Consulting Lessons Learned 25: Associate tasks

You just graduated and will join a consulting firm as an Associate? You might be wondering: What are typical tasks you must solve in your first year as a management consultant?

Starting in consulting will be very different from everything you might know from prior internship experiences. As a consultant, you will be responsible for a whole work stream right from day 1. Don’t wait for your project manager to tell you what to do. You are required to manage your sub-project proactively!

To do that, you will often have to go through a series of steps:

  1. Understanding the project, setting expectations together with project team and client and defining targets
  2. Collecting a lot of input from the client or research. Often this will be done through client interviews, data requests and external research on your own / by the research team of your firm
  3. Doing sophisticated analyses in Excel
  4. Discussing interim results with your client and project team; Often you will also be required to plan and moderate workshops with your client to develop solutions together in the team.
  5. Summarizing the findings in a well-structured PowerPoint deck and presenting them at a SteerCo with your project sponsor.

Of course, this is only an example and will vary from project to project. But this might help you to get a basic understanding on how projects work. Again: Make sure to think proactively through the entire process. Always be one step ahead: What should you do next? Which input will you require for a big analysis in a week?

Categories: Best practices