Consulting is not your typical 9-5 job and requires a strong work ethic and the ability to work long hours. If you're looking for stability and structure, you may want to consider another career path. However, consulting offers the opportunity to create your own work structures and be responsible for your impact. It's also important to note that there are not many positions available at top consulting firms, as the competition is fierce. Analysts in consulting have not been around for very long, and the “hard yards” of a single consulting project can require an immense amount of working hours.
This is in contrast to law firms or investment banks, where basic cases or M&A projects require fewer hours. This is why these firms need to hire so many graduates to do proofreading or calculations. It has been reported that McKinsey only hires 1% of applicants for their positions, and the other big four professional services firms (Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC) receive tens of thousands of applications for more than 1,000 open positions. According to a survey, 27% of final-year students interested in consulting have held a leadership position in a student society, and 43% have completed an internship before the end of their last year. The survey also revealed that 75% of students interested in consulting have used their university's careers service. However, it is important to note that the exact figures are rarely confirmed by consulting firms.
The Institute of Student Employers usually represents the main recruiters starting their professional careers, and they are a reliable source of information. A significant minority of students interested in consulting have engaged in conversations with companies during the fall quarter to learn more about opportunities, get advice, and start building relationships that they can follow on LinkedIn. It is also worth noting that 87% of students and graduates interested in consulting use LinkedIn for professional purposes, more than any other sector apart from accounting. Students interested in working for consulting companies come from various university disciplines, but the subjects that are studied most frequently have some element of arithmetic or statistical analysis. Consulting careers are very popular among graduates and the ratio between the number of candidates and vacancies or job offers is high. I recently had a conversation with an expert on understanding what young professionals should know if they want to dedicate themselves to consulting.
Consulting is one of the most competitive graduate professions to enter, but you shouldn't let this discourage you from applying. Many consulting internships are open to second-to-last year students, but some are open to master's degree students and others are open to students of all years. Consulting is attractive and has a reputation for requiring slightly less knowledge of arithmetic than similar positions. However, only 16% said that business knowledge was one of their top five skills and yet it was essential for a successful consulting career. If you're considering a career in consulting, it's important to understand the challenges associated with it. You'll need to be prepared to work long hours and be comfortable with uncertainty.
You'll also need to be able to think on your feet and be able to quickly adapt to changing situations. Additionally, you'll need strong analytical skills as well as excellent communication skills. Consulting is an incredibly rewarding profession if you're willing to put in the hard work and dedication required. It offers an opportunity to make an impact on businesses around the world while developing your own skillset. If you're up for the challenge, then consulting could be the perfect career path for you.