Careers in Consulting Workshop
On Wednesday, September 14th, 2016, CNSPY hosted a workshop with Paul Shorkey (Project Leader) and Jonathan Graeupner, PhD (Consultant) from the Boston Consulting Group. The workshop opened with a presentation by Paul and Jonathan and ended with an informative question and answer session. The workshop focused on careers in consulting for advanced degree candidates (ADCs), individuals with a graduate degree other than an MBA.
In their presentation, Paul and Jonathan explained that a consultant uses a hypothesis driven, analytical approach to address a problem for a client. These problems can be extremely varied, such as increasing productivity, entering specific markets, or reaching people with healthcare initiatives. Additionally, the clients are diverse, including travel, healthcare, non-profit, and food production companies. In terms of day-to-day aspects, a consultant can expect to travel to the client throughout a case, manage client relationships, and work with a team for problem-solving. Typically, a consulting case involves meeting with a client to assess the problem, performing market research, constructing a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis with a model, and making a recommendation.
The presenters also addressed many common concerns for ADCs that want to transition into consulting. One common concern is that ADCs lack training in business and finance. The Boston Consulting Group has several programs to help address this knowledge gap for all ADC hires. Another common concern is work-life balance, as consultants often work 10-12 hour days and travel 4 days per week. At the Boston Consulting Group, consultants typically travel during the work week and don’t work weekends, and the company has also started an initiative to address employee happiness and work-related issues.
Finally, Paul and Jonathan described the application process for the Boston Consulting Group, which has two application periods. The first is in April for individuals planning to start work over the summer, and the second is in July for individuals planning to start the following May. The application process includes a formal application and resume as well as rounds of interviews.
In closing, we would like to thank Paul Shorkey, Jonathan Graeupner, and the Boston Consulting Group for sponsoring the workshop and Caroline Rufo, Leela Dodda, and Prabitha Natarajan for organizing the event.