Powers of Persuasion ; CAREERS ++ MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCY ++ Confident Graduates with a Knowledge of Global Business Can Go Far in Consultancy, Says Virginia Matthews
Matthews, Virginia, The Independent (London, England)
Traditionally, management consultancy was a career choice for proven business professionals; preferably with a good five or 10 years direct experience under their belt.
Today, as the international consultancy scene widens its scope to encompass the latest opportunities presented by e-commerce, the opportunities for new graduates with little direct experience of the commercial coal-face, but shed-loads of self-confidence, have soared.
Consultancies such as Ernst & Young and McKinsey typically offer a wide range of services in some or all of the following areas: strategy, development and change, human resources, financial management, manufacturing, marketing, environmental management and quality management as well as all things IT.
Experienced management consultants can earn a lot of money by showing private and public sector organisations how to run themselves more effectively, but for a fresh graduate without years of business knowledge, there are other entry qualifications to consider.
While a recent graduate won't be expected to have run a successful e-enterprise, or to have orchestrated a big win on the stock market, they will be expected to be knowledgeable about and sympathetic to the global business community. They will also need to possess the kind of persuasiveness that one day will convince already successful clients that their business can scale still greater heights.
A potential recruit will be expected to show an innate understanding of how business ticks and the financial, distribution, sales, marketing and IT issues that senior managers grapple with every day. Their application will be far stronger if they have had work experience that involves practical problem-solving ability and a minimum 2.1 degree is the norm.
"We look for confidence, but despite this being a highly competitive business, listening, communication and teamworking skills are also vital," says David Owen, managing director of consulting at Deloitte, one of the world's leading professional services firms, which will take on 1,400 graduates into its core businesses of audit, tax, consulting and corporate finance this year. …