Starting a career as a management consultant
Martine Letarte | Special Collaboration La Presse
Q: "What are the job prospects and working conditions when employed by a management consulting firm? It seems very different to me whether you are in a small or a large firm. So, is it better to have a master's degree, or is a bachelor's degree enough?" - Jenn
A: Manon St-Michel, Counsellor, Career Services, Master's and Ph.D., HEC Montréal,
confirms that working conditions vary greatly from one firm to another. It is therefore important to find out as much information as possible about each position before applying to a company.
She says that in most large firms, recent bachelor's and master's graduates in management begin with an analyst position.
"After one to three years, they move on to a position as a consultant or senior consultant," she says. Candidates with a master's degree are favourably considered because, in addition to acquiring additional knowledge and skills, the continuity of their studies gives them the opportunity to add achievements to their CV in terms of their involvement in student associations, summer jobs and internships.
Manon St-Michel says that MBA graduates with a few years of experience start directly as a consultant or senior consultant.
"The MBA is strongly encouraged to see her career progress within the major consulting firms," she says. After that, the career evolves towards positions as senior and associate director. Competition for positions is fierce, according to the specialist. In addition to excellent academic results, the firms are also very competitive.
are often looking for people with good interpersonal and communication skills, a highly developed analytical sense, an entrepreneurial spirit and a high level of energy.
"Intense, business-specific preparation over several weeks is required to successfully complete the two to three rounds of interviews that include case presentations," she says. Many major consulting firms provide information about their interview process on their websites."
PHOTO SARAH MONGEAU-BIRKETT, PRESS ARCHIVES
Once this step has been successfully completed, you have to be ready to put your heart and soul into your work.
"Firms require consultants to work on the client's premises, often out of town," she says. There's a shift in work-family balance, but the weeks can be long. On the other hand, the challenges are very stimulating and the compensation is competitive."
Namely: the majority of large consulting firms recruit on campus in the fall to fill their positions for the following summer.
"It is strongly recommended that students begin preparing their resumes and interviews before the start of their final year of studies," advises Ms. St-Michel.
Q: What is the situation of MBA graduates in Quebec?
A: As of January 2013, 90.4% of 2011 graduates were employed, of which 87.2% were working full-time in a job related to their studies. Their average gross weekly salary was $1521. They were 4.7% in school, 3.1% unemployed and 2% not in the labour force.
Published on 09 June 2014 at 09h29 | Updated on 09 June 2014 at 09h29
Source: La relance à l'université, 2013, Ministry of Education
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