This information is to help you start exploring careers in consulting. It is by no means exhaustive, and you should definitely look for additional sources of information.
Consulting is a career in which you provide insight and expertise to clients with particular strategy, operational, or technical needs. The broadest version of this is management consulting in which you may work with professionals from many different industries. There are also industry-specific opportunities in consulting, focusing on engineering, economics, government, pharma, environment, and many others. Consulting firms are looking for talent from various backgrounds, no matter if it’s in social sciences, humanities, or STEM.
If you are new to consulting, take this short course to get an overview of the consulting industry and further your preparation for fall recruitment.
In this course, you will learn about different types of consulting, some of the bigger firms recruiting on campus, what a case interview is, and approaches to prepare.
Watch these introductory videos to learn more.
- Management consulting
- Life science consulting
- Environmental consulting
- Engineering consulting and Why become an engineering consultant
- Technology consulting
- Government consulting (for STEM)
- Healthcare consulting
- Economics consulting
In addition to consultant positions, consulting firms employ people in a variety of roles, including data scientist/analyst, economist, video producer, presentation designer, and training/professional development.
Compare Different Consulting Organizations
|Abt Associates||Dewberry ANSYS||Ramboll Environ||Center for Environmental Farming Systems|
|NERA||ANSYS||Enviroscan||Product Stewardship Institute|
|Bates White Economic Consulting||MDB, Inc.|
|Cornerstone Research||Barbara J. Goldsmith & Co.|
|Life Science & Healthcare||Political Risk||Energy|
|Pricespective||Mathematica Policy Research||Control Risks||Tessella|
|Clearview||Quintiles Advisory||Aon||Green Powered Technology|
|Nuventra||Sciome LLC||Eurasia Group||Quanta Technology|
|Putnam Associates||Bionest Partners|
|Federal/Public Sector||Financial Tech||Management/Strategy|
|Maximus||Capco||Bright Leaf||Charles River Associates|
|CGI||Prescio||Eagle Hill Consulting||Deloitte|
|Cagemini||FIS||Accenture||Ernst & Young/Parthenon|
|KPMG||RSM US||Bain & Co.||MckInsey|
|LMI||Boston Consulting Group||PwC|
|Policy/Nonprofit||Global Health||Human Capital||International Development|
|Duff & Phelps||Global Health Strategies||FMP Consulting||ICF|
|Results for Development||John Snow, Inc.||CACI||Agrifood Consulting International|
|Bridgespan Group||Insight Global Health||Insperity|
|Aspire Research Group||Emerson Human Capital Consulting|
|Moss and Ross|
|ReD Associates||Clarkson Consulting||Avanade|
|Insitum||Booz Allen Hamilton||BM Global Business Solutions|
|Social Science Insights||Atos||DXC|
Tip: search LinkedIn or Google Finance for these employers, and look for the section on related companies to help you identify others.
Recruitment for Management Consulting
For some companies, Bachelor’s and Master’s candidates are recruited separately from PhDs. If you are pursuing a Master’s degree, consulting companies expect your cover letter to contain information about why you decided to pursue a Master’s. Consulting firms with branches around the world may also have different recruitment pipelines for international students looking to move out of the United States.
Explore Additional Consulting and Career Resources
- Consulting Magazine
- McKinsey Quarterly
- Read through a list of top consulting firms in the US
- Read through a list of consulting firms based in North Carolina
- Brush up on the history of consulting and the largest consulting firms
- Firmsconsulting podcasts and videos
- Videos of discussions on careers in business and consulting for humanities and social science PhDs
and science and engineering PhDs
- Consulting: panel discussion and professionals’ career stories on Versatile PhD
- Comparing Boutique and Big Consulting Firms
- Review resources and network with consulting professionals through Forté’s Career Ready Program (open to all undergraduates, but focused on female-identifying students)
Meet Consulting Professionals to Talk About Opportunities and Their Careers
- Career Center events and employer information sessions
- Society of Professional Consultant
- Contact Duke alumni and other professionals in consulting for informational interviews
- Reach out to Duke alumni on LinkedIn
- LinkedIn Groups: PhD to Consulting; Strategy Consulting Network; Environmental Consulting Professionals
Build These Specific Skill Sets and Highlight Them When Applying
Tip: Particular jobs may not require all of these skill sets, so find out from online resources and professionals you meet which of these skills sets are most relevant.
- Communication: talk with stakeholders of all backgrounds and levels; walk clients, coworkers, and supervisors through a logical argument; speaking in front of groups; disagree politely; tactful persuasion
- Leadership: take ownership of your ideas and contributions; fearless regardless of a company’s hierarchy; management; emotional intelligence; take initiative; coordinate projects; strategic thinking
- Analytical skills: solve problems; meticulous; creative approaches; quantitative skills; research problems; comfort with uncertainty
- Curiosity: ask questions; learn quickly
- Flexibility: speed and agility; change projects quickly; patience; learn quickly; tenacity; work under stress
- Collaboration: interdisciplinary/cross-functional teams; diverse experiences; team-building reliable; anticipate needs
- Accomplishment: achievement-oriented; results-driven; work under deadlines
- Basic business principles: understanding practicalities of time and money; business judgment; global perspective
Tip: You can gain experience in many ways that involve different amounts of time investment.
- APD Consulting Club for graduate students
- Duke Consulting Club for undergraduates
- Join a pro bono consulting project for local nonprofits through DISI
- Lead or participate in a group research project through Bass Connections
- Participate in recruitment weekends, such as Bridge to BCG
- McKinsey’s Insight Program
- Graduate Students can enroll in courses at Duke Fuqua School of Business
- Stay up-to-date on the latest business, research and technology trends in your field by reading business journals, academic papers, and industry websites
- Improve your public speaking skills with Toastmasters
- Take classes in improv to become a better team member
Practice Case Interviewing
Tip: You may need to practice 20-30 cases with a partner or consultant in order to prepare for the interview.
- Intro to case interviews
- Video tutorials from Duke APD Consulting Club
- Practice case questions and Consulting Case 101
- Case In Point
- Crack the Case
- Contact current consultants to ask for practice with case interviewing
Consulting Job Search Tools
Consider: what are the common skills required by jobs and internships?
Jobs and events hosted by the Duke Career Center