Aspiring professionals in the Consulting industry are no exception. Whether you’re starting a career as a Management Consultant, an IT Consultant, or a Strategy Consultant, these 4 books can put you on the right track to success. Take a look!
In under 200 pages, author Ethan Rasiel of the gold-standard Consulting firm McKinsey and Company outlines his team’s well-honed approach to problem-solving, communication, and management. The book is a quick and easy read that focuses primarily on the social and cultural aspects of working in the industry. This is a great pick for students and new grads who want to know more about the day-to-day life of a Consultant.
Checklist: You might like this book if you’re looking for…
This is your ultimate how-to guide on how to build a successful career in this industry. In addition to discussing the types of skills needed in Management Consulting, this book also provides great advice on how to build strong, long-term relationships with clients and manage office politics. This book is the perfect tool for aspiring Consulting professionals who are looking for answers to some of their biggest industry questions.
Checklist: You might like this book if you’re looking for…
The case interview is highly useful for recruiters because it allows them to evaluate how you approach problems and find solutions. If you’re feeling a bit intimidated, don’t worry – this book has some terrific tips and tricks for Consulting professionals looking to master these scenarios from a former case-interviewer! It takes readers through a step-by-step guide that’s easy to follow.
Checklist: You might like this book if you’re looking for…
Here’s another great resource for new grads looking to ace their case interviews. This quick read offers all the tools you need to tackle the common themes you will encounter such as everyday business situations, problem-solving, and standard business concepts. You’ll also find practice cases from real interviews conducted by top Management Consulting firms!
Checklist: You might like this book if you’re looking for…
It was an opportunity for him to embrace his love of travelling, while earning credits towards his university degree. Plus, it was a chance for him to expand his comfort zone – he had never been on a trip that lasted longer than a few weeks, and he was excited to get started.
“I realized I had to do it when a Study and Go Abroad ambassador came into one of my classes in first year and promoted the opportunity,” says Nico. “After hearing about it, I looked it up on the school website and saw all the different locations that were available. I immediately started deciding which ones I would want to apply for.”
Nico’s enthusiasm would eventually lead him on a trip to Europe, where he would experience life in Germany up close. TalentEgg had the opportunity to connect with him about his experiences abroad so far – read on!
After examining many different destinations, Nico eventually settled on Berlin for a few reasons. He had visited Germany a few years prior for a few weeks, and his desire to explore it even further drew him back.
Berlin is also a central location in Europe, which is great for travelling to other countries in the area. Lastly, the cost of living in Berlin was relatively inexpensive compared to the other cities he was considering.
It’s important to do your research about a location before heading abroad. Here are a few things to look up:
Nico knew finding housing in Berlin was competitive, so he made arrangements to stay in a hostel for his first 3 nights in the country. It was very central, which allowed him to explore his new surroundings with the people he met during his stay.
“The place was really unique,” says Nico. “There were a lot of clubs and bars. Since these were the first places in Berlin I had been in, I didn’t know what to expect.”
While Nico’s initial living situation was unusual, he definitely made the most of it. For the next few weeks, Nico used this opportunity to travel while staying at various temporary homes around the city. He flew to France to meet with a friend, who was also on an exchange. When he came back, he stayed at the hostel again until he finally settled on a great studio apartment in student housing. His extended time moving around allowed him to really see many different aspects of Berlin.
“There was a lot of graffiti everywhere, and all the people seemed very ‘individual’,” says Nico. “A lot of people had different coloured hair and different styles. I’ve come to enjoy that about Berlin – it’s a place where people can be whomever they want to be.”
University life in Germany was a new experience as well. In Berlin, the school was very small compared to Canada’s large campuses. Nico says his school is the equivalent to 5 floors in an office building, with one and a half floors dedicated to teacher’s offices. Nico had classes that lasted 4 hours, but only happened once a week.
“It has its pros and cons,” admits Nico, ”While 4 hours is a long time for class, many of them finish earlier than that. Plus, going to classes only once a week is great!”
