Is management consulting right for me?

How should a retailer fend off a new breed of competitors like Groupon? And how can an airline create a flight plan for growth amid market turbulence? That’s where we come in – to provide strategic counsel and clarity amid uncertainty. And these are just some of the tough issues that management consulting pros get to tackle every day.

To see if management consulting is right for you, I suggest that you contemplate these five questions:

  1. Are you passionate about solving complex problems and comfortable making tough decisions?
  2. Can you spot patterns and trends while “number-crunching” data?
  3. Do you have an analytical eye for almost everything that you do?
  4. Are you constantly thinking about ways to improve your friend’s new smart phone – or almost anything else within your reach?
  5. Are you comfortable being a leader?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you, my friend, may be made for management consulting. And at L.E.K., we look for people who are curious, have analytical firepower and are committed to rolling up their sleeves with their colleagues to come up with creative, practical solutions to complex problems. In some cases, we have literally reshaped entire industries based on our ground-breaking findings.

But other than the broad qualities that I’ve highlighted, you choose your path to success. At L.E.K., we have history majors excelling in our life-sciences practice. We also have consultants applying their analytical-engineering experience to fuel new growth for retail clients, and associates uncovering the hidden pitfalls behind seemingly attractive company acquisitions.

I’ll be exploring the management-consulting industry from all angles in my blog, and will even have some L.E.K. colleagues share their real-world insights with you.

I look forward to answering any questions that you have. So tell me, what do you think makes a good consultant?

Comments

I must congratulate you guys for this. Very well written post that no doubt will prove helpful for beginners in this industry. -Shan Ghoshal - 07538 301 336
Hi Shan -- Thanks for your note. And on behalf of L.E.K., we appreciate any tips that you may have to share for students and recent grads looking to enter the management consulting industry.
Taking advantage of the fact that you have started this blog I would like to ask, what is more important to you when it comes to employing or providing consulting services - formal education (Bachelor's degree, MBA, etc.) without professional experience or successful and proven experience without formal education?
Great question. The simple answer is that both your academic credentials and track record in business are important. Let me explain. Your educational background provides some indication of your skills. But we’re really interested in how you can apply your knowledge to help our clients tackle some pretty daunting issues. That’s where your industry experience can help separate you from the pack. At L.E.K. we focus on about 15 different industry sectors globally, and from time-to -time look for people who have industry expertise. We don’t have a rigid checklist for our candidates, and we’re interested in a combination of a candidate’s attributes that could provide a strong foundation for a career in management consulting. See here to see what we look for: http://www.lek.com/join-lek/how-to-apply. Good luck.
Thank you for your answer to my enquiry. In fact I was expecting such answer and it is completely consistent with my predictions, nevertheless I would like to delve into the subject of cooperation - do you work with so called contractors? Generally speaking Experts/Consultants who performs their services as "temporary workers" with a perspective for long-time but project based partnership? Are you providing (or planning to provide) services to the markets of Near East/Middle East and North Africa - I have checked your website but failed to see explicit confirmation (or negation)? Once again the same question as above but other direction - the markets of EurAsEC and old members of Warsaw Treaty?
Thank you for your note. Regarding our reach, we support both regional and global clients from our 20 worldwide offices. And we evaluate relationships with potential partners on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us directly at lekadvisor@lek.com with additional business-related questions.
Had a question I wanted to ask: Management Consultants usually emphasise their non-traditional backgrounds and raw intellectual capabilities. However, when faced with a more traditional or niche problem that is already structured, e.g. a Fortune 500 company may be faced with a 20% cut to the sales and marketing budget yet it wants to enter two new markets and retain market share in existing markets, would a company not be better off retaining a company with a specific role (in this case an advertising and PR firm)?
Thanks for your question. In the example that you cited, a management consultant would help c-level execs identify which spending cuts to make – when and how. And they could also help to pinpoint the most profitable “sweet spots” in new markets. For example, a food & beverage brand needs to understand unique consumer preferences in a new market, how the distribution channel works, pricing dynamics, etc. to be successful. And management consultants can address those key issues. Using these findings as a guide, departments like marketing can then build effective campaigns to reach the right customers with the right messages to help ring up sales.
I was searching the web and stumbled upon your website. I really enjoyed reading your posts and will be back to interact with your community.
great post, I am interesting in it!
Hi – Thanks so much for your kind note. I look forward to more of your comments!

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