The first annual Consultants of Color event took place early October, in the Walter Massey Leadership center. The event was the first of its kind on Morehouse’s campus, where recruiters from the leaders of the consulting industry came together to answer questions and provide information about internship and full time opportunities. Hosted by Morehouse Business Association President Corey Snow, this event provided the unique opportunity to hear stories and experiences from the consulting career path.
The companies in attendance were AT Kearney, Deloitte, Bain & Company, and Accenture; with Eddie Campbell, Procurement and Analytic Solutions, Juliana Truesdale, Mergers and Acquisitions, Clayton Nelson, Case Team Leader, and Darien Henry, Technology Strategy Manager representing them respectively. Each representative spoke about a usual work day and what assignments were like and how their specific company would approach it. Answers were very similar but each perspective added another layer that helped students visualize what a career in consulting could provide for them.
In describing the interview process and the concept of a case study interview, a feature very common to interviews for a consulting job,Campbell from AT Kearney began led the session. He explained the basis of general business problems that a consultant would be brought in to help with and said that it may not be that this company does not have the ability to solve it on their own, but that it could just be more convenient to let someone with more experience or specialization come in to handle it.
These business problems could be from any range of difficulties but Campbell explained that, “consultants can be seen as the doctors of the business world; that you would not go to the doctors for a small cold, but if things got more complicated or the cold lasted for a long time you would. And it would be the same for consultants.”
Expanding on the case interview process, Nelson commented that a consultant is very easy to distinguish, even just when talking to one because of the way they present information. The concept of “speaking in threes,” was one strategy that was highlighted as something that need to be practiced until they become second-nature.
Stated several times, the life of a consultant includes assignments that require weeks of long hours with very little sleep, but the variety of work and invaluable network that is formed makes it all worthwhile.
Explaining the concept of being “on the bench,” the term used when a consultant is in between assignments and is looking for their next project, Henry from Accenture moved the conversation forward. Henry said, “you don’t want to spend too much time on the bench, as a supervisor might ask to sit down with you and ask about it, but that it can be a good opportunity to work on online courses to improve skills.” The amount of travel available, and the fact that nearly any job can arise from a career in consulting, maintains the professions popularity.
Wrapping up, each representative also shared personal experiences about challenges faced in the field and mistakes that were made and how they were handled. Truesdale of Deloitte explained her usual work week and that it usually consisted of, “traveling to the client to work with them Monday through Thursday and returning to the office on Friday to meet back with the team.” This schedule can leave little time to socialize with family and friends but she highlighted that it is very key to manage time properly to not have to sacrifice.
Along with their personal experiences at their companies, the representatives outlined the summer opportunities for sophomores and juniors as well as full time opportunities for seniors. These opportunities provide real consulting experience in offices across the country and the information for these programs can be found on each companies website. They are very selective programs with a minimum of two rounds of interviews, so a good amount of preparation is necessary but is very worth it.
With a great turnout of students and a well-run panel, the Consultants of Color event looks to become a staple and annual event for the MBA. A big thanks goes out to the representatives that came out and shared so much invaluable knowledge and to the faculty and students who organized the event.
Editor-in-Chief, MBA Today