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Roles and Work Environment

Consulting touches every business sector. Consultants and firms are hired to help identify efficiencies and problem solve. Consultants have roles in every industry, including but not limited to federal, economic & litigation, defense, healthcare, environmental, and retail.

Examples of Consulting Jobs:

  • Management Analysts
  • Strategy Analysts
  • Energy Consultants
  • Health Care Consultants
  • Partner

Organization Structures

There are four major types of consulting firms - Management/Strategy Consulting, Financial, Information Technology (IT), and Human Resources/Staffing. Some firms have divisions that serve a variety of fields,while others specialize in specific industry.

Vault Consulting Top 50

Top Consulting Firms including Niche Firms (Street of Walls)

Skills and Training

  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Mental Math
  • Data Analysis
  • Leadership
  • Focus
  • Independence

Industry Timeline

Many consulting organizations normally hire full-time in the early fall, and internships during the fall semester. This includes management consulting firms, as well as industry/ niche firms in the federal, economic and litigation, and IT spaces. There are many events on Grounds to connect with these organizations including workshops and information sessions, so be sure to check Handshake. Opportunities to connect do exist beyond those Fall dates, but they tend to be for more unique opportunities at smaller companies. The case interview is a unique part of recruitment in consulting, and many firms utilize this piece. You should familiarize yourself with what case interviews entail and begin practicing as early as possible. 

Curious to learn more about consulting firms, check out this Consulting Firm Directory

Find Opportunities



Applying and Interviewing

Resumes and Cover Letters


Many consulting firms utilize case interviews for in-person interviews. These interviews consist of an interviewee being presented with a problem, or case, to solve. Your answer is not as important as your analysis of the problem.
There are two primary types of case interviews. The first is an estimation problem. Consultants may use this type of thinking to quickly get an accurate understanding of the potential market for the client’s products or services, or to understand the position of competitors. One example of such a case is shown here.

  • "Your client wants to undertake a major advertising effort in Chicago as a regional launch for a new concept in hair care. In order to understand how much to spend on this effort your client asks you to estimate the size of the shampoo market in Chicago."

The second type of case is one that is more analytically focused and tries to gauge your comfort and confidence with numbers. While the issues are still related to general business sense and common judgment the insight for the case is typically obtained from some understanding of the numbers that validate the hypotheses. An example of this type of case follows:

  • "Your client, the CEO of a national fast food chain, is considering instituting a frequent diner program to increase per store revenue. He tells you that this program will be modeled after the airlines' frequent flyer programs. For each dollar a member spends they will receive 1 point. After they have accumulated 20 points they will be eligible to receive a free sandwich priced at $2.00. The chain store has 500 stores and 20,000 customers. Armed with this information, he asks you to help him decide if he should move forward with this type of a frequent diner program."

When participating in a case interview remember to think out loud so the interviewer can get a sense of how you solve problems. UVA students can download the Vault Guide for Case Interviews (accessible via Handshake). For more information and example cases, refer to the resources below:

Additional Industry Resources

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