Management consulting is a service provided by companies to create solutions and advice for clients on issues related to their business. Consultancy is a good sector to enter for graduates as it provides a good foundation into the world of work, giving you an opportunity to specialise once you have found an area of expertise you are interested in, may that be IT, Management, HR or Business. For students interested in a career in consultancy there are several different types of company that offer consulting services. Large professional services firms such as the ‘Big Four’ (Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC) offer a wide range of consulting services in many different services, as well as tax and audit functions. Other large firms, such as Accenture, offer both general business consulting services as well as more technology-focused consulting. Other large consulting firms such as Bain & Company and McKinsey & Company offer management consulting to a wide range of industries and governments. There are also smaller consulting firms that specialise in a particular business area, such as pharmaceutical consulting. This wide variety of companies caters to all graduates, allowing applications based on sector of interest and the type of consulting that appeals most.
For first years, there are a number of insight programmes available; Deloitte and EY both hold courses lasting two or three days each, whilst KPMG offers a two week Audit internship in the Easter holidays which is aimed at first years. There is also a variety of undergraduate internships aimed at penultimate year students that offer a taster of life as a consultant, which are usually five to ten weeks long and run during the summer. Finally, there is also a wide range of opportunities for graduates interested in a career in management consultancy. Graduate schemes are usually two to three years long and involve working as a management consultant as well as studying for a professional qualification. The process for applying for undergraduate and graduate positions usually involves an initial online application, with motivational questions and numerical and verbal reasoning tests. Successful applicants will then usually proceed to an assessment centre where there is a group case study and a competency based interview, with the final stage usually involving a partner interview. Applications are often accepted on a rolling basis so apply as soon as possible.
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