11,540 shot of becoming CEO of a $2 billion company. Odds at IBM, with 366,500 employees, have been 1-in-20,360. But McKinsey, with a workforce of 11,000 and 16 sitting CEO alumni, has offered a 1-in-690 shot, well ahead of second-place Deloitte & Touche, at 1-in-2,150."See table for more detail. USA Today, "Some firms' fertile soil grows crop of future CEOs."
  12. "By one insider’s estimate, only one in ten people who start with a consulting firm is really a consultant at heart. As almost anyone who graduated from business school three years ago will tell you, very few classmates remain consultants for long. People leave for a variety of reasons, but most do leave. Therefore, if you’re thinking that you’d like to set down roots and have something substantive to show for your work, you’ll be better off in another type of organization." WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting, p. 67
  13. McDonald 2013, ch. 3.
  14. McDonald 2013, ch. 7.
  15. WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting, p. 48.
  16. "'It’s hands-down the best job for someone [planning to start] a business or work at a Fortune 500 company,' says an insider. 'You can get behind the thought processes of key executives.'" WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting, p. 66.
  17. "The key resource of consulting firms—and some would say the only resource—is their people. All of the top tier firms fill their offices by skimming the cream of the undergraduate and business school elite. Working at a consulting firm feels very much like being on a team with the best people from school: People are generally bright, interesting, hardworking, and motivated. Many insiders also say they enjoy socializing with their colleagues. A common refrain is, 'These are people I’d be hanging out with anyway, even if we didn't work together.'" WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting, p. 65.
  18. "Although it may not be wise to highlight this motivation during your interview, a consulting firm is an excellent training ground regardless of the type of work you ultimately wish to pursue, and many firms work hard to stay in touch with their alumni networks. Consulting gives people a chance to learn about different organizations and industries and provides a long list of contacts with whom they can network when they decide they’re ready to move on." WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting, p. 66.
  19. "One of the thrills for many consultants is the constant learning that comes with the consulting workload. Whether you’re learning about a new company or industry, talking to people in various divisions of a client organization, or brainstorming ways to deal with challenging technical problems, consulting offers a steady diet of new cases and settings. Many consultants believe they wouldn't face such a wide variety of challenges in another profession." WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting, p. 65.
  20. "McKinsey recruits people with Ph.D.s (and certain other advanced degrees) as well because the Ph.D. is an indicator of intelligence and (to some extent) ambition, but it is considerably harder to get a consulting job as a Ph.D. from a top school than as an MBA from a top school because of the other things that an MBA signals." Kwak, James. "Management Consulting for Humanities Ph.D.s."
  21. "Even before the recession, the top firms were receiving 10,000 resumes for entry-level consultant openings but hiring just 100 to 250 consultants annually." WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting, p. 8. [fn 22] The Harvard Crimson. "Class of 2014 by the numbers."
  22. Harvard Business School. "Employment Statistics."
  23. Carlson School of Management. "2013 Employment Report."
  24. Carlson School of Management. "2013 Employment Report."
  25. "What do you really like about your job?I like the challenge of it. It’s fun to be doing different things all the time. You’re working with high-level people who are really sharp. It can be stressful, but it can be a lot of fun. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with the people I work with. This is sometimes a stressful job, so it’s important you work with good people, or it can be pretty hard." WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting. p. 54
  26. "Consulting insiders also have a litany of complaints: 60-hour workweeks are standard (with crunch times often calling for more), extended travel is the rule, and personal plans often must be put on hold. Clients, not you, drive the deadlines, and that can severely cut into your social life. In addition, at some point most consultants long for the opportunity to actually implement their great ideas." WetFeet. 2011. Careers in Management Consulting. p. 7.
  27. "It’s consulting, so a lot of time is also going to be spent on PowerPoint. There’s a lot of that. And a lot of time is spent on writing e-mails as well. That’s certainly the less glamorous aspect of being a consultant." CareerHoot interview with Tarun Mahajan.