Whether you are just starting to explore, or have committed to a career in Consulting, this Career Track offers tips, tools, and action steps to move your career search forward.
The first step in beginning your career journey is to assess your interests, skills, strengths, goals, values, and self to better understand your story and give you career direction. Then, we can help you reflect on your story and create career exploration goals.
Interests: Know your interests, as they may help to align you with organizations and possible job titles representing a match based on your likes/dislikes. Use these tools below to clarify your interests and possible career ideas based on interests.
Career Cruising - Career Cruising can help you assess your interests, values and skills and recommend career options, graduate programs or career paths that may be a fit for you.
MyNextMove - Explore career options and interests by keyword or industry, or take their short assessment to find potential career matches based on interests.
Strong Interest Inventory (SII) - The SII is a widely respected career interest inventory designed to help people find a fit between their personalities and work. It compares your interests and preferences to people in general and to people who have been happy and satisfied in their careers. The results from the SII identify careers that best fit a person’s interests.
Values: Know your values, as they may help to align you with potential work environments and organizations that match your passion(s) and core belief(s). Use these tools below to clarify your values and identify possible career ideas based on your values.
Imperative - This on-line tool will help you evaluate how you can bring meaning and authenticity to your work, as you identify your passion and core values, around work. The initial assessment is free, and can be brought to an appointment with us, for more conversation.
Skills/Strengths: Know your skills and strengths, as they may help to align you with well suited job titles, work tasks and work environments. Use these tools below to clarify your skills/strengths and possible career ideas based on your talents and skills.
Career Onestop - Take this short skills assessment to learn more about your skills and how they match up to potential career ideas.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) - The MBTI is a self-report questionnaire designed to make Jung’s theory of psychological types understandable and useful in everyday life. It is one of the most widely used instruments for understanding personality differences and is widely used to understand people in terms of their decision-making styles, preferences for communication and work environments, and for career development and exploration.
Want some coaching on where to begin? Not sure which Career Track is right for you? Make an appointment on Handshake for “Exploring Options”. We’ll be happy to talk more about your Career Track options and explore your interests and skills together, in a coaching relationship.
Explore Your Track
UM students have taken a variety of paths to pursue their interest in consulting. There are several types of consulting or practice areas and common paths for UM students have included management, strategy, human resources or IT consulting. Energy, finance, pharmaceutical and health care consulting are examples of other practice areas.
Many UofM students are drawn to consulting because it is a fast-paced, interdisciplinary and intellectually challenging field. It is also a competitive work environment. Pursuing this indsutry requires a great deal of preparation including an understanding of the field and an ability to articulate what you can offer the firm and its clients
There are a number of resources for exploring a career in consulting:
Vault: A research library that includes company profiles, industry information and more career exploration resources.
Consulting Career Connection: A community based site that provides in-depth information about consulting.
Information Sessions: A number of consulting firms recruit through the University Career Center each Fall and host information sessions as part of their visit. Check the “Events” section of your Handshake account for dates/times and locations.
Firm websites: An excellent source of information, the “Careers” section of consulting firm websites highlights the work, expectations and internship/job search To locate the page: Google the firm name plus careers (eg: Mckinsey careers)
Here is some information to get you started:
Consultants work across industries and projects will vary based on client needs. This means consultants need a high tolerance for ambiguity. Consultants also regularly use Excel to analyze data and create Powerpoint decks for presentations.
Article: Is consulting right for you?
Article: Vault Career Guide to Consulting (What do workers in this Industry do)
Entry level consulting job titles will vary by firm. In general, entry-level undergraduate titles include business analyst, fellow or associate.
Article: Vault Career Guide to Consulting (Workers in this Industry)
Armed with some background information and ideas, connecting with professionals can offer next level insights and answer more specific questions.
Article: How to network on LinkedIn
- LinkedIn Groups
- Beyond just joining Linked-In, groups are a great way to expand your network, contribute to a community, and get questions answered. Checkout these groups geared toward consulting. See what the members are doing, participate in discussions, uncover resources, and even ask your questions.
- Article: Top 7 LinkedIn Groups for Business Consultants
- Professional Associations
- Professional Associations provide resources and services to member organizations. They are also a great resource for students exploring careers and often include a student or career section on their website.
