Deciding which consulting firm offers the best work situation and growth opportunities may be difficult. Consultancies come in a variety of forms – there’s the big four, the top consultancies, the boutiques, e-consultancies. When determining which consulting firm is right for you, you must make the following considerations:
Reputation – What is the consultancy’s record of accomplishment? Is the firm growing? Has it experienced recent bad publicity? How did the company approach past economic downturns?
The reputation of a firm might have an impact on how well you are perceived if you decide to leave the firm for an industry job (or another consultancy). pr consultant for canada Make sure to check newspaper articles, press releases, and industry opinions of firms when applying.
Size – How many people work at the consultancy? How many clients does the firm serve? How many offices does the consultancy have? What opportunities for advancement does the consultancy offer?
Size is important to consider for several reasons. First, choosing a small firm means you will likely know the people you work with. If the consultancy is small, but growing, there may be a good opportunity for advancement within the company.
The size of the firm affects the type of training you receive. A large firm like McKinsey operates on the apprenticeship model. Bain also offers matching with mentors.
Training – How much training does the firm provide? Are you paid during training? What sort of training will you receive?
Every firm has a different way of doing things. At McKinsey, a basic consulting readiness course is provided, consultants can experience through their Mini-MBA program, and workshops on leadership are held. AT Kearney assigns a mentor and courses are available. Bain offers many different certification training programs allowing consultants to move up the ranks – including “Experienced Consultant Training” and “Senior Associate Consulting.”
Also, some firms will pay for you to obtain your MBA. If this is a degree you are interested in obtaining at some point, you may want to consider this bonus.
Job Description – What tasks will you be performing? Will your job include a variety of work? Will you be part of a team or work individually?
Different firms will have you performing different tasks. Some firms will have you enter as an associate if you have an MBA but not real-world experience. Talk to others with the same position. Find out what will be expected of you in the firm. If you don’t understand certain responsibilities, don’t hesitate to ask about them. Many companies are happy to respond to questions and concerns of applicants.
Will you be doing research for long hours or will you get a chance to get in the field and work as part of a team? What will your role be and what will your impact be? These are two questions you will want answered – before you sign with a company.
Benefits – What benefits are offered to consultants? Will you receive health insurance? Dental insurance? A moving bonus?
Most consultancies offer health and dental insurance. Make sure the benefits that cover your lifestyle. Some consultancies offer moving bonuses, annual bonuses, or signing bonuses. Once benefits have been added in to your salary, you may find that one firm pays more.
International Travel – What opportunities for travel exist? How much travel is expected? How much do you want to travel?
You will most likely travel wherever you work. However, large firms with consultancies in many countries may require more travel than smaller firms. Make sure that the amount of travel required agrees with your lifestyle. Some companies, like Bain, allot for international transfers.
Ability to do Charity Work – Are opportunities to perform pro-bono work for non-profit organizations available? What opportunities? Do these align with your goals and personal values?
Companies like Deloitte and Bain are jumping on this bandwagon, offering opportunities to perform pro bono consulting work, volunteer opportunities, green teams that work to reduce the carbon footprint on environments, and more.