Are You Good Enough To Be A Management Consultant?

by Jaineel Aga

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on Getting Consulting Jobs In India.

First, let me say that I don't mean to sound insulting in anyway.

Consulting isn't rocket science.

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First, let me say that I don't mean to sound insulting in anyway.

Consulting isn't rocket science.

But you have to be honest with yourself, and you need to understand whether you're a good fit for strategy consulting.

A friend of mine who I've been mentoring for recruiting issues is a very hard-working guy. He understands electronics amazingly well, and now he wants to go to business school so he can become a consultant.

He came to me to ask for advice about how to get into both. There was no point selling him on the virtues of the consulting industry--I was being very honest and told him, "write down your strengths and weaknesses right now. Let's start with that exercise".

The first thing he put down as a weakness was "communication skills" and "weak personality", meaning that he was timid and quiet. So then I asked him, "what do YOU think are the 3 skills that great consultants need?"

And for 2 of those 3 skills that every management consultant needs, he listed "communication skills" and "confidence".

This exercise helped me communicate something far more powerfully than if I had just told him my thoughts.

So at this point, it became obvious that his strengths were not a great match for a job at BCG or Bain. He might work really hard, he might get an offer, but what's the point if you're not going to excel and be comfortable in your job?

It's not about discouraging anyone, but it is about aligning your career with where your strong points are. Luckily, he was able to identify his strengths. If he was applying for finance, let's say, he might be able to sit behind a computer and crank out amazing algorithms and make a lot of money.

The key takeaway is that there's NO HARM in aligning your strengths with long-term professional goals.
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