How to Go From Student to Management Consultant

While it may be a highly competitive field to work in, information on becoming a management consultant is relatively thin on the ground. Going from undergrad to consultant requires several smart choices and no small amount of hard work and effort along the way.

List and Categorise Potential Target Firms

Knowing where you'd like to work takes you one step closer to setting a solid goal for yourself. Take a good look at the firms you could see yourself working at in the next few years. Figure out whether your ultimate goal is to work for a boutique firm like MCK or Bain, or whether you want to aim high and work for one of the giants like Deloitte. Perhaps you would prefer to keep it local and work for a smaller firm for that "family business feel".

The great news is, no marketing consultancy firm is too big or small. Each one brings to the table a set of values that might be in tune with your own career and life goals.

Work your Network

This is one of those industries where your network counts for a whole lot more than you would expect. If your aim is to get your foot in the door of one of the major firms, submitting your resume online isn't necessarily the way to go about it. Remember, these firms probably receive hundreds of applications daily. You don't want to simply blend into the crowd.

If you don't have a "side door", make one. Reach out to current employees through a well-written email. Ask for a casual chat over a cup of coffee and let them know you'd like to pick their brain about joining the company.

Obviously, this isn't an interview but you do need to keep the hint of one in the back of your mind. Don't be too awkward or formal but watch your step. You don't want to be painfully casual either. Remember, this is your chance to make a good first impression. Mention that you're aiming for a career in management consulting and think of a good reason why. Be memorable. Get taken seriously.

Keep boring, generic responses to a bare minimum. Instead, think up some fabulous questions about the person's experience working at the firm. While you're at it, ask for tips on how to move forward and keep your potential application process in motion. What you're aiming for, is to get your resume passed on upwards to the people who really matter.