Nico’s time abroad taught him a lot of lessons, both big and small. When he initially set out on this adventure, he envisioned his trip to be constantly action-packed with sightseeing and making new friends.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about all the amazing things I’d be doing, which caused me to overlook the fact that there would still be time where I chill at home and watch Netflix,” he says. “Sometimes I felt pretty guilty, since I was in another country, and I felt like I should have always been doing something exciting.”
During the planning stages, Nico had been pretty picky about where he wanted to travel. While he doesn’t necessarily regret this decision, he says next time, he’ll be sure to keep an open mind and consider a wider range of locations. For example, in Berlin, there were a lot of people who spoke English. While this made things a lot easier for Nico, he says he would have welcomed the challenge of meeting people who spoke a different language.
“I have probably grown more from leaving my comfort zone,” he says. “You never know who you’ll meet or what amazing things you’ll end up doing!”
Nico’s unplanned trip to France taught him that travelling alone could be just as fun as travelling in a group. Visiting France by himself for 3 days meant that he could sightsee and do what he wanted with more flexibility.
“The most important thing I learned from my trip is to talk to as many people as you can,” says Nico. “You’ll hear crazy stories and make new friends. The possibilities are endless!”
During his travels, Nico connected with a lot of classmates, most of whom were on an exchange program as well. He also met a lot of people during his stays at the hostels, which really added to his experience. Because of these connections, Nico says he has a network of friends around the world.
“It gives me a different perspective on things,” he says. “Various cultures look at things in different ways, which is really interesting.”
Nico stays in contact with his friends through Facebook, and he hopes to visit them during his future travels. He says a lot of them are interested in travelling to Canada, and he’s excited to show them around his home.
While Nico is still unsure of what he wants to do in his career, his experience abroad has opened his eyes to new industries and possibilities for his future. He’s considering the possibility of working abroad so he can continue seeing different parts of the world.
What Nico knows for sure is that there will be a lot of travelling in his future. He says this experience in Berlin has showed him it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to travel. In the meantime, he’s focused on finishing his degree in business.
“I do think I’ve grown and become more confident, which will benefit me in a lot of areas in my life,” says Nico. “I’ve also learned a lot about myself, which sounds pretty cliché, but it’s true!”
Think of industry jargon like a language – if you’re not familiar with it, you might struggle to understand your boss’ instructions or even the expectations of the job. To help you put your best foot forward, here are some common Consulting concepts and phrases you should know!
When you’re flying in a plane and looking at the Earth from 20,000 miles up, you don’t see all the minute details, only the big picture. That image is the inspiration behind this expression. When a consultant uses this phrase, it means they only want a brief explanation of a situation that focuses on the main idea.
The 80/20 rules states that 20% of a problem’s cause drives 80% of the outcome. Consultants have a lot of competing priorities – similar to the ‘20,000 mile view,’ this expression means to focus on the most important part of a project.
This is an acronym that stands for “any other business” and it’s essentially the industry term for “miscellaneous.” When Consulting firms hold meetings, they usually set aside some time for “any other business” that falls outside of the main discussion.
This term refers to the amount of free time one has in their schedule to take on additional tasks or help others with their assignments. Usually, people refer to their bandwidth when they feel like they are overbooked or unable to take on more tasks. Consulting requires you to juggle many different assignments at a time, so it’s important to know how heavy a workload you can manage effectively.
This term sounds pretty strange, but the meaning is quite simple. Trying to boil the ocean would be impossible no matter how much time or effort you put into it, right? Therefore, in Consulting, the phrase ‘boiling the ocean’ suggests that a certain task may involve a lot of work with little payoff, meaning it’s not worth the firm’s energy. This is usually a subtle way of saying “forget about this task – it’s best to just move on.”
An elevator pitch is a short summary used to define a process, product, service, organization, or person and its value. The summary should cover all the main points in the time it would take to ride in an elevator, generally a minute or less. In Consulting, the elevator test is a tactic that senior staffers use to see if an employee can explain a concept quickly and effectively. This is a way for employers to encourage a “work smart” mentality on the job – instead of going through all the details, it’s important for young consultants to be able to understand and highlight the critical points.
