Consulting Career Prep at Columbia Business School

Columbia University

If you want to pursue a consulting career, the MBA program at Columbia Business School (CBS) is a great choice. The school offers a wealth of resources for business students who want to join the consulting industry, and many of its MBA graduates do just that upon graduation.

Consulting firms accounted for the top four employers of CBS’s 2015 graduates, with a total of 147 students employed by these firms alone. Overall, more than 30 percent of total graduates pursued careers in consulting, excluding students who were sponsored by their employers and those starting their own businesses. Additionally, 30 percent of the 69 sponsored students in last year’s graduating class returned to their employers for consulting careers.

A variety of clubs, coursework and projects help CBS MBA students prepare for these careers. Here are a few of the consulting resources that the school offers.

First, students at CBS have a range of opportunities to participate in consulting projects for actual clients while in school. For instance, the Small Business Consulting Program is a student-led organization that offers consulting services to both businesses and nonprofits in Manhattan. CBS’s International Development Club also has an initiative called the Pangea Advisors, which is a consulting group focused on international development. These pro-bono consulting projects have included clients such as the Acumen Fund and the Grameen Foundation. Lastly, the Tamer Center’s International Development Consulting Project Travel Fund provides support (such as airfare) for international, pro-bono consulting projects.

The school also features a Master Class Program made up of project-based electives that help students apply classroom concepts to real-life external organizations. One such class, the “Strategic Intuition Consulting Lab,” encourages students to propose business solutions to organizations (such as Ikea) using the creative strategic intuition method.

Student-run groups also help CBS students learn more about the consulting career field. One of the school’s largest groups, the Management Consulting Association (MCA), provides specialized support to aspiring managerial consultants. The association hosts resume reviews, mock interviews and case competitions and brings in speakers and mentors.

For classwork tailored to a future consulting career, MBA students at CBS can chose the consulting track curriculum. As part of this track, students can select from electives such as “Human Resource Consulting,” “Management & Strategic Consulting” and “Client Relations” based on their individual career goals.

Competitions are another great way for CBS MBA students to refine their consulting knowledge. Participants in multi-phase A.T. Kearney Global Prize Competition, for example, are challenged to come up with actionable client solutions to business challenges in order to advance.

Lastly, the CBS Career Management Center can help students land a job with a consulting firm. Students from the Class of 2015 obtained employment with consulting giants such as McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company and the Boston Consulting Group, as well as many smaller boutique firms. Overall, the school’s many clubs, projects, courses and career resources prepare CBS MBA students for successful consulting careers.


About the Author

Lindsay Mack

Staff writer covering feature articles on higher management education issues and the MBA space in particular for MetroMBA.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Short Registration

Match with reputable MBA/MS programs in minutes by completing your applicant profile with MetroMBA. As a registrant, you will also gain access to resources, advice and exclusive offers as you research and pursue your graduate business school options.
  • Please only indicate the regions you are interested in pursuing your graduate management education. If you select, "all regions" you do not need to select individual regions.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Your compare list