If you're interested in consulting as a career or have been actively pursuing it, this guide is your one-stop shop for everything consulting.
The best way I've heard consulting described succinctly is a doctor for a company, and that's basically what you do. Consultants are just people who provide expert advice professionally which is really more of a skill than an actual profession. This can be in any field including politics, climate, media, marketing, business, tech, etc. etc. but the biggest type of consulting is business consulting so that's what we'll focus on here.
🎬Here's a good intro video about consulting:
There are three main types of business consulting: strategy, management and tech.
🌐Strategy consulting is focused on increasing a company's revenue which includes things like entering into a new marketing and mergers and acquistions.
🏬Management consulting handles the operations of a business and may restructure an organization, manage supply chains, look at new distribution channels, and much more.
🖥️IT Consulting is exactly what it sounds like, helping companies out with their technology. This could include updating internal company programs, creating a new app, creating a new database or more.
There's LOTS of consulting firms to choose from, some really large with over 25000+ employees and other boutique consulting firms with maybe 100 employees. Technically, re:Bloom is a consulting firm too and there's lots of really small firms and business that you can work at. This article will go over the 3 types of consulting firms you're probably looking at: MBB, Boutique and other major firms.
Here's an EXHAUSTIVE list of firms and certain programs/internships you can apply to.
MBB stands for McKinsey, Bain and BCG - the three BIG consulting firms. These are typically the firms people think of when they think management consulting and they are the biggest and oldest consulting firms. They're pretty exclusive and can be tough to get into, but we have a few pointers below that can help.
If you're looking to get into MBB, check out this cool study abroad program!
Boutique firms are smaller consulting firms, typically with a specialty in a certain field. re:Bloom would be an example of a non-profit that falls into this category.
Some major boutique firms include Guidehouse, Oliver Wyman, Huron Consulting, FTI Consulting and Kearney
Notable firms - Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton
Big 4 Tax/Audit Firms - KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, EY
The image below shows the typical leadership structure for consulting firms.
**Note: some consulting firms have different names for these positions like calling consultants "associates" or "analysts" or maybe calling managers "principals". It's the same basic structure for different firms through.
You'll typically start out as a consultant who generalizes and can be pulled onto any project. You specialize in a certain field as you go up the ranks, but how quickly you specialize is really dependent on the firm.
Consulting firms are typically structured using verticals and horizontals.
For example, here's the basic structure of PwC's consulting branch:
We'll be writing whole articles on some of these steps, but here's some pointers for now.
Just in case you're curious...
Reach out if you want more information, want to connect with people at these firms, or if you just want to chat 😃