A rock star is a high performer in the company. They are usually unique, hardworking, and admired by their fellow employees. The term can also be used more generally to show appreciation for a certain behaviour, such as doing someone a favour.
An entry-level Consulting role is one of the best places for new grads to gain valuable experience and hone their skills with industry professionals. Whether you’re looking to enter the world of business or technology, there are many companies who are always on the lookout for ambitious young professionals.
Not convinced? Here are 4 great reasons why you should explore this egg-citing industry!
If you are a highly professional individual with top relationship-building and problem-solving skills, you will thrive in this field! Entry-level consultants are responsible for working with clients to address their business’ needs and offer solutions. Graduates with business or technology backgrounds can do very well in this role – but keep in mind that these companies are willing to consider applicants from a variety of backgrounds if they have the right skill-set.
As a new grad, working in a brand new environment with little to no experience can be daunting. One of the best parts about starting a career in Consulting is joining an established organization with structures in place to help you succeed. Be sure to utilize their entry-level resources and connect with more experienced Consulting professionals!
Consulting is a very versatile industry that can help you hone skills that are applicable to almost any profession. If you decide to change your career path down the road, your experience in Consulting can set you up for success in any field that requires professionalism, top communication and problem-solving skills, and work in client-facing roles.
If you have an adventurous spirit, then this may just be the perfect industry for you. Consultants often travel to meet their clients in person, which can take them to many different cities and towns. If you enjoy having a flexible work schedule and experiencing new places, then a Consulting position may be a great fit for you.
Whether you have a degree in business or technology, there are several well-paying entry-level roles to pick from in this growing field. This guide outlines the average starting salaries for a number of jobs in the industry to help you determine where to start your career!
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To help you figure it out, we’ve provided a basic definition of Consulting and a breakdown of the industry’s most popular specializations.
So, what is a consultant?
Simply put, Consultants use their expertise and knowledge to help businesses achieve goals and solve problems. Because they work outside of the organization, they provide an objective point of view that can help organizations find trouble spots that they might not be able to see on their own. While there are specialized Consultants working in all industries, a Consulting job typically refers to a position at a Consulting firm that specializes in the areas of Strategy, Management, and Information Technology (IT).
Strategy Consultants are primarily concerned with helping companies increase their profit margins and market share so they can be as successful as possible. For example, they might address what a client might be able to do in order to set themselves apart from their competitors.
Entry-level employees in this area typically work as Consulting Analysts. This role focuses on collecting and analyzing data and presenting the findings to management and client leaders. As you advance, you will get more opportunity to direct strategy and interact with senior management.
This area of Consulting focuses on offering companies advice in regards to managing and operating their business. Management Consultants support their clients on concepts like operational techniques and time management skills – in short, their interactions will depend on the needs of the organization.
Entry-level Management Analysts and Associates collaborate with project teams to pinpoint challenges and develop solutions for their firm’s clients. They also perform rigorous research and quantitative analyses to help inform their recommendations.
These types of Consultants help organizations find the best ways to utilize technology in order to achieve their business objectives or overcome challenges. They work to improve the structure and overall efficiency of their clients’ IT systems.
An entry-level IT Consulting Analyst works with clients to analyze technological performance issues and recommend creative solutions. They might also assist more senior Consultants and partners with their assignments.
It’s important to find a company that will help you build the skills and foundation you need to find success in this field. RBC is a great example: known for investing in student and grad talent, they’re a fantastic place for aspiring Technology professionals to start their careers.
“RBC is definitely the right place for a career in Technology and Operations because it’s evolving and it’s growing,” says Daniel Vallance, a new grad working in Enterprise Operations Payments at RBC. “The need is there for students. And RBC is really assisting students in helping them get where they want to be.”
This video features a number of aspiring young professionals who explore what it’s like to start a career in Technology at RBC. Check it out!
As an educator and training professional, I often wonder whether empathy and compassion can be taught – and if so, how we can teach our learners to become more confident in their skills as they move forward in their careers.
