Management consulting is one of the most attractive and sought-after career tracks for MBA graduates. It is a very demanding, fast-paced, and rewarding career requiring students to demonstrate a strong ability to communicate and solve problems in a team under extreme pressure.
Krannert’s full time management consulting specialization prepares MBA students for a career in management consulting, general management, or an internal consulting role. The focus of this specialization is to develop critical skills for a successful consulting career:
- Solid business and industry acumen
- Structured analytical thinking & innovative problem solving
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills
- Ability to work well within a team
Students going through this specialization have an option of becoming a consultant in the consulting industry or an internal consultant in a Fortune 500 company. Consulting companies who have hired Krannert students include: Accenture, A.T. Kearney, Booz & Company, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cognizant, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, IBM Global Business Services, Hays Consulting Group, KPMG, and McKinsey. Some of the major employers for internal consulting roles are: Dell, Ingersoll Rand, and Raytheon.
Students taking the management consulting specialization are expected to have high GPA and GMAT scores, 4-5 years of relevant work experience, and a track record of leadership, service, and personal accomplishment. A successful career in consulting requires a sharp, confident, well-rounded individual who is able to communicate his/her ideas effectively to corporate level executives. These are skills that can be ingrained in an interested candidate through extensive in-class training complemented with real-world projects under the guidance of faculty and clients. Students in Krannert’s management consulting specialization go through a demanding and comprehensive training program to successfully develop the skills required by leading consulting firms and to prepare themselves for the rigorous interview process.
The management consulting specialization is to be taken in conjunction with another functional or inter-disciplinary specialization area. In addition to the core courses and electives required by the complementary specialization area, students are required to take the following courses:
- Consulting Methods - This course introduces students to the consulting process and provides the foundation and preparation for the second year Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) projects and Global Business Projects (GBP). This course provides students with methods for approaching client problems including: how to reach consensus on topics or areas to investigate; how to make their logic transparent and amenable to discussion; how to design a solution that meets their project’s objective and fits with the client organization; and how to develop commitment and support for the solution within the client organization and within the project team.
- Organization Change Management - This course concerns implementation. It seeks to provide an understanding of the best practices for initiation and implementation of top management team (TMT) driven organizational change as well as provide the opportunity for participants to self-identify and enhance their personal skills with respect to their roles as consultants, managers and targets of change.
- Spreadsheet Modeling and Simulation – This course covers up-to-date and practical spreadsheet modeling tools, which can be applied to a wide variety of business problems in finance, marketing, and operations. Topics covered are: (1) simulation modeling techniques to analyze risk and uncertainties in business environments, (2) optimization techniques to determine the best managerial actions under internally- and/or externally-imposed constraints, and (3) real-world examples and cases to demonstrate broad applications of spreadsheet modeling and simulations in manufacturing and service operations, supply chain systems, yield management, asset dynamics, option pricing, etc.
In the 2nd year of the MBA program, the following electives are recommended:
- Business Analytics – Quantitative Methods III
- Competitive Strategy
- Developing a Global Business Strategy
- Project Management
- Advanced Presentation Skills
Consulting Project Requirements
Students are required to undertake either an Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) Project or a Global Business Project (GBP).
- Experiential Learning Project
Krannert’s Experiential Learning (EL) provides opportunities for 2nd Year Master’s students to take their prior knowledge and experience, combine it with what they have learned in their courses, and apply it in an active business setting. ELI projects address issues of strategic importance to our client companies. The companies provide senior executive-level sponsorship of the projects and each team is assigned a faculty adviser. These professional consulting engagements provide a tremendous opportunity for students to gain intensive experience in teamwork and client relationship management while refining their analytical and presentation skills.
- The Global Business Project (GBP)
This unique graduate-level course is offered to MBAs and other graduate students across fourteen member universities. Unlike other international consulting project courses, the Global Business Project (GBP) asks students to apply both cross-cultural awareness and foreign language skills to produce strategic advice for companies that is focused, compelling, and actionable. The course offers students the opportunity to increase their global business and language competency through guided hands-on business experience in global markets, while also introducing them to the challenges of virtual teaming. Teams are constructed through a competitive application process with members drawn from any of the member schools.
Purdue University Consulting Club and Purdue Business Advisory Services
Consulting focused students are required to join the Purdue University Consulting Club and are encouraged to take an active role in the Purdue Business Advisory Services. These are valuable opportunities to take leadership roles, fine-tune resumes, practice case interviews, work on additional consulting projects, and also network with current and future leaders in the consulting industry.
Case competitions require teams to analyze a complex business scenario under strict time constraints, identify the company’s challenge, and present their recommendations to an often-unforgiving panel of industry and academic experts. They are an excellent way to practice unstructured problem solving, teamwork, and presentation skills while competing with the top U.S. and International business schools. Students in the management consulting specialization are encouraged to continue Krannert’s tradition of success in Big 10 and International case competitions.