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…