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.
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.
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.
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.
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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