Consultants provide expert advice and guidance to organizations to help them solve complex problems or improve their performance. They work with clients across a variety of industries and functional areas, including strategy, operations, finance, marketing, and technology. Consultants are responsible for analyzing data, identifying opportunities and challenges, and developing recommendations to address clients' needs. They work in teams and engage with clients at various levels of the organization, from senior executives to front-line staff. Consultants may also provide support in implementing solutions, monitoring progress, and measuring results. The ultimate goal of consulting is to help clients achieve their objectives and improve their overall effectiveness and efficiency.

There are multiple different types of consulting. Common types of consulting include strategy & management consulting, economic consulting, healthcare consulting, and non-profit consulting. Regardless of the type of consulting, key skills required for consulting include problem solving, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, research abilities, and analytical skills.


Consulting opportunities are competitive. In addition to possessing and demonstrating the skills described above, applicants need to excel in the Interview process.

Interviewing for a consulting opportunity often requires completing a behavioral and a case interview. For behavioral interview resources, refer to our interviewing resources. If you will need to complete a behavioral and a case interview, prepare for both. Case interviews in particular require extensive practice.

Consulting case interviews are a type of job interview used by consulting firms to evaluate the problem-solving and analytical skills of job candidates. Case interviews are always required by larger, more competitive firms like Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey & Company. They are becoming increasingly popular, so plan on participating in case interviews regardless of the company. Additionally, research and network with employees at the company you are applying to so you can learn about their interview process.

During a case interview, the interviewer presents the candidate with a business problem or scenario and asks them to analyze the situation, identify the key issues, and develop a recommended solution. The candidate is expected to ask clarifying questions, gather data and information, and apply their business knowledge and problem-solving skills to arrive at a thoughtful and actionable solution. These interviews are designed to simulate the types of real-world business problems that consultants face and to assess the candidate's ability to think critically and communicate effectively.

Practicing for case interviews is a necessity; interviewers will be able to tell if an applicant has not sufficiently prepared. There are multiple ways to practice for a case interview. You can review cases by yourself, with your peers, with Career Center staff, and with alumni. Practicing with another person is generally most effective. You can find peers to practice with by joining the consulting club. You can schedule an appointment with a Career Consultant via Handshake. Practice with alumni only after you have established a relationship and you are already proficient in case interviewing.


The recruiting timeline for consulting firms can vary depending on the specific firm and the position being recruited for. However, for Big Three consulting firms (Bain, BCG, and McKinsey) and similarly competitive firms, the recruiting process begins a year before the start date of the available positions. Internships and full-time positions are available. Remember that consulting opportunities are very competitive and require extensive preparation before you submit an application.

Recruiting starts in the spring, with firms visiting college campuses to conduct informational sessions and network with potential candidates. To learn when firms are coming to campus, look at the events listed in Handshake. From there, applications will open in the late spring and summer, with application deadlines typically occurring over the summer and during the early fall. Boutique firms will often have positions open up later in the fall and during the winter. Research the specific firms you are most interested in to learn about their specific timelines.


Below is a brief list of consulting companies that reflect some of the types of consulting. Generally, positions are posted during the summer a year before the position’s start date. Follow these companies, and others, on Handshake and refer to their website to see when opportunities are posted.

  • Analysis Group
  • Bain & Company
  • BCG
  • Clearsulting
  • Deloitte
  • FTI Consulting
  • Lexidyne
  • McKinsey
  • Trinity Life Sciences


Consultants are expected to be strong communicators, collaborators, leaders, researchers, and problem solvers while also demonstrating analytical skills.

Your liberal arts education, and the block plan specifically, already helps you develop these skills. To further develop them, seek out experiences, such as internships or other career building opportunities, that provide the opportunity to understand and solve business problems. Experiences that allow you to analyze information, solve problems, create and improve procedures and content, and work with others are also beneficial. Consulting firms want to see your experiences outside of the classroom.

Additionally, join clubs and extracurriculars, such as the consulting club, that enable you to take on leadership positions, collaborate with others, and utilize other relevant skills.

Report an issue - Last updated: 04/26/2023