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SO YOU WANT TO BE A CONSULTANT…. 
Parag Ambardekar 
December 3, 2013 
parag@dashgroupinc.net, 
301-805-9700,
Outline 
• 
What is Consulting 
• 
Market for Consulting 
• 
Some Career Strategies 
• 
Reality Check 
• 
Q & A 
2013 © Da...
WHAT IS CONSULTING 
2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 3
Consulting is Problem Solving or Addressing A Business Goal 
• 
Strategy 
• 
Business or Business Unit 
• 
Functional Area...
A Consulting Assignment Has These Characteristics 
• 
A problem to solve or a business goal to achieve 
• 
Sponsor/s 
• 
F...
A Consulting Assignment Is Different From A Project 
• 
Every consulting assignment is a project (for the consultant) but ...
Consulting is Not…. 
Freelance work 
Or 
Temporary job 
Or 
Work that a routine job position involves 
Or 
Staff augmentat...
MARKET FOR CONSULTING SERVICES 
2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 8
US Consulting Industry 
• 
$40 Billion – US 2012 Consulting Spend 
• 
High Growth Areas 
 
Marketing and Sales 
 
Operat...
Need For Consulting Services 
• 
New venture or initiative 
• 
Industry Expertise 
• 
Technology or Product Expertise 
• 
...
Sectorial View of Consulting Markets 
Government 
• 
Federal 
• 
State 
• 
Local 
Commercial 
• 
Start-ups 
• 
Small 
• 
M...
What Makes a Consultant Marketable 
Skills and Experience 
Track Record 
Market Credibility 
• 
Industry 
• 
Market 
• 
Te...
SOME CAREER STRATEGIES 
2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 13
Career Strategy 1 Employment with a Large Consulting Company 
Large Consulting Companies 
Employment in a large consulting...
Career Strategy 2 Employment with a Small Consulting Company 
Small Consulting Companies 
Employment in a small consulting...
Career Strategy 3 Mid-Career Transition to Consulting 
Consulting Companies 
Employment in a consulting company, 7-10 year...
Career Strategy 4 Late-Career Transition to Consulting Business 
Consulting Companies 
Self-employment or own consulting b...
REALITY CHECK 
2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 18
A Day In The Life Of A Consultant 
2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 19
What Makes A Consultant Successful 
Hard Skills 
• 
Specialization 
• 
Industry Experience 
• 
Two or more functional skil...
Some Career Building Tips 
• 
Three to four years of consulting experience is very beneficial to most Careers 
• 
Consulti...
Pros and Cons of a Consulting Career 
Pros 
• 
Can start anytime 
• 
Low barrier to entry 
• 
Needs Minimal Capital 
• 
Ne...
Q & A 
2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 23
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Career Strategies for Consulting

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Presentation made to graduating students at Argosy University, Rosslyn, Virginia on Consulting as a career and some career strategies.

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Career Strategies for Consulting