For young professionals, cultivating emotional resiliency is often overlooked in favour of hard skills. John Austin, Executive Director of Student Affairs at Ryerson University, says that if more people understood the concept of emotional intelligence, they would also recognize its importance. He says that being emotionally intelligent is just as essential to career success as professional and technical skills.
Our emotional intelligence has an impact on how we act, react, and interact in any given situation. How we process our emotions shapes how we perceive and express ourselves to others. It also impacts our relationships, the decisions that we make, and how well we are able to cope with stress. Being emotionally intelligent is about using our emotions in the most effective way on a daily basis.
“Humanity is required in our professional lives,” says Austin. “Those essential skills – things like resilience, self-awareness, independence, empathy, and positive mindset – are critical.”
It’s necessary to create pathways that help build awareness. However, accessibility to programs for young professionals is limited. The online master class, Developing Emotional Intelligence for Professionals, was created to help young professionals develop their emotional resiliency and leadership capacity in a manner that is accessible, digestible, and encouraging of reflective practice. It provides them with an opportunity to learn about the 15 competencies of emotional intelligence, develop strategies to leverage their strengths, and manage areas they need to improve.
This type of development requires heightened self-awareness which relies on authentic reflection and deep introspection. “[At Ryerson University,] we attempt to create a culture where students can take time to reflect on what they’ve learned and how that learning has changed their perspective on the world,” says Austin, “When you can articulate how learning has contributed to your evolution as a person, you become a much more attractive candidate to employers.”
By engaging in reflection, we make meaning out of our experiences. We can process our surroundings more effectively, understand why we process it the way we do, and give ourselves the space to identify our emotional triggers. From understanding our own inner workings, we can also begin to understand others through a lens of empathy and compassion. This can benefit professionals at any stage in their career.
“It is not enough for us to encourage and expect emotional intelligence competency from our students and young professionals,” says Austin. ”We must make sure all members of our organizations and institutions are provided the education and resources necessary for building these skills.”
Commitment from organizations and institutions will provide professionals with the tools they need to navigate through their career and develop leadership potential. For young professionals, connecting these competencies to long-term success – both personally and professionally – is just as important.
After completing his first degree as a French major at Western University, Dan decided to return to school a few years later to pursue a career in law. He spent 3 years studying abroad at Truman Bodden Law School in the Cayman Islands to gain international experience and begin a new career. Dan shared the highlights of his journey abroad with TalentEgg, touching on why he chose to return to school, the people he connected with on his trip, and how his experience led him to his career today.
Dan’s adventure to the Cayman Islands meant starting a new chapter in his life. He spent time as a pub musician for a few years after completing his first degree, but he eventually realized this wasn’t the career he wanted. Unsure what he wanted to do from there, he decided to return to school in 2010.
“My brother attended Truman Bodden Law School in 2008, and two years later I followed in his foot steps. We lived together in my first and his last year there,” Dan says.
The size of Truman Bodden was something that attracted Dan to the Cayman Islands. He was looking forward to studying at a small school – a stark contrast from his time at Western – because it meant he would be able to build close relationships with his classmates and professors.
Dan confesses he was also drawn to the relaxing lifestyle the Caribbean offered.
“Cayman Islands: enough said!” Dan adds. “When you were stressed, you could just find a beach and chill out.”
It took Dan a year to refine his study habits, but once he did, he realized he’d found the career he was looking for.
“I found the first year to be the toughest, as learning law is training your brain in a whole new way, much akin to learning a new language,” he says. “But by second and third year, I had a firm handle on how to learn the law properly.”
“I love diversity and learning about other cultures and ways of life. You tend to assimilate different colloquialisms, appreciate different accents, and explore interesting foods.” Dan Evans, 2015
International travel offers a great opportunity to build your network. For Dan, one of the biggest highlights of his trip was meeting new people from different walks of life. The area he lived in was filled with all sorts of cultures – some of his closest friends were from Britain, Australia, and South Africa, making them a diverse group. Dan found himself building new relationships easily in this lively area.
