How to Win at Consulting (8/8): Never Lose Your Audience

8) Never Lose Your Audience

It's time for a presentation with the client. You've done all your preparatory work, caught all your mistakes ahead of time, and bound the...

How to Win at Consulting (7/8): Paper Trails and Version Control

7) Paper Trails and Version Control

Another request comes in- it's 11PM and you've added more things to your to-do list than you've taken off. It's Tuesday night and...

How to Win at Consulting (6/8): Clarify Deadlines, Report Proactively

6) Clarify Deadlines, Report Proactively

You're at your desk working on some slides when your boss's boss stops by and asks you if you'd be able to help him with some...

How to Win at Consulting (5/8): Speak Up Early, Stand Your Ground

5) Speak Up Early, Stand Your Ground

You're working with a senior colleague to analyze client sales growth in different regions to present to your manager. Your colleague is also working on another module, so you're doing most of the work on this one while he supervises. Your performance on this will - in a very real way - determine your final performance evaluation results.

Your expected deliverable is a slide summary of trends over time split by region. You've spent time looking at the raw data, and now it's time to produce the slide. Your net data looks OK, but you see some large outliers in data points here and there which throw everything off. In spite of that, your senior colleague hasn't said anything about them.

How to Win at Consulting (4/8): Manage Your Expenses

4) Manage Your Expenses

So now you have an expense account. Congratulations. You've already seen at least one junior guy get abruptly booted for attempting to claim the unclaimable - the box of Cuban cigars was the most memorable.

Since then, you've carefully read the expense policy detailing what you can and can't claim, and you play it safe.

Fast-forward a few months, and one of your international assignments is wrapping up. The whole team has been clamoring for weeks to go to a famed old-world restaurant before returning to their respective countries. It's time for the project-end team dinner.

How to Win at Consulting (3/8): Structured Analysis

3) Structured Analysis

You're on a new project involving real estate, something you haven't done before. you'd like to get it done quickly, because your friend has a...

How to Win at Consulting (2/8): Leave Nothing to Chance

2) Leave nothing to chance

On Wednesday, a partner tells you that he'd like to chat with you about how the project's going. You're thrilled- it's rare for a partner to chat with junior guys like this, and you can ask him some things. He says that you can meet together at 9AM tomorrow.

You make a mental list in your head of all the things you might discuss: quick bullet points on the project status, a self-introduction that you practiced hundreds of times at your school's career center, congratulations for landing that new client as you read in the firm's newsletter, some other ideas to bounce off him. You're set.

How to Win at Consulting (1/8): Making Do

Andy note: - I'm very happy to announce our newest contributing author wwconsultant. He is currently a consultant and has worked inside and outside the US. As a contributing...