Consultants provide professional advice to clients regarding a wide variety of business problems. Companies hire consulting firms to provide expertise and an outside perspective on their business problems and to develop strategies to improve their organization.

Consultants work across a range of different industry sectors including Energy, Financial, Human Resources and Organizational Behavior, Information Technology, Management and Strategy, Operations and Supply Chain Management, and Pharmaceutical and Healthcare. They also work in various practice areas such as Operations and Implementation, Financial, Healthcare, Economic, and Human Resources.

Necessary Skills

Skills needed for a career in consulting
  • Strong PowerPoint skills
  • Listening skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Business acumen and industry specific knowledge
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Persuasive communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Strategic thinking and able to synthesize information 
  • Quantitative skills
  • Verbal and written communication skills

Degrees and Certifications

Although you can obtain some consulting positions with a Bachelors degree, depending on the field, below are advanced degrees and certifications typically associated with consulting positions.
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Public Policy
  • Master of Public Health Administration
  • Law Degree
  • Certified Financial Consultant (CFC)

How to Get Started

6 steps to get you started in consulting
  1. Join a relevant student organization.
    Examples: Mason Consulting Club or Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)
  2. Attend networking events to meet employers.
  3. Shadow a consulting professional to see if the job is a right fit for you.
    Take part in Mason's job shadowing program called Take a Patriot to Work Day.
  4. Complete at least one internship prior to graduation.
    Consider getting course credit for your internship.
  5. Join a professional association prior to graduation such as Association of Management Consulting Firms.
  6. Conduct informational interviews with professionals in the field through Mason Career Link (under the networking tab in HireMason).

Resources

Research, get experience, and get connected to contacts in consulting.

Industry Research

Job & Internship Search

  • HireMason: Mason's centralized job and internship database
  • Wetfeet: Search for an overview of the consulting industry and related careers
  • Consulting Crossing: Job search website that aggregates jobs in the consulting industry from numerous sources
  • Doostang: Job search database with jobs related to consulting and other areas of business
  • Top Consultant: A database with global job opportunities in the consulting industry

Experiential Learning

  • Apply to be a Leadership Consultant through Mason's LEAD Office
  • Obtain a leadership position in your student organization
  • Consider a Study Abroad Internship to obtain global business experience
  • Participate in Take a Patriot to Work Day, a one-day job shadowing event, to shadow a consultant or utilize Mason CareerLink via HireMason to find professionals who are willing to host a job shadow.
  • Obtain a minimum of one to two related internships before your graduate

Professional Associations

Case Interviewing

Job Functions

Communication Consultant

Communication Consultants provide internal or external support for a company's communication department. Companies may hire a consultant to handle communication needs, such as in the areas of public and media relations, publicity, and customer service.

Financial Consultant

Financial consultants provide financial advice to corporations and money managers. This advice may involve the strategies for creating shareholder value, business valuation, M&A advisory, economic forecasts and analysis or suggestions for Treasury management.

Health Care Consultant

Health care consultants are interested in managed care solutions, reengineering, IT projects, strategy and program evaluation.

Human Resources Consultant

Human resource consulting serves organizations seeking outside assistance with their workplace needs and organizational goals. An HR consultant either advises an existing human resources department, or completes projects the company leadership assigns directly.

IT Consultant

IT Consultants advise clients on how to use information and communication technologies to meet their commercial or personal needs and goals. IT consultants are most commonly employed by organizations or businesses to improve the function of the organization's IT infrastructure.

Management Analyst/Consultant

Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve an organization’s efficiency. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.

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Matt Myers

Matt Myers, Consulting Industry Advisor
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