Just had a couple of questions about consulting. I am considering a career in consulting post-MBA and wanted to get some answers.
[*] If you have experience in large fortune 500 companies that are usually clients of some of the big consulting companies (Bain, McKinsey, Boston, Deloitte,etc.), is that favorable/look good?
[*]Some of the people I know that are in consulting have been between projects for a long period time and are often working from home. Do consultants get paid during the time between projects? Are projects assigned or do consultants usually choose the projects they want and hope for the best?
Have you had a read through this thread yet? http://gmatclub.com/forum/down-on-consulting-43294.html
I think it would provide an insight into the industry, and perhaps even answer questions you may not know you have!
To address your questions specifically,
1. Perhaps - an understanding of how large organisations operate is a plus, but it really comes down to you - your experience, your skills, your work ethic. I work for a global consultancy and my firm does hire consultants from large industry companies, but we have also hired people from boutique firms. In the end, you
are the one that recruitment will assess and make a decision on, not the company you come from.
2. Yes - most consultants at large firms are salary-based and therefore paid the same whether you are on the beach (between projects), or working 100 hours a week. I say "most" only because I don't want to make sweeping generalisations, but only in extremely special cases (e.g. you have a particular skill and are a subject matter expert) would you be hired on a contract-by-contract basis. Projects can either be assigned by resourcing, or self-initiated. I think this comes down a little to the culture in your firm, but I would say that: i/ if there is work and you are unassigned, you're getting the project regardless of your preferences; ii/ you may specify projects that you're particularly interested in, and depending on the firm, they will accommodate you. At my work, my manager has helped me strategise the assignments I get placed on, which is based on my interest to learn about a particular industry/type of work and achieve my career development goals.
Hope that helps.