The leading strategy consulting firms focus on the “CEO Agenda” of strategic issues, which can range from industry positioning and acquisition plans to organizational restructuring and operations improvement. This job requires the consultant to have a strong foundation in traditional strategy courses and competitive dynamics, as well as the basic principles of marketing and operations. In addition, today’s complex business environment requires consultants to comprehend the financial landscape and consider the implications their recommendations may have on their clients’ financial statements. Throughout, consultants must also have a strong capability and confidence in performing the quantitative work that is so essential to thorough analysis. Finally, the success of the consultant’s recommendations depends on the ability of the consultant to set the stage for change within the organization, which includes documenting and communicating a future vision for the client.
Business Operations Consulting
Visit the Operations web page for information on courses recommended for students interested in business operations consulting.
*Courses offered in the First and Second Year. All other courses are offered only in the Second Year.
Darden faculty created the following consulting concentration to help Second Year students develop a course plan:
This concentration is intended to immerse students in the consulting process and to help them identify and deepen the skill sets necessary for success in that role. Faculty Contact: Jay Bourgeois.
Clubs & Events
- Consulting Club - The Consulting Club at Darden aims to provide its members with opportunities to meet and interact with leading consultants from top consulting companies around the world. The club arranges various networking events to enable students to interact with consultants in an informal atmosphere, to provide them with a better understanding of the industry, and to explore various career paths available to consultants at throughout their careers.
- Consulting Conference - The Consulting Club coordinates the Consulting Conference each fall, which serves as a prime networking opportunity during peak recruiting season. Conference activities typically include a networking dinner, keynote speakers and breakout sessions with top consulting firms.
- Deloitte Case Challenge - The Deloitte Case Challenge is a great way to get first-hand experience on a consulting engagement. In addition to giving students a feel for the consulting industry, it is also a great way to network and show your skills!
- Community Consultants of Darden (CCoD) - is an incorporated not-for-profit corporation founded in 1956 at the Darden School of Business. CCoD provides marketing, operational and strategic evaluation and planning services to visionary non-profit organizations and small businesses in the Charlottesville community.
View the full list of Darden student organizations.
In the following video, Paul Rhynard (Class of 2012) talks about the MBA career search process for students interested in consulting. He talks about the reasons consulting firms value Darden's general management focus, how the case method prepares students for careers in consulting, resources of the Darden Career Development Center and the Second Year coaches career mentoring program.
The following faculty teach, conduct research, or have worked in consulting:
Still have questions? Feel free to contact the following alumnus to ask specific questions about consulting at Darden or in his career. For additional contacts, please visit the Darden Student and Alumni Ambassadors list.
Adam Duggins (MBA '08)
Undergraduate education: College of William & Mary
Undergraduate major: Finance
Company: Bain & Company
Location: Atlanta, GA
"My education at Darden was a turning point in terms of how I thought about my career. Instead of being singularly focused in one area, I realized that there is so much potential for me to learn in several different functions and industries. I came in with a finance focus, but soon found interest in areas such as marketing and operations. As a Darden alum, I am confident in my abilities to take on opportunities in many different functions and fields."