I was in the reception area of the Melbourne, Australia office of a global strategy consulting firm, and it took me precisely two seconds to realize that the three well-pressed young professionals were from my alma mater, there for their second or third round of recruitment interviews (with those dreaded case studies).
This got me thinking… It’s been 100+ years since management consulting has come into being, and the profession remains as popular as ever. Each year, thousands of aspiring consultants apply for roles in the many firms, knowing that only a small percentage of the candidates will be accepted into the profession—especially into the most prestigious firms. Yet for most, the tenure in the profession is short-lived. Some candidates self-select out. For many, the decision is made for them. So, I couldn’t help but wonder: What makes a great consultant?