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"Why an MBA?" for switching into management consulting...

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"Why an MBA?" for switching into management consulting... [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 15:29
Hi all,

I'm currently working on trying to figure out "why an MBA?" for my essays, particularly as it pertains to switching careers into management consulting. I'm struggling a bit as to specifics though, as far as what specific skill sets and things an MBA from XX school will provide me that will help me transition into consulting. (I come from an accounting (audit/tax) and semi-finance background, with an undergrad in business.)

As far as I know, consulting is really about strategy and understanding a business' problems and finding ways to solve them - so should I talk about business strategy courses? Since my undergrad was in business, it's tough for me to really state "I want to learn about the various functional areas of business - marketing, finance, accounting, ops, etc" since I've technically already taken those courses during my undergrad. Should I talk about the 'soft skills' of working in teams, solving problems on case studies, etc. that I will gain from an MBA? Or is that too non-specific?

Just wanted to get some ideas on what specific things I can identify in my essays of what an MBA can provide me as far as switching careers into strategy consulting goes. Thanks!
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Re: "Why an MBA?" for switching into management consulting... [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 21:11
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If you haven't, please have a look at sites such as http://managementconsulted.com/ or http://firmsconsulting.com/ (I'm not affiliated with any of them) to understand a little bit more about management consulting. Hopefully you can find out what it is about management consulting that makes it personally interesting for you. Compensation aside, put yourself in a consultant shoes, and try to imagine what makes you excited to be in this industry. Does dealing with ambiguity and provide direction and structure for the client scare or excite you?

If you can, it would be good to narrow it down to a specific industry that you'd like to focus on as well because of reason x, e.g. past experiences and passion.

Some options:
You can talk about how you'd like to consolidate the knowledge of the various functional areas of business and how they come together from a general management perspective. If your target schools use case method, you can also mention about your desire to sharpen your decision-making by learning from various cases covered.

Furthermore, to strengthen the argument, in the 'Why School X?' section, you can talk about the hands-on opportunities related to consulting that some schools provide, e.g. FIELD at HBS, MAP at Ross, etc.
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Re: "Why an MBA?" for switching into management consulting... [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2012, 03:05
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I totally agree that you need to first get a good handle of what it is consultants ACTUALLY do. Read, and talk to a few to get an idea of what it is like day-to-day minute to minute. also, there are lots of different types of people/jobs/specializations that tend to get grouped under the amorphous term "Consultant" (think of Jaffar in Aladdin... he too is the King's "consultant" :) )... So, you can FOCUS yourself in on what you REALLY want to do. Once you do that, this will help clarify your NEEDS.

As for Why MBA, well that will be easy for you, as anywhere between 20-50% of most top MBA programs graduates go into consulting. More and more MBAs seem to be "consulting schools", so the logic is inherent. That doesn't mean you don't have to explain yourself. you DO, of course, but that it shouldn't be too hard, as soooo many things in the programs are designed to make you into a great consultant.
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Re: "Why an MBA?" for switching into management consulting... [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2013, 01:23
I am working as a senior business consultant in kpmg, a business consulting firm based in Toronto.
Your understanding about business consulting is true to some extend.I think Business consulting skills could be earned through only experience. However if you really want to switch to business consulting, you should read many blogs.If you have real passion, you can definitely succeed in the field of consulting.
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Re: "Why an MBA?" for switching into management consulting... [#permalink] New post 26 May 2014, 23:55
zesty wrote:
I'm struggling a bit as to specifics though, as far as what specific skill sets and things an MBA from XX school will provide me that will help me transition into consulting. (I come from an accounting (audit/tax) and semi-finance background, with an undergrad in business.)

Management Consulting is a pretty broad field.

You'll have to be more specific about which domain you want to focus on - strategy, technology, operations, HR, finance - and then find a way to connect the dots.

As a consultant you'd be dealing with clients from diverse industries. So the assumption is that you have a set of skills that can fix problems across industries ranging from manufacturing to media to telecom.

For ethical and legal reasons some businesses would be out of bounds for management consulting engagements.

Though consulting firms interview and accept applicants with a wide range of backgrounds, showing that you have some ready-to-use skills that can be put to use immediately can improve the odds and the credibility of your MBA application as well.

With your accounting background, you might have a gap in the operational, marketing, strategy areas. This is where an MBA can help.

The case study approach is a great way to get exposed to numerous business problems, some that might span across disciplines (like operations + finance, or marketing + strategy).
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Re: "Why an MBA?" for switching into management consulting...   [#permalink] 26 May 2014, 23:55
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