Working as a strategic management consultant involves advising organisations on key strategic issues such as market competition, profitability or efficiency. A strong academic record is important for entry into the industry, along with an excellent sense of commercial awareness, analytical skills and interpersonal skills. Daily tasks for graduates in strategic consulting are likely to include research (through interviews, internet research or market reports), developing PowerPoint presentations, and data analysis (often using excel). Here are some insights from graduates working directly in the field;

1. Day-to-day tasks

‘It changes depending on the specific project. But the job involves excel analysis, creating powerpoint presentations, and plenty of research (using analyst reports, the internet, interviews, etc). I also spend a fair amount of time each day talking to other members of my project team, reviewing progress, discussing solutions, etc.’
Associate Consultant, Bain & Company
 
‘Interaction with clients and senior team members. Structuring the problem and managing junior team members to deliver it.’
Consultant, Credo Business Consulting
 
‘A typical day involves keeping up to date with sector-related news, preparing client presentations/materials and brainstorming/discussing ideas with a variety of team members. I interact with all of my team members (from fellow business analysts to company directors) on a daily basis to collaboratively produce high quality output.’
Business Analyst, TMT at Redshift Strategy

2. The best and worst things about your job

‘Variety and opportunity to learn & develop. Exposure to highly experienced professionals. Travel, status, flexibility. Good peer group and lively social life. Unpredictable and can have very long hours.’
Analyst, Customer Management at Deloitte
 
‘Excellent support from senior colleagues and surprising how quickly you can learn from them. Supportive and friendly office atmosphere. Genuinely interesting projects that are rewarding to take part in. Everyone makes an important contribution to the business and is treated (and rewarded) as such. A very small number of projects can be time-pressured, which can be stressful. However, this is the nature of the industry and Credo does everything possible to mitigate the effects of this. I have never felt unable to raise concerns with my manager.’
Associate Consultant, Credo Business Consulting
 
‘Great culture and colleagues, great office, very interesting, high-impact work – huge variety in terms of industry and capability, excellent opportunities for career progression. Move up as quickly as you are able, given big responsibility early on, regular feedback on performance. Lifestyle can sometimes be difficult but you won’t get to do work this interesting / high impact in a 9-5 job.’
Associate Consultant, at Bain & Company

3. Average working hours

9am – 7pm

4. Average graduate salary

£35,000 – £37,000

5. Interview tips

Application Advice: Be clear on what Marakon does, what would make Marakon different to working at other consulting firms, and whether that fits with what you are looking for. My top tip would be to get in contact with junior staff and talk to them about the firm and its work in advance of applying – I did this and found it really useful.
Associate, Marakon
 
Application Advice: Be sure you want to work in a big company, if so do your research as to which role you would like to take on. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Interview Advice: Be yourself, logic is important so do some practice and thinking round questions in a logical manner.
Analytical Consultant, Analytics Consulting at IBM
 
Application Advice: Understand the company well, understand what Thomson Reuters does and what it isn’t. Make sure your genuine interests match the company’s values and objectives.
Interview Advice: Prepare an innovation pitch. Draw on your experiences and concrete situations that make you stand out.
Business Graduate, Financial & Risk at Thomson Reuters

Click here to view the full range of job reviews from graduates working in strategy consulting.

Take a look at an example of the kind of work strategy consultants do in the video clip below by Bain and Company.

 

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Biane Aliyar is a Technical Trainee at Menzies LLP. Read her story here.

1
Have your own questions prepared. It's your turn! As the interview comes to a close, one of the final questions you may be asked is "What can I answer for you?" Your interviewer will expect you to have...
2
Research the Company. Do your homework about the employer and the industry so you are ready for the interview question "What do you know about this company?"
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