What it’s Like to Work in a Consulting Firm
By: Kristine Schoonmaker
Wondering what it’s like to work in a management consulting firm? There are lots of places to get a perspective – from firm to independent websites. While the best way to find out is to shadow a consultant or intern for a firm you are considering, here is a listing of resources across the web to give you some insight.
- Accenture Career Blogs features video and blogs from Interns, Consultants, and Recruiters to give you insight into the day-to-day and the recruiting process.
- Alvarez & Marsal has downloadable PDF profiles on their Careers page ranging from Consultant to Senior Director.
- A.T. Kearney features short employee videos where they give their take on working at the firm.
- Life at Bain has a few features that are pretty interesting. You can go through a week in the life of employees at various levels (Associate Consultant through Partner), see the breakdown of industries and project experience they’ve had, and read their blog if they have one. In the employee overview, they also have a “Personal Results Story” which are great examples of a high-level “story” for performance review time.
- BCG gives you the chance to Meet BCGers and get their perspective on a big range of topics. The depth and detail isn’t quite there, but it is nice that the topics go beyond the “what’s a day like” question.
- Booz & Co. profiles employees in Meet Our People.
- Deloitte Connect has pretty cool interactive features to explore profiles (written and video) of employees at various levels in the firm. They also have a video intended to give you the inside story behind the scenes of a major project.
- Ernst & Young’s EY Experience also has an interactive tool to help you explore a variety of topics. There’s not much detail on the life day-to-day, but there are several employee videos that profile general experience and life at the firm.
- Huron Consulting has brief profiles of four different levels on their Careers page.
- IBM doesn’t appear to offer much in to give prospective hires a sense of a day in the life. About the closest you can get is the IBMers in Action section of their Careers Newsletter.
- MyLife@KPMG has video diaries and journals from both interns and associates.
- L.E.K. Consulting has a nice blog, The Advisor, offering prospective consultants tips and perspectives about the consulting career and answers to reader questions. On their main website they also offer a handful of short employee profiles on their career page. and an associate video where employees discuss what they’ve learned at L.E.K. and what they like about the firm.
- McKinsey takes a look at the day-to-day which is a launching point for overview information such as client case studies and the team culture. From there, you can see the breakdown of what a week in the life is like for a Business Analyst, Associate Principal, Engagement Manager and Partner.
- Oliver Wyman profiles their people and culture with a handful of employees across the globe. Topics vary but tend to focus on why they chose consulting and the work they’ve done.
- Point B doesn’t really offer a look at life day to day but their Careers section does have a few employee profiles that talk about why they stay. There is also a video from the CEO Tim Jenkins that talks about employee ownership – something he considers a Point B differentiator.
- PwC has a pretty robust section of videos. While they may not provide an hour by hour view, they do give a glimpse into what a client engagement is like…oh yeah, except for the fact that Levi’s is probably one of the only clients where consultants actually wear jeans to the office…
- Slalom Consulting doesn’t offer a view of a day in the life, but you can meet their team – perhaps their whole team in fact. I even found my old Accenture friend, Ginger Cearly! A benefit of employment perhaps? I guess it depends on how you look at it.
- The Cambridge Group’s Life at TCG offers a very high-level overview of life at the firm with a few links to a couple of profiles each for Undergrad, MBA and Experienced Hires.
- West Monroe Partners appears to be pulling double duty by letting you Get to Know [their] People in the Careers section, which simply links you to the Meet Our Executives section. Helpful for understanding the experience they bring, but not so great if you’re a prospective hire looking for a day in the life.
- ZS Associates lets you meet the ZS team by reading a bio and a week in the life account of the associates and consultants profiled.
- Businessweek’s MBA Insider: A Day in the Life describes a typical day of an associate from Booz Allen.
- ConsultingCase 101 offers a number of accounts from consultants in a variety of firms that all breakdown the day in hourly detail.
- ManagementConsulted offers a nice summary of takeaways for recruits, some background info and a detailed hour by hour breakdown.
- Newlyweds Next Door takes you through her day from the moment her alarm clock goes off until lights out.
- ConspicuousCynic shares a slightly more sarcastic version we’ll say. While the video doesn’t exactly depict the details of a day by hour, it offers a peak at a conversation between a consultant and their boss.
- Vault.com offers a series of posts, A Day in This Life, over the span of a year from a supply chain consultant