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Breaking into Consulting

Veteran

Robine Lunkwitz Manhattan, KS

I am looking to break into the field of management consulting. I am not certain where to begin. I have experience in various industries and countless degrees and certifications but I am just not certain how to reach out or who to reach out to get further information about how to transition my current skills and education and experience into a new career with a new company.

14 May 2019 6 replies Mentoring

Answers

Advisor

Mark Powers

Hi Robine,
To provide some additional context, consulting is a very broad term that can mean many different things. And consultancies are also very different, as some are generalist strategy shops, while others focus on a specific industry, problem, or function.

There are also pluses and minuses to consulting. Sometimes consultants can feel like they just provide advice, but don't actually implement any of their solutions. Others enjoy the variety of organizations and problems they work with. Figuring out what specifically you want from consulting would be helpful to narrow your search.

Finally, is there anything stopping you from trying out consulting on the side while you're at your current employer? Perhaps some freelancing work on nights or weekends would give you a better feel for what you want to do in consulting, and would give you some experience in advising before going to a consultancy.

Hope that helps! Happy to discuss further if it would be useful.

Veteran

Steve Adolt Lancaster, PA

Good afternoon, Robine!

I've read your question as well as the directions provided in response.

If I may approach this a little differently, after reading your profile where you say you love what you do but feel there is no opportunity for growth at your current company.

Having been a consultant as well as corporate employee, I can tell you consulting doesn't necessarily equal growth.

I would challenge you to ask yourself the following, though, which may provide better insight into your next step(s):

1. What makes me happy about the job I'm currently doing?
1a. Why?
2. What doesn't make me happy about the job I'm currently doing?
2a. Why?
3. Can i change any of the answers from 2?
3a. Why or why not?
4. What does opportunity for growth really look like to you?
5. Is / Are their companies out there that would provide this opportunity?

Armed with this information and insight about yourself an the possibilities, go back and ask yourself if either independent or salaried consulting now fits within what you really want and, if so, you now know what you want. Go get it!

If you'd like to schedule some time to chat, please reach out to me at steve@stevenadolt.com.

It would be my pleasure to talk with you.

Sincerely,

Steve

Advisor

Chad Eaves Lake Zurich, IL

Hi Robine,

A good starting point are these four questions.

1. What skill/touralent/ do you have that people will pay for?
2. ln what area do other people recognize you an expert?
3. Can you make the commitment to live and breathe that field?
4. Why do you want to be a consultant?

I am PwC alumni. Consulting can require and mean very different things ( not all good). I would advise you to come up with three to five questions. Then ask every active and retired consultant you can find.

I would hesitate on any additional degrees. Perhaps on MBA with a strong network (like Kellogg or Booth) or a very specific program for a specific career (such as law or a career that has specific licensing requirements).

With any additional schooling, the cost and funding must also be considered.

Good luck!

Advisor

Chuck Burger King Of Prussia, PA

Robine,

Most if not all USG agencies including Civil (NASA, DOE, DHS) DoD, and Intel (NGA, NRO, DIA]) utilize the services of support contractors to carry out their respective missions. These support contractors provide consultation services across a wide array of functions including engineering (hardware/software) and administrative (finance, program/performance management) functions These support contactors offer opportunities both nationwide and worldwide. They include the likes of Booze, Allen, Hamilton (BAH), CACI International Inc. (CACI), Deloitte, and Tecolote Research, Inc. (TRI) to name a few. There are a few that are veteran owned and operated, such as SNA Software LLC and 540.co that latter of which lets you pitch your dream job to them for consideration.

Other categories of “consultants” include Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) which are public-private partnerships (sponsored and primarily funded by the USG) that conduct research for the USG and include such organizations as Aerospace Corporation, Institute for Defense Analysis, and Rand. And there are the similarly USG sponsored University-Affiliated Research Center Laboratories (UARCs) including Johns Hopkins (Applied Research Laboratory), Maryland (Center for Advanced Study of Language) , Nebraska (National Strategic Research Institute), Penn State (Applied Research Laboratory), Texas (Applied Research Laboratory), and USC (Institute for Creative Technologies ) to name a few.

Both resources can be Googled for a more exhaustive list of potential prospects. I suggest these resources because they are all to a large degree veteran friendly.

I would recommend researching their websites to obtain an understanding of the types of services they provide and career paths that they offer including the backgrounds in training and education required. You can then develop a pursuit strategy to match your ultimate employment goals.

Advisor

FRANCIS TEPEDINO, ESQ. San Diego, CA

I retired a few years ago from running my own, 28 year nation-wide, consulting firm.

Here are some hard questions to ask yourself
Why would a company pay you to do consulting work?
What specific skills, experience, expertise do you have that the target company does not already have "in house"?
What distinguishes you from the hoard of MBA's running around?

You say you have "countless degrees..." Wow! Saying that could be a total turn off to a prospective employer. (Darn, I only have 3 plus lots of grad studies).

However you did not mention your specific educational background: What degrees do you have from an accredited university or college?

My "two cents" add a Juris Doctor to your resume and join a large existing consulting firm. Work there for 5 years then found your own firm.

Good luck.

Advisor

Tim Feemster Dallas, TX

First, thank you for your service to our country.

You have to look at your experience and determine how that experience can be translated into a sector for business strategy. Most major consulting firms that work for large US corporations tend to work on corporate strategy issues. Once you figure this out, you can research firms that consult in that business sector arena. Also, you might want to look for firms that consult with the military. Your experience on the ground in the service may well be valuable to these companies.

If you have more questions of me, you can connect with me at Tim@feemsters.com.

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