Career as a Management consultant

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Simon Shaw is a consultant with a management consultancy based in Surrey. He works with clients throughout the UK.

What does your career as a management consultant involve?

I deal with clients who are considering outsourcing all or some of their call handling to a call centre. I meet with the clients to find out about their existing call handling procedures and why they are thinking of outsourcing it. We discuss the benefits, or otherwise, of making the hange. This means I have to do a detailed study of their business.

If a decision is made to proceed, I then discuss the different types and locations of call centre operation with them, to help them finally choose one that is most suitable for their type of customers, calls and overall operation.

What types of clients do you meet?

I mainly work on large projects. Although we are a relatively small consultancy, we have some very major clients. I do some work with smaller companies too, and these can be involved in many different types of business.

Do you work away from the office a lot?

When I'm working on a project, I spend a lot of time at each client's own business premises – so anywhere in the country potentially. I'm sometimes involved in auditing existing projects too, or mediating relationships between companies and call centres that are not working well.

I support about 70 per cent of my time is spent away from my office on these jobs. The other 30 per cent is spent working on the computer at my desk with the four other people in my team. I do a lot of internet research, as I need to keep up-to-date with development in the call centre industry.

What do you like best about your career as a management consultant?

I like talking to people and I have to do that all the time at work! It's interesting working with such a broad range of people and companies, all doing different work in different ways. There is great variety in the job, which I really like.

What skills and qualities do you need to be a management consultant?

You need to be confident, flexible and quick thinking. You must be able to move from one type of client to another and to keep on top of each project, making sure it's moving forward.

The job's very challenging and there are new things you have to learn about and do all the time. I'm still quite young to be meeting directors and board members of big client companies – it's important not to feel intimidated and be able to react to different people and situations as well.

What future plans do you have?

I want to stay working in management consultancy. I have lots of opportunity for training in this job, as my company values people development. I've recently been on sales, negotiations and business courses. The company has grown from having five or six staff three years ago to just over 20 people at present. I would like to stay here for a while and be part of its continuing success.

Simon's route to his career as a management consultant

  • Degree in History and Philosophy
  • Worked in a call centre and telesales in Holland for two years
  • Worked in the sales department of Telegraph Newspapers in London
  • Became a specialist consultant with CM Insight Limited, advising clients on all aspects of call centre operations

Simon's management consultant tips

  • Choose the type and size of management consultancy that suits you, your experience and interests.
  • Use school and college work experience and holiday job opportunities, to learn about different types of businesses and what they do.

Management consultant related jobs

Salary of a management consultant

  • A new management consultant usually earns around £25,000 to £30,000.
  • With experience this can rise to anything between £50,000 and £75,000 or more.
  • Very experienced, well established management consultants, directors and partners in consultancies can earn up to £200,000 or more.

How to become a management consultant

  • It is possible to enter with good knowledge and experience of working in business or finance.
  • There are opportunities for graduates as new management consultants.
  • Useful degree subjects include management studies, business studies, management accounting and finance.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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