Management consulting is the practice of helping organizations improve their performance.  Organizations draw upon the services of consultants for a number of reasons, the foremost being the desire to get an outside perspective from someone who is a specialized expert in their industry. Though most firms follow the generalist model and work across all industries and functions, there are a few firms that instead specialize in a specific industry or function, like healthcare or information technology respectively. The consulting industry is generally characterized as one that requires a heavy amount of travel, but there are definitely opportunities to work in an industry that requires little travel.  The most critical skills to succeed in the consulting industry are problem-solving, communication, quantitative ability, and teamwork.  Full-time MBA hires engage directly with the clients, have management responsibilities, prepare presentations, and perform data mining.  As consultants progress throughout their careers, they build expertise in specific functions and industries while developing and maintaining client relationships. The consulting recruiting process starts at the beginning of the fall semester is intense due to the unique case interviews that are designed to test a candidate's problem solving, analytical, and communication abilities.  The consulting recruiting process includes corporate presentations, informational interviews, and interview preparation and generally requires about ten additional hours per week. 

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