Management consultancy

Management consultants are specialists who offer consultancy services to businesses or industries to order to maximise their growth or improve business performance. They may be asked into an organisation for many different reasons; it might be a roll-out of a new IT system, to manage a company acquisition or support bringing a new product to market. Consultants can assist by identifying a company’s options, developing suitable recommendations, providing additional resources and supporting the implementation of solutions.

Consultants can work across a broad range of services such as business strategy, manufacturing and business services, marketing, financial and management controls, human resources, information technology and environmental management. Many graduates enter the profession on a graduate training scheme in a junior role, before progressing and perhaps becoming specialised in a particular field with time and experience. Some graduates choose to enter consultancy as a second career after gaining experience in a particular sector.

The day-to-day activities of management consultants are often project-based and located at or close to a client’s premises. Hence, flexibility to travel across the UK, even internationally, with frequent stays away from home is often required.

Case study interviews

These are typically encountered in business, consulting and finance roles. Employers use this type of exercise to assess your commercial awareness and logical thinking.

Business analysts and commercial roles

While management consultants are employed to go into businesses to give advice, many businesses also employ their own teams of business analysts, consultants and commercial managers.

These roles will differ depending on the nature of the business and what they are trying to achieve. Usually the aim is to grow or make the business more profitable. This could be done by analysing sales data, market research information, usage of a service, financial data or even staffing information to inform restructuring. You may be asked to create or use models to forecast future sales, profit or usage to inform management about business decisions.

Analytical skills, a knowledge of statistics, economic models, database and programming skills will be useful, but may be developed further in role. For example some companies may sponsor training for the Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA) qualification, once you join them.

You may see statements like candidates need the "ability to analyse and interpret complex information, an understanding of how markets operate and businesses respond to customers, excellent communication and relationship building skills."

Vacancies and further information