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I often hear that you become very valuable if you are a manager in consulting, why so?

engagement manager manager
New answer on Oct 25, 2023
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 25, 2020

I often hear that you become very valuable if you are a manager in consulting, why so?

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Benjamin
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Content Creator
replied on Oct 25, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

I was a manager at MBB - sharing my perspective based on what I observed at my clients as well as from headhunter/recruiting discussions. The value comes from a couple of things:

  1. Problem solving
  2. Project management
  3. Team management (high capacity, high capability team)
  4. Navigating organizations and driving change
  5. Ability to engage and deal with CXO level stakeholders
  6. Nose for value

Some of these traits you get exposed to already as a consultant. But often never at the same intensity or strategic level as a manager.

Hope this helps to clarify!

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Aug 26, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

This is truly a stamp of approval!

If you can manage at MBB for example, you can well-and-truly do it all. The skills you need to posses include (but are not limited to):

  1. Ability to work hard and long hours
  2. Ability to manage multiple direct reports
  3. Ability to drive client relationships
  4. Ability to manage multiple senior stakeholders with differing views
  5. Direct relationships and exposure to C-Suite Executives
  6. Ability to pick up topics/knowledge on any subject/industry rapidly AND drive results
  7. Ability to project plan + manage
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Anonymous replied on Aug 26, 2020

There 2 key reasons for this:

1. You have proven yourself to reach leadership role in a very challenging environment

2. You have built valuable set of skills that include:

- Stakeholder managements

- Leading problem solving of complex topics

- Motivating and managing the team's morale

- Endurance to work hard and commitment to deliver

Those are valuable skills in any organization hence the point that you heard

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Anonymous B replied on Aug 25, 2020

Because it is not easy to become a manager in the first place and a lot of consultants also choose to voluntarily leave at this level. Job opportunities for MBB managers are abundant and some even pay considerably higher. A lot of people agree it is one of the best levels to exit from MBB

Why is it hard? Typically it takes 4-5 years to get to manager and this means you would have to survive nearly a dozen reviews and show constant growth and development

It is a complex profession and it is typically at this level that a consultant becomes truly independent meaning they can work without supervision and guide others. Partners love good managers because they don't have to worry about the day to day project and can focus on other things

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Anonymous A on Aug 26, 2020

except finance, there are jobs that are willing to pay a lot more?

Anonymous A on Aug 26, 2020

I thought most post-MBA consultant can make it to manager but most want to leave to somewhere else. It doesn't seem to be the case then

Anonymous B on Aug 26, 2020

Yes some industry roles will pay higher than MBB for manager level hires. On the second point - not all MBA associates make it to manager and some leave voluntarily. And typically those with pre-MBA consulting experience tend to out perform

Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 31, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi, especially for the years in consulting (6+) and for the ability to lead a brilliant team and manage a client with different exposure (from the C1 levels to the bottom)

Best,
Antonello

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 31, 2020
#1 MBB Coach(Placed 750+ in MBBs & 1250+ in Tier2)| The Only 360° coach(Ex-McKinsey+Certified Coach+Active recruiter)

Hi there,

To get into consulting is very hard as it’s a huge competition among candidates.

People also become more valuable while working in consulting as they learn such skills like:

  • Structural thinking
  • Ability to interact with people
  • Ability to work with information
  • Time management and resource management
  • Ability to learn
  • Customer focus

Do you need any further help?

All the best,

GB

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Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 27, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

I agree to the existing answers as they show your implicit and explicit achievements in your role as manager.

However I'd like to look at the question from a more rationale and economical point of view:

  1. Consulting firm side: You have the biggest leverage in terms of rate per day and additional (more junior) consultants billed - in simple terms speaking you earn the most money for the firm
  2. Client side: At this time you most likely specialized in industry and/or functional area, so you are highly specialized in what the client needs

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Benjamin gave the best answer

Benjamin

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Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer
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