What Can Consultants Do After Consulting? A Comprehensive Guide

Big companies are always on the lookout for alumni with consulting experience, and the most common role for these alumni is strategy. However, our analysis of the people hired through Movemeon reveals that there are other interesting roles for former consultants, such as managing operations and products. Many consultants develop strong financial skills during their years in consulting, which makes them highly sought after by financial-minded institutions such as private equity or venture capital firms. Former operations consultants are often employed in financial operations or corporate finance roles in companies, and they can also hold strategy positions in companies on the Global 500 list.

Chief of Staff, Strategy Leaders, and Portfolio Trading are just some of the other roles that former consultants can take on.

Strategic Thinking

Strategic Thinking is a highly sought-after skill in the business world and is essential for those looking to take the driver's seat in any company. Consultants in corporate strategy roles will use their superior skills in data collection, market and competition analysis, as well as a little imagination, to identify the parts of the company that are thriving or struggling, evaluate what the competition is doing, and ask themselves what markets should enter next.

Portfolio Trading

For consultants who enjoy project-based work and have some doubts about moving to an “in-house” position, a portfolio trading position could be an excellent landing platform after consulting.

Portfolio trading professionals work directly for private equity firms and are tasked with identifying opportunities to generate value across the portfolio. These functions may involve a position on the board of directors of a physical education company and require a strong set of problem-solving tools. You'll work alongside the management teams of portfolio companies and help solve their most difficult problems.

Chief of Staff

When interviewing for portfolio operations positions, it's important to highlight your operational and strategic skills to explain any experience that creates value or is responsible for the results of your recommendations.

For consultants seeking in-depth exposure to executive leadership or who are aspiring to become CEO, leaving for a chief of staff position may be the ideal next step. The chief of staff supports the CEO's agenda by defending the initiatives of the entire company, acting as a sounding board for critical decisions, and managing the priorities of the CEO and the executive team.

Corporate Strategy Associate

First-level consultants are often well placed for chief of staff positions, since they can generally start working with an arsenal of analytical, problem-solving and diplomacy skills to achieve measurable results for the organization. Generally, the person will enjoy 2 to 4 years working on important projects and initiatives before moving to a leadership position within the organization.

This option has a number of benefits, especially if you enjoy the work you already do.

Product Manager

Imagine my confusion when I started hiring technology staff and saw positions called product manager, business operations manager, operations manager, product operations, strategy, strategic partnerships and product marketing. In general, a corporate strategy associate is assigned a handful of projects with fixed deadlines while they are implemented in any function or team in the company. Consultants who like “blue sky” strategy cases will be a good fit for the corporate strategy team.

If you're interested in creating models, creating slides, and generally just being an in-house consultant, this position is perfect for you.

Business Operations Manager

Sometimes that means that a BizOps associate plays a role similar to that of Corporate Strategy, addressing difficult high-level questions for executives. Like corporate strategy, BizOps has many projects with fixed deadlines; and both roles spend a lot of time on Excel and PowerPoint. However, unlike corporate strategy, BizOps needs to carry many more functions when changing context between high-level and low-level problems.

BizOps is also more execution-oriented, meaning that they are tasked with taking charge of the problem and the solution from start to finish.

Product Marketing

The role of chief of staff (CoS) is even more variable than the role of BizOps; it not only depends on the company but also on the leader you depend on. Sometimes referred to as “marketing strategy” or “GTM strategy”, product marketing is essentially the business aspect of launching products, a complement to product and engineering teams. If you have worked as a consultant in the Office of Program Management (PMO) and have enjoyed the ability to orchestrate a project from start to finish, this position is right for you.

Strategic Finance

Strategic Finance (StratFin) is similar to corporate strategy in that the team manages important and high-visibility projects for the leaders of a company. However, they tend to solve these projects with financial analysis.