Consulting has quickly become a buzz word on the University of Richmond campus over the past few years. While the profession has been around for many years, students on campus have recently opened their eyes to the dynamic opportunities that are offered within the consulting field. But most students are still learning what consulting is. Here’s a quick overview.
“Consulting, in the business context, means the giving of advice for pay. Consultants offer their advice and skill in solving problems, and are hired by companies who need the expertise and outside perspective that consultants possess.” (Vault Career Guide to Consulting, 2002).
In essence, consulting requires critical thinking, problem solving skills, and the ability to think strategically. Consulting firms typically look to hire students with a strong set of these skills rather than people with specific majors. It’s pertinent to gain some work experience in the field during college to sharpen this skill set whether you have an internship with a consulting firm or even a smaller entrepreneurial company where you can experience strategic planning.
Consultants gather information about their client and the problem that is presented. They use this data to design a solution that is then recommended to the client. Finally, they often continue to follow up with the client to ensure that changes are working and potentially offer additional advice.
Consulting is needed in a variety of fields including business strategy, operations, IT, human resources, etc. There are many firms that specialize in one type of specific consulting like healthcare and also larger firms that offer various types of consulting services to clients. This provides the opportunity to pair your skill set with a unique interest area to define the type of consulting that might be the best fit for you.
Does this career path sound interesting to you? Want to learn more? Next week on Tuesday, September 17 we will be hosting our “What is Consulting?” program where you can continue to learn more about this field from a set of panelists representing Deloitte Consulting, LLP, IBM, and CapTech Consulting. This program will take place from 5:30-7:00pm in Jepson 120 and you can RSVP through SpiderConnect.
Our Spider Road Trip for Consulting in Washington, D.C. is also coming up on October 14 & 15 during fall break. This is a great opportunity to visit multiple consulting firms, learn about the industry, and network with employers and alumni. For more information on the program and how to apply visit our Spider Road Trip page.
After attending these programs we encourage you to come into the office and speak with an advisor about your interests in consulting and how to create an action plan to pursue this industry. One of our newest career advisors, Ashleigh Brock, focuses on working with students who are interested in consulting and to schedule an appointment please call us at (804) 289-8547 or stop by our office on the 3rd floor of the Commons.