  1. 1. SO YOU WANT TO BE A CONSULTANT…. Parag Ambardekar December 3, 2013 parag@dashgroupinc.net, 301-805-9700,
  2. 2. Outline • What is Consulting • Market for Consulting • Some Career Strategies • Reality Check • Q & A 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 2
  3. 3. WHAT IS CONSULTING 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 3
  4. 4. Consulting is Problem Solving or Addressing A Business Goal • Strategy • Business or Business Unit • Functional Area (e.g. HR, Marketing) • Operations • Technology • Product • Niche area (e.g. Board facilitation) 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 4
  5. 5. A Consulting Assignment Has These Characteristics • A problem to solve or a business goal to achieve • Sponsor/s • Finite Duration (beginning and end) • Expected Business Benefit • Finite Scope • Stakeholders 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 5
  6. 6. A Consulting Assignment Is Different From A Project • Every consulting assignment is a project (for the consultant) but a client project is usually larger than a consulting assignment. • A project may involve one or more consulting assignments • Management of client project budget and schedule is not part of the consulting assignment in most cases. 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 6
  7. 7. Consulting is Not…. Freelance work Or Temporary job Or Work that a routine job position involves Or Staff augmentation 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 7
  8. 8. MARKET FOR CONSULTING SERVICES 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 8
  9. 9. US Consulting Industry • $40 Billion – US 2012 Consulting Spend • High Growth Areas  Marketing and Sales  Operational Improvement  Technology • High Growth Sectors  Healthcare  Energy  Pharmaceuticals Source: Bloomberg Business – June 2013 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 9
  10. 10. Need For Consulting Services • New venture or initiative • Industry Expertise • Technology or Product Expertise • Regulatory Compliance • Independent/outsider perspective • Functional Skill Augmentation • Other Unique Factors 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 10
  11. 11. Sectorial View of Consulting Markets Government • Federal • State • Local Commercial • Start-ups • Small • Medium • Fortune 500 Non-Profit • Charitable orgs. • Trade Associations • Professional Orgs. International • Federal • UNO, World Bank • EBRD 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 11
  12. 12. What Makes a Consultant Marketable Skills and Experience Track Record Market Credibility • Industry • Market • Technology • Product • Regulation • Functional • Research • Employment • Consulting • Clients • Competitors • Books • Speaking • Publications At least one item from each box is needed 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 12
  13. 13. SOME CAREER STRATEGIES 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 13
  14. 14. Career Strategy 1 Employment with a Large Consulting Company Large Consulting Companies Employment in a large consulting company 0-5 years after college Advantages • Excellent training • Flexibility to change industry • Good marketability Pitfalls if Tenure < 2 years • Limited skill building • Limited marketability • No leverage in salary in new job 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 14
  15. 15. Career Strategy 2 Employment with a Small Consulting Company Small Consulting Companies Employment in a small consulting company 0- 5 years after College Advantages • Good Hands-on experience • Easier to get a mentor • Quicker niche development Potential Pitfalls • Difficult to change industry • Susceptible to market changes • Limited stability of job 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 15
  16. 16. Career Strategy 3 Mid-Career Transition to Consulting Consulting Companies Employment in a consulting company, 7-10 years after College Advantages • Good position/compensation • Leverages prior experience • Can leap frog career Potential Pitfalls • Limited time to partnership • Work-life balance challenging • Difficult to change industry 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 16
  17. 17. Career Strategy 4 Late-Career Transition to Consulting Business Consulting Companies Self-employment or own consulting business after 20+ years of experience Advantages • Leverages prior experience • Independence and flexibility • Higher income potential Potential Pitfalls • Susceptible to economy • 50 Hour + weeks • Needs more staying power 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar slide # 17
  18. 18. REALITY CHECK 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 18
  19. 19. A Day In The Life Of A Consultant 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 19
  20. 20. What Makes A Consultant Successful Hard Skills • Specialization • Industry Experience • Two or more functional skills • Communication and Presentation Skills • Relevant Industry Certifications • Analytical Skills Soft Skills • Flexibility • Ability to handle fast paced change • Initiative • Continuous sharpening and broadening of skills • Self-confidence • Problem Solving • Ability to Multi-task well 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 20
  21. 21. Some Career Building Tips • Three to four years of consulting experience is very beneficial to most Careers • Consulting experience with the Big-4 is highly valued • Lifelong consulting career needs to be considered carefully • Entry into consulting in the early part of a career is extremely valuable 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 21
  22. 22. Pros and Cons of a Consulting Career Pros • Can start anytime • Low barrier to entry • Needs Minimal Capital • Never becomes routine • Highly rewarding • Challenging Work • Shields from Company Politics • Provides independence and flexibility • Catapults corporate career • Good consulting experience highly regarded CONS • Extremely competitive • Difficult to last long • Pace of change can become overwhelming • Needs constant sharpening of skills and techniques • Difficult work-life balance • Hard on relationships • Feast or Famine Workload 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 22
  23. 23. Q & A 2013 © Dash Group, Inc. and Parag Ambardekar Slide # 23

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