Why Consulting?

First and foremost I want to address the myth that all high achieving students have about consulting, “You need talent to be a consultant!”. I completely dismiss this notion and would like to replace it with another idea, “You need no special talent, you only need to be passionately curious!”. Curiosity drives intuition and that’s exactly what consultants thrive on – Business Intuition.

Not too long ago, I ditched the daily milkshake that I used to grab on my way to work from a little corner shop near my office. For 3 long years, milkshakes were my daily drug, but all of a sudden I stopped buying them, and so did others. Do you want to know why? Keep reading along.

What a consumer perceives about a product, a company must foresee in advance. A consumer does not necessarily know what they need, and so a company has a unique opportunity to create a need for its consumers. As a result, it is the responsibility of the company to understand the consumer more than the consumer understands themselves.

Going back to my milkshake story, can you guess why customers stopped buying milkshakes and why the company’s sales hit rock bottom?

Was there a new milk bar in town?

Or had there been an unfortunate change to the milkshake’s recipe?

Neither of these were the case.

So, what had changed?

As it turned out, the only change that had been introduced was a change in the design of the milkshake glass. To make it more attractive, the company had created a new plastic glass that was a treat for the eyes but not for hands. It was much heavier than the previous one.

Now, you might be wondering, why is it important to understand the design of the milkshake glass? As long as it looks beautiful, why worry about the weight?

Well, let me introduce you to the world of numbers.

About 67.8% of the total milkshake sales were between 7 am to 10 am on weekdays. Of those who bought the shakes, 92% of the customers were working professionals who took the shake on-the-go, and 73% of those morning milkshake lovers travelled by public transport while sipping their shake. The new heavy milkshake glass made it too inconvenient for people to carry while hopping on and off of trains. As a result, the change in glass design directly affected the customers who bought more than 60% of the shop’s milkshakes.

The company could not figure out the cause of its declining sales until it consulted a leading management consulting firm that performed a customer analysis and identified the needs of the milk bar’s largest revenue generating customer segment.

Was this rocket science? Or was an advanced degree required to fix this problem? I can’t see anything here but simple business intuition and an ability to understand the customer.

Voila! Consulting comes easy. Doesn’t it?

Well, not really! Simple business intuition is something that takes time to develop as you learn about your clients’ vision, their positioning in the market, and the needs of their customers.

So why choose a career in consulting?

Well, if you found yourself curious to know why the milkshakes weren’t selling, then you really might be suited to consulting. A career where you seek solutions to seemingly complex problems which often have common sense solutions; where you have the opportunity to fine-tune or transform a client’s business; and where you are constantly challenged to go beyond your intellectual limits to provide advice on entirely new businesses, products and markets.

If you are attracted to a dynamic yet demanding work environment, then consulting might be the field for you.

Bhavya Gandhi is passionate about solving business problems and creating an impact in the lives of people for both economic as well as human good.

Image: Pexels

Why Consulting?

Why Consulting

(Source: Flickr)

In the consulting interview, your interviewer is likely to ask you the following straightforward question, “why consulting?”

Relevance of the question

The question is relevant for two reasons:

  1. Your interviewer is likely to ask it in the interview; and
  2. You will be much more likely to succeed (in the interview and afterwards) if you can clearly and passionately articulate in your own mind the reasons why you want to work in the consulting industry.

How to answer the question

The way you respond to the question is more important than what you say. The most important thing is to be sincere and passionate about getting into the industry.

Think about why you want to get into the industry and write down each reason as a bullet point. Review your points before stepping into the interview.

Reasons to enter the consulting industry

Here are thirteen (13) reasons that you might give in answer to the question “why consulting?”:

  1. Early responsibility: Opportunity to get early responsibility tackling real world business problems;
  2. Skills: Opportunity to develop marketable skills in a prestigious environment;
  3. Learning: Continuous learning through project experience and formal training;
  4. Work experience: Working with intelligent and energetic people;
  5. Mentors: Exposure to senior consultants and the chance to learn how they think, act, and analyze problems;
  6. Networking: Access to senior clients and an extensive alumni network;
  7. Variety of work: Opportunity to undertake a diverse range projects across a broad range of industries;
  8. Remuneration: Consulting is prestigious and the money is good;
  9. Teamwork: Working as part of an elite fast paced team;
  10. Impact: Creating solutions that lead to improved organisational performance;
  11. Travel: Opportunity to travel with work;
  12. B-school: Increasing the chance of being accepted into a top business school;
  13. Exit opportunities: The skills, networks and branding of a few years at a management consulting firm will open new doors and the experience will always look good on your résumé.

[For more information on consulting interview, download “The HUB’s Guide to the Consulting Interview“.]

Why consulting?

You will be more likely to succeed if you can clearly articulate why you are getting into the consulting industry

BEFORE applying for interviews, one question that you will want to ask yourself is “why consulting?”

Relevance of the question

The question is important for at least two reasons:

  1. You will be asked this question in your interview so it is a good idea to be prepared; and
  2. You will be much more likely to succeed (in the interview and afterwards) if you can clearly and passionately articulate in your own mind the reasons why you are getting into the industry.

How to answer the question

The way you respond to the question is more important than what you say. The most important thing is to be sincere and passionate about getting into the industry.

Think about why you want to get into the industry and write down each reason as a dot point. Memorise your dot points before you step into the interview room.

Your reasons

It is important that you are true to yourself, and have your own reasons for wanting to enter the industry.

Here are the 4 reasons why consulting is an obvious choice:

  • Solving business problems: Working with high profile clients to solve challenging business problems
  • Learning from the best: Working with and learning from super intelligent and energetic people
  • Building relationships: Working on a consulting engagement would be a great opportunity to build relationships with colleagues and business leaders
  • Travel: Consulting is a great way to combine travel with work

What are/were your reasons for wanting to get into the industry?

Respond in the forum.