I am coming from a technical background ( energy engineer) and would like to transition into management consulting. Seeking for advice and guidance along the way.
I’d suggest that you network at the target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people already working there and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process and if they are willing, ask them to submit you as a referral. These activities require much more time on your part but in my opinion would greatly increase your chances for success. Good luck!
As a Marine for Life Representative (https://www.usmc-mccs.org/services/career/marine-for-life-network/), I would encourage you to reach out to me on LinkedIn as I would love to help you think through your transition to consulting. I largely agree with Matt's post, and as a former consultant myself I would be happy to chat about my experiences.
I look forward to connecting,
Didier, there's two routes that I've seen veterans use to successfully transition into management consulting. First is the entry-level route and the second is through campus recruiting at a Top 25 ranked MBA program. In any case, your technical background will serve you well and will give you a leg up since they're looking for people who can handle analytical rigor.
The entry-level route is applicable to Oliver Wymann and possibly Deloitte if you're able secure a "Hire Our Heroes" fellowship. Networking via LinkedIn with veterans in these companies will be key. Bear in mind that most entry-level hires are straight out of undergrad and most Consultant/Senior Consultant roles are post-MBA so your goal would be to secure a senior Analyst role.
The route I took, and the one I routinely recommend to other veterans, is the Top 25 MBA route. Many of the top consulting firms straight up don't hire from outside these target programs.
Given your background (MS from Colorado, service abroad, etc.) I think you'd have a very compelling case to secure a spot at a M7 program (Harvard, UChicago, MIT, Stanford, Penn, Northwestern, Columbia). Chicago Booth and Yale SOM pay 100% of Tuition for qualified veterans. Michigan (Ross), UC-Berkeley (Haas), Virginia (Darden), UCLA (Anderson), Texas (McCombs), and UNC (Kenan-Flager) have no tuition costs for in-state veterans either. You can likely re-use your GRE score for admissions.
When you interview for these roles, you'll be exposed to the case interview format, which is very different from standard behavioral interviews so you need to know how to play the game. In any case, I would prepare by getting the free Victor Cheng case interview materials for veterans (https://www.caseinterview.com/usmilitary). If you take the MBA route, their Management Consulting clubs and veterans groups should offer preparation while you're in school and going through on-campus recruiting to ready you for case interviews.
I would also recommend applying to the Deloitte CORE program for additional preparation (https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/core-leadership-program.html).
Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss this further. I'd be happy to help.
Accenture and IBM both have recruiting vehicles and internal hiring targets focused on candidates with military backgrounds. Visit their careers site and look for the military hiring program. I'm sure the other big firms like Deloitte and BCG have them as well.
Here's some info that may be relevant from a pervious post of mine on ACP.
Best Wishes, Paul
"It sounds like you have a tremendous amount of experience in the areas in which you hope to consult, so what will be new is how the work is delivered (i.e. consulting vs. employee). A conservative approach is to find a consulting firm and work with them to get a lay of the land on how that world works (before venturing out on your own).
Have made the move from employee to consultant in a number of fields, I have found two major things to be different: 1) you'll be getting paid for results/solutions vs. effort, and the timelines are usually shorter, and 2) the "nuts and bolts" of consulting [tracking hours & deliverables & communicating both, sales funnel: leads to opportunities to contracts to invoice to payments].
The alternative to working for a consulting firm is doing it all on your own out of the gate. Often the biggest challenges to this are networking/sales, and having to learn the "nuts and bolts" on your own (good news is that these activities are very similar regardless of industry, so there is a lot of learning resources out there)."
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