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The Perfect Fit: Choosing the Consulting Firm for You

Remember when you were a little kid, and a stroll through a toy store was like an exploration of limitless possibilities? Being a consultant and looking for just the right firm for whom to work is not much different. Every type of firm offers something unique and challenging, and Alexandra Nuth writes an article to help you decide which is the fit for you.

Four Choices

  1. MBB (McKinsey & Co., Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Co.)
  2. Mega-Firms
  3. Boutique Firms
  4. Independent

You do not so much select MBB as MBB selects you. These are top dogs who recruit discriminatingly from the top schools, and if you land one of these gigs, high salaries and benefits are a guarantee. You will also be set on a clear career path, with extensive management training and numerous leadership opportunities. MBB is a terrific opportunity to build experience, if you can swing it.

Mega-firms are however much larger than MBB, and contain players like Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, and Accenture. Businesses like these are great for consultants who have not yet picked a specialty and want to be subjected to varied types of work. Opportunities to travel and flexible working arrangements round out the potential benefits.

Boutique firms are a harder nut to crack, because they are all highly specialized. You cannot generalize these firms, but if you have a specific niche, boutiques could be the place for you:

Know you want to specialize in a certain industry? There’s probably a boutique firm for that. Have a specific sized team you want to work with? Boutique firms can range in size from fewer than five employees to thousands. Know you need certain benefits or flexible work options? You may just be able to find them, but do your research, as these sorts of perks vary greatly depending on the size of the firm and the resources available.

Lastly, there is the independent route—you versus the world, with a minimum of corporate regulation. Many consultants go this liberating route, but usually after they have spent some time working for someone else. For more advice, you can read Nuth’s full article here: https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-perfect-fit-choosing-the-consulting-firm-for-you

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