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Charles asks…

Would this be a good mix for Strategy Consulting?

I am currently an undergraduate transferring to the University of Florida. At the college I am receiving my associates degree, my focus was on finance which is to what I applied for to UF. I was accepted. After some significant changes in my life I want to change my major to something that is more challenging and stands out compared to finance. I want to switch my major to Industrial Engineering (IE). This major is perfect for me because it is very quantitative and it focuses on business aspects.

The dilemma is that I might not be able to transfer to IE because of the lateness in my undergraduate career. Alright so here are my two options I am considering:
1. I make the switch to IE, stay at UF about one year longer more or less and of course graduate Magna Cu m Laude, (or else it is pointless, not to be conceded but I am smart). Then I would receive some experience in the field followed by appling to Boston Consulting Group (my target firm). Or just apply straight to BCG.

2. This option I would finish my degree in finance at UF. Then I would receive a masters degree in IE from a top notch school. Then apply straight to BCG.

Basically which option sounds better? I’m on the fence leaning more towards two because it sounds better on paper etc.

By the way I intentionally placed a space between Cu and m because Yahoo replaces it with stars because of its explicit meaning in other contexts.

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

BSG is perhaps the most prestigious Consulting Group in the world. They get thousands of applicants,
What make you think they won’t just toss your application at first glance?

Few reputable schools will allow you to take a Master’s in Industrial Engineering without an undergraduate in Engineering or at least a year of bridging course. You would be more likely to get into a Master’s in Technology Management (MSTM).

James asks…

I want to be a Management consultant at a management Consulting Firm and then go on to my own company?

I want to be a Management consultant at a management Consulting Firm and then go on to my own company?
I would like to double major in Business Administration, and International Business and then get a job as a Management Consultant. I would also like to one day open my own Strategy/Management Consulting Firm and then spread Internationally. Does it really matter what four year college I attend? How much can I expect to make in this job?

And please dont come at me with the “it shouldnt matter what you make” line because that just isnt how the world goes round ok… Be realistic. I care about what kind of life I’m going to live financially so I can care less about your feelings on how much you should love your career even if you dont make alot of money. Id rather not live in a one bedroom apartment… Thanks in advance for any information on this job. Hey can someone also provide me with a website that shows this career in detail….? Thanks…

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

You ask some good questions, and your goals are not unrealistic. Now, I would have to say that it will be very hard to expand your company internationally, but it is not impossible. What I would do instead is this:

If you want to double major, I would major in business administration and Communication Studies or Public Relations. Most universities lump PR in with business, but the reality is that it is completely different. I say this because, as a business major, you will take courses in global business and international studies. Most colleges have international professors teaching courses here to offer the intercultural perspective of business. They know that in today’s age that international relations is a necessity.

Communication will open up the doors to PR and marketing, which is a hot commodity for a consultant, for you will be able to help a client market a product that will be beneficial to them. A Communication degree will also teach you the aspects of organizational communication, which is absolutely essential for a consultant. If the communication in an organization is off, that is when a client will outreach to make sure that their company runs smoothly, and just where the problems lie.

As far as what college you attend, I would say that it does matter. Work really hard in high school, and make sure that you have a choice of top tier schools. I would suggest University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Harvard Business, Princeton, and any other Ivy League school. If this is unattainable, do not stress where you go. I went to Longwood University in a small town in Virginia, and they have an excellent business school, and Communication Studies program. I am starting Grad School at Virginia Commonwealth University, where I am taking courses in strategic Public Relations, Organizational Communication, and Global PR. Just make sure that wherever you go for college, make sure you do well enough to graduate with a really good GPA.

I would go to any undergraduate school you choose, do really well there (join organizations that with a business background and maintain at least a 3.7 GPA), then go to the best grad school that you possibly can. This will greatly increase your chances of making your dream a reality.

Also, be aware that this is not something that you will be able to start and get the ball rolling right away. You have to network with everyone. Remember: your friends in high school and your friends in college, well, everyone you meet is a potential client. Keep in tough with those that will help you, and those that may need your service down the road.

You will also need to join a firm in this line of work first to help you build these relationships and networks that will allow you to start your own firm. I would look at McKinsey & Company at www.mckinsey.com

I would also read the following books on the subject:

The McKinsey Way by Ethan Rasiel

The McKinsey Mind by Ethan Rasiel and Paul Friga

The McKinsey Engagement by Paul Friga.

McKinsey is the most popular PR firm in the world. They have ways of solving problems that will greatly help your career. No matter where you go after college, these books and lessons learned will greatly benefit you to realizing your goal.

As far as money, at first you will make about 50,000-60,000 with another company. You will only go up from there, if you are good. You just have to have the credentials so people believe that you are, and if you don’t make them realize it!

This is the same field of which I am seeking job opportunities. I am wanting to start my own consulting business on the side while working.

I hope that this answer will help you, anything else, just e-mail me, I will be glad to help.

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