Stern’s approach to teaching consulting is an effective way of thinking about businesses and solving business problems, skills that are applicable to any position both inside and outside the consulting industry. Consultants identify and adapt “best practices” to the firms that hire them, working on different projects across varied industries, usually having access to top executives in those firms. Consultants can be called on for their strategic, operational, industry, and financial expertise. This track is an excellent complement to a concentration in management as well as other areas such as finance, marketing, and accounting.
Because consultants gain exposure to many organizations across many industries, they are well-positioned to observe patterns and become aware of “best practices” tied to various market positions and structures. Consultants must also have an understanding of the constraints of applying a “best practice” in a context that has different features from the context in which the “best practice” was identified. Also as a result of their vantage point, consultants are sometimes able to perceive changes in industry or general market conditions slightly ahead of a leader inside of one organization in one industry. As they seek to identify the most critical factors constraining organizational performance, consultants triangulate among operational, market, financial, organizational, and cultural issues.
Students who select this track develop a number of core skills, including data analysis, and problem-solving, peer leadership, as well as written, verbal, and visual communications. With an appropriate choice of elective courses, this track provides in-depth preparation for careers in management consulting, strategy consulting, economic consulting, healthcare consulting, and information technology consulting.