How does the typical day of a management consultant look like? And how does it differ depending on the position (Associate, Consultant, Project Leader, Principal...)?
Typical day of a consultant
I'm sorry to dissapoint, but there is no such thing as a typical day. Some days I will be staffed somewhere in Kuwait working until 3am on some obscure valuation, and then the next day my team decides to go to a team dinner downtown and we call it a night at 11pm. The variability in your day is one of the key elements of consulting, so I'd say the question is a bit counter-intuitive.
P.S: I work for BCG and we always laugh at newbies who ask in the morning whether the day is going to be intense
Adding to Chris' link, I found this typical day of a McK Associate (India and US based):
8.45am: head to office to meet the team or to client site to start the day.
10.00am: Check-in with engagement manager on the key deliverables for the day along with any scheduled calls with experts - internal or otherwise and PS sessions with partners
10.30am: Work on the deliverables or drive towards answers for key questions under debate. Draw a few pages on a sheet of paper, click photos on iPhone and ship it to Visual Graphics to hash out the pages. Instruct R&I department on the questions for which you are seeking answers and set tight deadline for data.
1.00pm: Lunch ordered in via some delivery app or in the client site/office. Try to get healthy, filling and interesting food each day. Discuss current affairs, past engagements or sports with team when on lunch.
1.30pm: Quick check in with engagement manager, put together 4 pages for the partner PS session, send the pages to the partner and get on an expert call to discuss the cutting edge issue that you are trying to understand.
3.00pm: Partner PS, when you try to bring structure to your clients key issues, button up the analysis that helps build the financial outlook for the clients future and engage in a discussion to understand insightful ways to secure the clients financial future.
5.00pm: Implement the partner comments, send the pages to Visual Graphics for quick alignment and then send the pages to client for a discussion on this topic tomorrow. Meet some client team members, try and get more data to support your analysis, answer any top of mind questions they might have and promise them a deep discussion on the topic tomorrow from your analysis.
7.00pm: Snacks, team checkin with EM and head back to hotel if you want or continue to work from team room.
8.00pm: Hit the gym/pool for a relaxing short work out followed by dinner and some online entertainment (usually some VoD!)
9.30pm: Quick mail check, analysis completion and any problem structuring that is needed for tomorrow's work. Sent the latest deck to the manager and give the key insights upfront
10.30pm: Read a book, relax and unwind
I don't know how accurate these descriptions are, tho, and I dont know about different positions
This is a pretty good start: http://www.consultingcase101.com/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-management-consultant-from-boston-consulting-group/
That said, very little about our days is typical ;)
Moving up the ladder, you gain more responsibility, work more independently and focus more on building relationship with the C-level client counterparts.
Hope this helps!