Students interested in General Management Consulting need a strong foundation in each of the basic disciplines, with heavy emphasis on courses in strategic thinking and analysis. In addition, it is important to understand how to review a client's financial statements and to assess the client's internal strengths and weaknesses. Students need to be familiar with strategic, marketing, and financial analysis tools.
The Financial Consulting career path might involve a student taking a position with a management consulting firm and focusing on the planning, budgeting, systems, etc. needs of a broad variety of firms. Other consulting careers might include a position with a consulting firm focusing on the needs of a specific industry such as banking, insurance, real estate, health care, energy, pharmaceuticals, or utilities. Other possibilities include consulting firms that focus on specific functional or regulatory needs such as risk management, pensions and benefits, compliance with environmental regulations, litigation support, economic analysis, and statistical and quantitative analysis.
Consultants specializing in Marketing Consulting should be prepared to assist their clients on all aspects of the planning, organization, and implementation of the marketing mix. Clients will seek expertise and assistance in understanding their customers and markets, assessing competition, evaluating new products, setting pricing strategy, managing distribution and sales channels, and optimizing marketing communications activities. Strong analytical skills and a keen interest in bringing quantitative analysis to the solution of marketing problems is typically associated with success.
The Operations Consulting career path is designed for students interested in consulting to improve operations in a variety of firms in the services (entertainment/media, information and financial) and manufacturing (both conventional and high technology) sectors. The operations management function has become increasingly important as firms focus on cost, flexibility, quality, productivity, and responsiveness to changing market conditions in order to compete successfully in today's global markets. While consulting encompasses many specific tasks and requires broad functional knowledge, there is an increased need and appreciation of the usefulness of operations consulting. This career path provides the strategic and analytical skills needed to thrive in the operations consulting environment.