The world of Business Consultancy often presents an opportunity for graduates to take on early responsibility within a large company, with the potential to impress both colleagues and clients whilst building a wide network of valuable contacts that can enhance future job prospects.
If a job as a Business Consultant sounds like something you're interested in, read below to find out more about the industry.
What does a Business Consultant do?
Working on a project-by-project basis, a consultant usually joins an organisation, either as an individual or as part of a team, and analyses their current business strategies to identify areas which have the potential for improvement: this could range from redefining an existing marketing strategy to introducing new management methodologies. Ultimately, consultants are problem-solvers, and by providing an “outside eye” they can be an invaluable part of revitalising a company’s performance.
The high starting salaries that accompany this position (according to Glassdoor, as a graduate you can expect to start on a salary of around £28,000), alongside well-structured training and access to a range of different brands, can create what seems like a sure-fire career move for recent grads. However, there is no denying that the demands of the role require a skillset and personality match that may not suit everyone.
How can I tell if the position will be right for me?
We’ve matched up some typical requirements of a Business Consultant with the relevant skills and experiences that you should be able to demonstrate on your application. If you find yourself ticking every box, then a lucrative career in consulting could be just around the corner:
An essential part of the role is creating clarity, whether this is presenting to a client or reporting back to your team. Confidence in your work is a must, as you may be asked to defend recommendations that you have made, so having a knack for communicating your point of view and negotiating well within a team will certainly benefit you in this role.
- Creative thinking
When it comes to problem-solving, sometimes the obvious answer isn’t always the right one. Do you get a kick out of exploring different avenues to find a solution? Can you demonstrate both creative and analytical skills to solve a problem within a workplace situation? Think of an example in the past where you have successfully overcome an obstacle – perhaps you had to fundraise for a project or promote an event at university - and this will serve you well in your application.
- Industry Awareness
You will be relied on as a source of knowledge within your sector, so staying on top of trends within your client’s market is a must. Do you have a hobby that you love to read about, perhaps even write about, in your spare time? If you have evidence of this – a personal blog, a magazine subscription or an Instagram account – it can be used as a great way of showing your willingness to engage with a specialist community in your own time.
All of the above leads to one crucial skill: team work. By rotating amongst a range of different projects during your graduate programme and beyond, you will find yourself meeting and working with new colleagues extremely regularly. Being able to embrace this variety and adapt quickly to your new teams will require an ability to build relationships quickly, so have an example to hand of a time that you collaborated well with a group of new people – perhaps as part of a volunteer service or a group project on your degree course – to achieve success.