So you want to be successful management consultant?

All consultants want to be successful. We all want to excel in our job. But how is it done? What are the tricks of the trade? March’s ‘What Makes a Successful Management Consultant?’ event gave a few clues.

Representing a wide range of consulting professionals with experience in various companies and industries, the panel provided insights on the key skills and knowledge necessary to become a successful consultant.

Tom Morgan, Head of Business Advisory at EC Harris started the event by discussing his experience of meeting people who changed his life. He listed the most important and valued personal qualities as care, taking risks, being generous and knowing high quality of standards.

Kerry Hancock, Partner at Mott Macdonald shared her career trajectory from a degree in Politics to Business Development Manager and finally to a Management Consultant. She emphasised building networks and a personal brand, and to always be a first choice for clients and colleagues. Kerry elaborated on how important it is to create time for personal and professional development and to find a “champion” – someone who will believe in and support your goals.

“Build trust. Have fun. Make money”. This was the topic of the next presentation by Nick Rhodes at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence who talked about his career path that eventually led him to management consultancy. Nick explained that simple rules, applied with intelligence and a consideration for those you do business with, will build a solid foundation for a successful career.

Chris Sheryl, Senior Manager at KMPG argued that “success” is a vague term and can mean different things. First of all you need to ask yourself what do you want to have achieved in 5, 10 and 20 years? Do you want to own a Ferrari? Do you want a house and kids? Do you want lots of money? Your own aspirations will guide how you approach your quest for success. Chris also stressed that the ability to listen to others is a must have skill for every consultant.

After working in several different countries (Australia, the US and the UK) and in different roles,Dawn Bloxwich, Senior Manager at PWC has seen success in many forms.  The advice from Dawn was the importance of trying different areas of consulting and finding out what you really enjoy. If you find an area you enjoy, you will continue to do it and become a success.

So what about your own career path? –What are you good at? What do you enjoy? Where do you want to be? Some of us might not know the answer to these questions, or the answers might change frequently. But the project and the client don’t always mean as much as the goals and challenges we set for ourselves. How we choose to face these goals and challenges will determine how successful we are.

Key takeaways

  • Every experience is valuable, try to use any opportunity to learn
  • Build a network, build your personal brand, be the first choice
  • Know what you are good at, but know what you enjoy the most

By Alexandra Usynina