Thinking about your career after university and looking for the best job? Consulting could be the job you are searching for. A consultant helps his/her client to solve problems they couldn’t by themselves and get paid plenty for it. Creative thinking and teamwork are at the core of everything that a consultant does. It is the best job to develop a comprehensive set of transferable skills that help you to advance in your future career. Moreover, people from all academic backgrounds are welcomed! Sounds good? Continue reading to find out more about what is consulting, who can become a consultant and why it is the best job!
What is consulting?
A consultant can work in areas such as business, education, law, regulatory compliance, human resources, marketing (and public relations), finance, health care, engineering, science, security (electronic or physical), or any of many other specialised fields. You can work as an internal consultant, which means you will work in one organisation regarding your area of specialisation, or an external consultant, which means you will be employees by a client and provide your expertise to their business temporarily. 36% of the US workforce is currently engaged in some form of independent consulting and contract work, and out of this group, nearly 20% of those working full-time are earning north of six figures. Majority of businesses is working with or have work with consultants at some point. For example, companies work with audit consultants to publish their three financial statements in their annual reports.
By definition, be a consultant means that you will “engage in the business of giving expert advice to people working in a specific field”. In essence, you will be lending your brain and expertise to help people and businesses in need to work on things they don’t have the knowledge of. For example, career support at university is a form of consulting. You, a student, who don’t know if your CV is ‘perfect’ to send off, will go to the career centre and ask for their opinions. A career advisor, who has expertise in recruitment, will help you improve your CV after asking for your needs. After going to the SU, you will have your perfect resumé while the career advisors will be paid for the services they provide. This is a simple demonstration of what a consultant does, though sometimes the projects of many consultants can be more complicated.
What does a consultant do every day?
The daily life of a consultant can be very different depending on the industry you work in. In general, most consultants work on projects, which can last from a few months to a year, and people could work on multiple projects at any time. One important part of the work of a consultant is to communicate with the clients to understand their needs. It is crucial to have good relationships with the clients and make sure all messages are clearly understood from both parts. Therefore, being a consultant provide valuable opportunities to learn and practice your interpersonal and communication skills. One of the things people worry about is the travelling involved. However, in reality, the amount you travel depends on the industry you work in. For example, consultants working in IT will travel much less compared to someone who works in infrastructure. On the other hand, travelling opportunities can be exciting for many as well. Being a consultant can give you the opportunity to travel not only within the UK but also all over the world! You can also do projects aboard, which will give you the opportunity to live in a foreign country.
Who can become a consultant?
The answer is anyone and everyone. A common misconception is that you have to be from a business background to be a consultant. The truth is far from that. There are many different types of consulting and people studying all fields can work as a consultant. Many positions, such as Corporate Finance consultants or management consultants, requires no specific academic backgrounds to start. This means that you can apply to the graduate schemes from the Big Four (PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG) or the MBB (McKinsey, BCG and Bain) even if you study non-business-related subjects like History. The subject you study will not put you in a worse position in your application compared to another candidate studying Economics. Thorough training will be provided by consultancy firms after you start the grad role and they will teach you everything you need to know! However, there are some roles that require applicants to possess certain skills before they start the job. For examples, you have to study computer science related subjects to be an IT consultant.
- Flexible and creative working – it never gets dull
Consulting is a job that involves a tremendous amount of problem-solving and needs you to work closely with your team. There is no right or wrong way to solve a case and creativities are encouraged. The most exciting aspect of consulting is that they will never be two projects that are the same! You will always be learning something new regardless of how long you have been working in the field. Furthermore, many consulting firms are very familiar with flexible working and encourage their employees to work from home one day per week.
- Helping people and sense of achievement
The nature of the work of a consultant means that you will be working very closely with the client and spending a lot of time talking to them. This will allow you to form a closer relationship with them and you will get the opportunity to work with some very interesting people. Besides, having a close relationship with the client and understanding their needs gives you a great sense of achievement when you managed to provide the perfect solution to their problem. For example, Enactus Warwick Consulting works with charities and social enterprises. Working as a student consultant with us will allow you to make real impacts on people who need help the most!
- Variety of work involved – build your skills and help your professional career
Being a good consultant requires many difficult skills. Working on different projects means you will need to learn fast and be adaptable. You need to be able to learn from your past experiences and find the best solution for your client’s situations. Your clients can be from many different industries, which mean your work will be very diverse. Being a consultant allows you to have knowledge in many business areas and widens your career possibilities.
- Big bucks!
Let’s talk about money. In America, the average consulting salary is right around $75,000 per year. The average management consulting salary is $92,867, and for people who work their way up the top firms, that’s chump change. For larger firms, salaries start around $70k, increase to around $150k after getting your MBA, hit around $500k at junior partner level and minimum $1 Million at the senior partner level. A similar level of payment can also be expected in the UK. Being a consultant is the way to have a fun job while having a fat paycheck!