- Article: Vault Career Guide to Consulting (Resources & Associations)
- Campus Resources
- Info sessions: A number of consulting firms recruit through the University Career Center each fall and host information sessions as part of their visit. Info sessions are an excellent opportunity to explore the career and connect with professionals right here on campus! Check the “Events” section of your Handshake account for dates/times and locations
- Maize Pages Learn more about the field by working with other students who share your interest in consulting. Maize Pages is a searchable database of registered UM organizations. Search for “Consulting” in the Organization Directory to identity student organizations that share your interest in consulting. Or...search based on your passions and join an organization that will also help to develop the skills we highlighted earlier
- Case Competitions A number of student groups, UM departments and centers partner with employers to host case competitions. Working in small groups you have an opportunity to work with other students, develop skills relevant to consulting and receive feedback from leaders in the field.
Resource: Mpowered Entrepreneurship (Student organization)
Resource: Center for Entrepreneurship
Resource: Maize Pages (Search for Case Competition)
Want some coaching around navigating your Career Track? Interested in talking with a Career Coach about your exploration of a Career Track?
- Attend a Career Center Program/Workshop to learn more about your Career Track in group formats.
- Make an appointment on Handshake for “Exploring Options”.
You have been exploring your Career Track, and may be wondering “What Next?” This short exercise will help you clarify your question(s) and identify strategies to answer your career exploration questions.
3 - What are three take-aways from your exploration of this Career Track?
2 - What are two questions that you have/ what are you questioning now?
1 - What is 1 specific action step you plan to take, to answer your 2 questions?
Launch Your Job or Internship Search
When job searching it’s important to understand the hiring process from the organizational perspective. It directs your job search efforts, identify timelines and best job search strategies. Consulting Job/Internship Essentials include:
- Competitive recruiting process: Securing a consulting position is an extremely competitive process. Applicants must be fully prepared at the start of the job search process. This includes understanding the field of consulting, the recruiting process and what you bring to the firm and its clients
- Early on-campus recruiting: Consulting information sessions start early in September with first round interviews in early October. If you are a senior interested in consulting this means you need to be ready September 1 to present your skills to recruiters
- Case interviews: Along with behavioral interviews, consulting firms use the case interview format to assess applicants knowledge, ability to think critically (and quickly) and team skills
- Firm Websites: Much of what you need to know about the consulting job search process is thoroughly outlined on firm websites. Implementing the tips provided in the “Careers” section will help you stand out in the process.
A referral from a contact goes a long way when looking for a job. Utilize the groups you have been contributing to on LinkedIn as one valuable referral source.
A well-written resume connects your skills and experiences to the needs of the organization. The articles below (combined with the “Necessary Skills” outlined in this track),will help you develop a strong resume
- Resource: The Career Center’s Resume Resources
- Article: Tailoring your resume for consulting
- Article: Tips for Consulting Resumes
- Article Resume Tips
The following resumes are from Michigan graduates who are now working in this area. These are the resumes they used as seniors, which helped them secure interviews and ultimately employment in the field.
The consulting interview process includes behavioral and case interview formats. To prepare it's important to know the similarities and differences between the formats and practice for both.
Resource: The Career Center’s Interviewing Resources
Article: Interviewing in this Industry (Vault Guide to Consulting)
Article: Dos and Don’ts for the Consulting Interview
Article: Consulting Interviews
Article: Vault Guides to the Case Interviews
Resource: Firm Website Case Practice: For example:
Want some coaching around launching your Career Track? Interested in gaining experience including securing Internships or looking for Jobs?
- Attend a Career Center Program/Workshop to connect with employers and organizations that represent opportunities in your Career Track.
- Make an appointment on Handshake for “Internship Search”, or “Job Search”
You have been launching your job/internship search, and may be wondering “What Next?” This short exercise will help you clarify your question(s) and identify strategies to answer your job/internship search questions.
3 - What are three take-aways from exploring the resources in "Launching Your Job/Internship Search"?
2 - What are two questions that you still have/what are you questioning now?
1 - What is 1 specific action step to help answer your 2 questions?
Photo Credit: Tiago Gerken