The Dark Side of Consulting Careers

Every top MBA program places a significant number of graduates in the consulting function.  The high salaries, variety of projects, and fast-paced work environment all encourage MBAs to propel themselves onto this career path.  And while these benefits would be enticing to any professional, every career path has its dark side.  During my three years as a management consultant, these were the aspects I liked the least and have made it very unlikely for me to return.

(Please note that my comments apply primarily to the larger management and strategy consulting firms, made up of the Big Three (McKinsey, Bain, BCG), the current Big Four (PWC, E&Y, KPMG, Deloitte), and the various spinoffs from the original Big Five (Accenture, IBM, Bearing Point, Cap Gemini).  A lot of smaller boutiques have actually built their consulting firms around directly addressing the points below)

Work Life Balance

In nearly all recruiting presentations by consulting firms, there will be a lengthy section about work life balance.  Some of the ones I saw showcased an extremely busy partner, who had an overwhelming work schedule, but managed to spend time with his family and had a great relationship with his kids.  Strange how most other career tracks don’t make such a hard sell…

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BTG’s Write Like an Expert Series Begins Today

One complaint I’ve always had about admissions consultants is that they can sometimes be too vague with their guidance.  This is understandable given that they must cater to a large audience whom may be applying to a number of different schools.  However, with a new webinar series, the admissions consultants now have a chance to … Read more

Do Consultants Have an Edge When Applying to Business School?

When I graduated from college, I worked for one of the Big 4 consulting firms.  From the day we started, we were told that our ultimate goal was to go on to business school and hopefully rejoin the firm.  Based on my personal observations, there was not a single consultant, of those who applied, who … Read more

The Consulting Swingset Analogy

Most people who work in consulting have seen the cartoon above being related to both project management and consulting work in general. The picture comes from projectcartoon.com, which even has a feature that lets you create your own swingset analogy cartoon. Besides being extremely funny, the cartoon does illustrate a number of the unfortunate realities … Read more

Top Ten Signs You’ve Become a Consultant

You find it difficult to explain things without PowerPoint. The Monday morning flight attendants know you better than your neighbors. You tried to raise a plant at home and it died. You constantly use words that don’t really exist. You regularly divulge sensitive client information with your family and friends.  Who cares?  They won’t understand you anyway. You … Read more