Consulting Confidential

We help students and new graduates pursue careers in consulting.

Consulting 101 – Key Firms, Key Service Lines, and Key Industries

When exploring consulting as a career option, we recommend that you look at the industry from three different perspectives:

  1. Explore Consulting Firms.
  2. Explore Consulting Service Lines.
  3. Explore Consulting Industries.

Below are some resources and links to get you started.

1. Explore Consulting Firms

Here are some links to career sites for selected consulting firms, with a focus on the Canadian region:

Strategy Firms (a.k.a “MBB”) Career Sites

Big Four Career Sites

Other Top Firm Career Sites

Career Tip 

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2. Explore Consulting Service Lines

Consulting is so much more than just strategy.  The work of a consultant can be categorized into three key consulting service lines: (1) strategy and operations; (2) human capital; and (3) technology.  Each of these service lines have multiple services:

CC Image_Consulting Service Lines

With a career in consulting, your work can span every conceivable type of business problem.  And, as the world evolves, new types of business needs (i.e. projects) emerge under these three key consulting service lines.

Career Tip

It is critical to note that the consulting industry has undergone significant transformation in the recent years, an evolution significantly accelerated by the adoption of digital technologies.  This industry transformation has had significant impacts on the consulting firms’ talent demands.  Please read “Want to be a Consultant?  Ignore Technology at Your Peril.

3. Explore Consulting Industries

As an intern or a new / recent graduate, your work as a consultant can span a broad spectrum of industries.  Here are some key industries consulting firms serve:

  • Consumer Products.
  • Energy and Resources.
  • Financial Services.
  • Life Sciences and Healthcare.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Public Sector.
  • Retail.
  • Technology, Media, and Telecom.

As you progress in your consulting career, you may choose to specialize in an industry.  The combination of a specialization in a key consulting service line plus a key consulting industry is a common path to follow as you gain seniority.

Career Tip

There are two common ways of breaking into consulting:  (1) by leveraging previous experience and knowledge relevant to key consulting service lines; and (2) by leveraging previous experience and knowledge in a key consulting industry.  Do not be discouraged if you lack direct consulting experience (this is often the case with “career pivots”); instead, highlight your industry experience.

Why is industry experience an advantage?  You understand the key opportunities and threats that companies (i.e. future clients) typically face, you understand common approaches to addressing opportunities and threats, and you have some insights on what companies can anticipate coming around the corner.

Start Preparing for Recruitment Today!

The Consulting Career Playbook is a detailed, step-by-step handbook for undergraduate and graduate students, new and recent graduates, and early career professionals looking to secure internships and full-time positions in consulting.

  • Maximize your chances of landing an offer.
  • Learn from a 20+ year veteran in consulting, Peggy Steele — former consulting advisor at the Smith School of Business and the Schulich School of Business.
  • Learn how to win the end-to-end consulting recruitment lifecycle — including case interviews.
  • Learn what your competitors are learning at other top Canadian universities.
  • Instant download for self-paced learning.

The Consulting Career Playbook is now available for purchase!  Start learning immediately (digital download) by clicking the “Buy Now” button below:

To download the detailed Table of Contents, click here.

For more information on the Consulting Career Playbook, click here.




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