“I developed quite a few friendships with people outside the classrooms,” he says. “I met people while playing tennis, grabbing a pint at my local bar, or simply meeting friends of friends I had already made.”
The close-knit culture of Truman Bodden also helped Dan build some personal and professional relationships with professors and other students. In fact, Dan says he still keeps in touch with many of them today with the help of digital media.
“Over half of my Facebook friends are those I met while in Cayman!” Dan explains. “My tennis buddy came to visit me last summer, and I still see my other Canadian classmates from time to time.”
Dan learned a lot about himself from travelling over the years, and it’s something he recommends to everyone to help with their personal development. He found his journey abroad was an extremely rewarding experience that helped him build a career in law as a mature student.
“The most important thing I learned while abroad was that it’s never too late in life to embark on a new endeavour,” Dan explains. “I’ve spoken with others in my field who have studied abroad, and they all feel that the experience makes you a well-rounded lawyer”
As an aspiring career professional, Dan feels as though there’s always more for him to learn. His goal is to be called to the bar in Ontario before 2016 so he can specialize in Personal Injury Law and help as many clients as possible with his legal skills.
“I would recommend this experience to anyone who is leaning towards attending law school.” Dan says. “Truman Bodden Law School in the Cayman Islands is my alma mater, and I will cherish my memories there for the rest of my life.”
Along with the skills you’ll build on the job and the opportunity to work your way up the corporate ladder, there are many entry-level jobs in Banking that have well-paying salaries. These roles are an excellent starting point for new grads looking to pay off their student debt or move out on their own. If you haven’t considered the Banking industry yet, maybe this will change your mind!
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“There aren’t any engineers in my family, so in high school I didn’t have a clear vision of what engineering really entailed,” says Austyn. “The opportunity to learn something new and excel in a field that others were telling me was difficult really sparked my interest.”
He began his studies at the University of Calgary, where he eventually narrowed his focus down to Chemical Engineering. Austyn knew he needed more than a degree to achieve his career goals – he needed real experience in a professional environment.
Luckily, Austyn found the Relief Operator Summer Student (ROSS) Program at Canadian Natural, which gave him the opportunity to explore his potential with the help of seasoned professionals. He says that even though his placement was only a few months long, it has helped him improve his skillset and gain confidence.
Austyn first discovered this opportunity while he was searching for potential summer positions. He began his hunt by listing major oil companies, with Canadian Natural at the very top. After exploring their website, the ROSS Program immediately caught his attention.
“I liked the prospect of getting hands-on experience in the oil field,” says Austyn. “When I learned that Canadian Natural trained their students to independently operate oil wells, I knew that this would be the best introduction to the industry.”
For Austyn, one of the best parts of the program was the fact that students were given a lot of responsibility. During his summer at Canadian Natural, he was given a group of wells to operate and maintain. On a typical day, Austyn would drive to his different wells and assess them. Some days his wells would be fully operational, while on others he would have to assess the situation and troubleshoot the problem.
“Oddly enough, my favourite part of the job was when I would have to solve a problem,” says Austyn. “Looking back, I learned the most about myself and the industry by thinking on my feet and applying my knowledge.”
“Having to think on my feet and apply my industry knowledge to a problem gives me the kind of satisfaction you can’t get from an A on a test.” Austyn Rattee, Relief Operator Summer Student at Canadian Natural
Almost every student in the ROSS program will agree that the experience is challenging, but rewarding. For Austyn, his biggest hurdle was making the transition from academic student to Field Operator. He knew that the company was giving him a lot of responsibility, and his actions would directly affect the organization and the people he worked with.
Luckily for Austyn, he had a great team of professionals training and supporting him throughout his program. For his first few weeks in the field, he worked with one operator who trained him in his role. However, the entire team of operators were always on hand and eager to offer their assistance.
“The Lead Operators and Foremen have a “call me anytime, 24 hours a day” policy,” says Austyn. “It showed me they understood that it takes time to learn and operate, and they were willing to help with the process.”
