Some info that might help to place my question in a proper context: finished my PhD in mechanical engineering in 2017 and continued as a post-doc in engineering at university. Currently, willing to transition into management consulting (more specifically: strategy & operations). However, no background in finance nor extracurricular activities that could boost my application. To be honest, I was not aware that it was a possibility (from eningeering to consulting) until I stumbled on this path (by coincidence). Before jumping, I did the research and went to an info session organized by an MBB-firm. And it all triggered me (in a positive way). I took the jump: shaped my CV and applied to all MBB firms (location: Western-Europe), but ended up in the horror-scenario. I did not get an invite for a first interview. None. Nada. However, I'm still interested to re-apply after the waiting period (or perhaps now to a T2 firm ... currently thinking of Deloitte or RB).
I fully understand that as a management consultant, you need to work hard (ie long hours) and dedicate yourself to the work at hand. I'm prepared to commit myself. But what is meant by working "hard" as a management consultant? I guess that everyone is working hard at their respective job (I do not mean this in a condescending way). For example, as a research engineer, I have a clear view of the duties within my current field: designing, building experimental setups, conducting experiments, analyzing data, setting-up collaborations, writing papers, etc. But my guess is that my cover letters were not good enough (hence, the rejection?) or that I still do not have a clear idea/view what a consultant does do and that this perhaps reflects in my letter? My current general view of what a consultant does: setting-up complex forecasting models for the clients, attending meetings to understand the problem, writing final reports and setting-up presentations to present the final findings to C-level. Is this correct or is there more that I'm missing? Any experiences/tips from post-doc engineers that successfully made the transition to management consulting are also more than welcome. Thanks for reading!