Consulting Guide

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. 

Duke Career Center Consulting 101 Course 

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.  

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 

Economic Engineering Environmental
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
LEK Consulting Evidera
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


Social Sciences Technology Unisys
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 

Meet Consulting Professionals to Talk About Opportunities and Their Careers 


 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 

Gain Experience 

Tip: You can gain experience in many ways that involve different amounts of time investment. 

  • 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. 

Consulting Job Search Tools 

Consider: what are the common skills required by jobs and internships? 

Jobs and events hosted by the Duke Career Center