“The experience and knowledge I attained in the ROSS program is crucial to any aspiring engineer in the oil and gas industry. This experience has given me an incredible advantage for when I graduate.” Austyn Rattee, Relief Operator Summer Student at Canadian Natural
As a result of this support, Austyn quickly learned the ins and outs of his role, how to effectively approach tasks, and troubleshoot issues that arose. He says that his critical thinking skills were especially tested, as well as his ability to take calculated risks.
Austyn’s time in the ROSS program gave him access to resources, tasks, and connections for his engineering career. His experiences with Canadian Natural have given him industry insights that can’t be learned in the classroom.
Engineering is a very competitive field, and that’s just the way Austyn likes it. His accomplishments over the summer have given him the confidence to take on new projects both in the classroom and the workplace. His prospects in the field of engineering are exciting, and he’s eager to see where they will lead him.
“I think many aspects of my life have been improved since I began pursuing engineering,” says Austyn. “I have met some very inspiring and influential people, from professors who develop groundbreaking technology to CEOs of major corporations.”
Even though he’s still in school, Austyn has learned some valuable lessons from the ROSS program that he wants to share with his fellow engineering students looking to break into the oil and gas industry.
“Take the time early in your careers to get some field experience,” he says. “Having that foundation will make all the difference in your career!”
This is your first chance to make a really good impression. A great outfit has been proven to boost confidence and increase productivity.
Don’t leave anything to chance – here are some simple tips to help you look and feel your best on your big day.
If your employer didn’t mention the dress code during the interview process, make sure to ask before you show up on your first day. While it’s always good to err on the formal side for your first day, you don’t want to be the intern in a three-piece suit while everyone around you is wearing jeans and tees.
Your day will likely include a lot of walking as your manager introduces you to your new co-workers. That brand new pair of shoes might be tempting, but for your first day, comfort is key. If you find a must-wear pair of shoes for your first day, put on band-aids where you think you may get blisters, and make sure you bring extras just in case!
Does your trek to the office include a lot of walking? A trip on the subway? If so, think carefully as to whether your outfit will survive your commute. If you’ll have to readjust your shirt every five minutes, you might want to pick something else.
You don’t have to go into debt to make a strong first impression. Take a quick inventory of your closet and assess what you already have. One of the added bonuses of shopping in your closet? There will be no fashion surprises on your first day of work – after all, you’re already familiar with the sizing and fit of your wardrobe.
Think back to your interview – do you remember what your co-workers were wearing? If so, you can use them as a guide to plan your outfit. Dressing a step up from the general dress code for your first day is a good rule to follow. It’ll show your boss that you’re excited and ready to hatch your new career. For example, if your office is business casual, step it up to smart casual for the first day by throwing on a blazer and a nice pair of slacks.
Unless you’re interning at a fashion magazine, your first day on the job is not the time to try out that pair of sequined pants. You want to be remembered for your work, not your crazy outfit. If you’re not sure what to wear, stick to the basics for your first day and add pops of personality with small accessories like a bow tie or a statement necklace.
Simply put: overly baggy or tight clothing makes you look unprofessional, so it’s important to find that perfect balance. Whatever outfit you pick, make sure it’s comfortable. If you’re fidgeting with your clothes all day, you won’t be able to focus on the new environment and tasks at hand.
Planning your outfit the night before will help ensure your morning is as stress-free as possible. It’ll also give you time to ensure you take care of all of the little details that tend to get overlooked, such as polishing a scuffed pair of shoes or perfecting the crease in your dress pants.
Why go through all the effort of looking impeccable just to spill your latte all over your crisp white oxford? If you usually eat breakfast on the go, you might want to take the time to make your morning coffee at home on your first day. This way, if you do run into any clothing mishaps, you have time to change before you reach the office.
Don’t suffer for fashion! Remember they hired you, not your clothes. A good rule of thumb: stick with fabrics like cotton and polyester – they’re wrinkle resistant and super soft, meaning you will look as great as you feel.
At the end of the day, you’re there to do a job, and your outfit should empower you to do your best. Be confident and comfortable, but most importantly, do great work.