Former BCG consultant and adult trainer with experience in US, India, and Middle East
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Why did you choose management consulting?

Anonymous A

Hey!

When I get asked this question in an interview, I usually mention something like I like to analyse and solve problems, the variety that comes with the job and projects, working with clients... I'm looking for inspiration and more interesting ways to answer this question when it comes up in the interview. So if you could share how you would answer this or what are different reasons people go in consulting, it would be great.

I'm interested in the question why did you chooce management consulting - in general- and in particular why inhouse consulting as compared to strategy or boutique?

Thank you all so much!

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Srihari
Expert
replied on 03/02/2017
Former BCG consultant and adult trainer with experience in US, India, and Middle East

So, the reasons for inhouse would be different than external, for sure. I can first speak to the latter and then give you my assumed thoughts about inhouse.

For strategy/boutique consulting, responses often fall along the following lines (not exhaustive list)

1) Skill development (okay to say you would want to eventually transfer these skills back to some other sector)

2) Working with smart people

3) Very rigorous and intellectually stimulating

4) Opportunity to work across wide range of sectors/geographies, broaden your experiences, etc.

5) Access to high-level thinking based on what you work on, who you work with.

All of the above are general - in your interview, if you can give specific examples, that helps. Maybe talk about a story you heard and why you want that experience/opportunity. I took the route of explaining how I had a very grassroots/operational focus in my prior work in nonprofits, and I wanted to build more analytical, strategic thinking skills. You don't want to put down your prior skills, but showing that you have thought about what you can gain from consulting in a specific way and how that will make you more effective is a nice touch. You can also cite specific really cool work the specific firm has done and show your passion for it -- that's a pretty effective strategy as interviewers love to see specific interest related to their firms.

For inhouse - I'm guessing here you need to demonstrate an interest in the sector/company, combined with a passion for solving problems, etc. The closer you get to a pure industry role, the more you need to do your homework on the company, it's sector, etc.

Francesco replied on 03/05/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

as for your question on why people choose consulting, besides the points already mentioned there are also some reasons more related to career advancement than the actual job:

1) Company investment on you. In many countries, MBB allows you to have a paid MBA after 2 years, if you stick with the company at least for other 2 years after the MBA.

2) Brand stamp. If you get a good consulting brand on your CV, in particular MBB, this will open many doors for a career in very few years.

3) Alumni connections. You will have the opportunity to contact easily key decision makers that have been part of the same company.

Few would choose consulting just for the previous points, and they would not represent the ideal answer in a fit interview; yet for many people they represent very relevant reasons as well.

Best,

Francesco

Anonymous B replied on 03/03/2017

Can't add much more to Sri's answer, but I chose consulting because:

  • prestige and good income

  • allows me to use and develop my interests and strengths (analysing, problem solving, change management, organizing, presenting, business)

  • variety of working on different projects, with different clients and type of firms

  • help organizations and clients

  • work together with other inspiring and intellectual people