What do consulting companies look for in a b-school candidate?

A Management consulting firm usually helps its clients to solve complex problems, create value through meaningful insights, maximize growth and improve overall business performance measured across different metrics. Following are the skill sets that are generally sought after in a B School Candidate to be considered a good fit for a consulting firm.

Problem-Solving & Simplification skill: Almost any real-world problem/case that a client faces is multi-faceted and complex in nature. Ability to break it down to simple small-sized pieces is an important skill that recruiters look into a candidate and the case study round is precisely for this sole purpose. Recruiters generally are more focused on the methodology or the process to analyze the problem than the final solution that is proposed. General skills that can help in problem-solving are ability to disintegrate the problem with a Process flow diagram, attention to details, Frameworks and teamwork.

Technical and Domain Knowledge: Consulting firms have clients coming from across industries like BFSI, ITES, Manufacturing, Telecommunication and Media, Oil and Gas, Pharma, etc. It is expected from a B-School candidate to have in-depth knowledge about at-least a few of these domains. Knowledge about the key industry-specific metrics/trends, Common business processes, recent global economic conditions and its likely impact on the industry, recent technological innovations certainly help to have meaningful and more engaging conversations with the clients.

Interpersonal and communication skills: Client interactions are an integral part of any job role in a Consulting company and hence Interpersonal and communication skills become very important for the consulting industry. The Job Role of a consultant involves frequent report making, presentations and proposals, liaising with the client to keep them informed about the progress and make the required decisions.

Time/Resource Management: Time is literally money in consulting business since they directly charge no of hours worked by consultants for respective clients. This means consultants need to be super-efficient in completing the tasks within a predefined timeline. This also implies, consultants need to be more organized, be active and prioritize their work to meet the deadline. They need to develop the ability to multitask as they might be working on multiple engagements at the same time.

Creative thinking and Leadership Skills: Creative thinking enables people to come up with ideas that are beyond the standard ways of approaching a problem. In addition to the teamwork that is required to successfully deliver committed results, strong leadership skills are often required to lead a client team to successful project closure, persuade the client for a larger change/improvement and eventually get more consulting business.

Written By

Sachin Dhopre

Sachin is an IIM alumnus who works as a Consultant at Deloitte. He also worked with Reliance Industries and Caterpillar Inc. after he graduated from NIT Trichy.

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