Consulting Careers

Consultants are problem-solvers.

Consultants advise companies, nonprofits, and government agencies on how to solve their most important challenges. Consultants work with organizations in nearly all industries across functional areas, including health care, technology, energy and environment, consumer packaged goods, education, operations, marketing and sales, human resources, and more. 

The critical thinking and analytic skills that students develop through their liberal arts education at Bowdoin make them adept problem-solvers, well suited for careers in consulting. In addition, Bowdoin’s focus on honing skills of persuasive writing, presentation, and teamwork ensures that students develop the tools needed to effectively communicate recommendations to colleagues and clients in consulting.

Sample Career Paths

Management and strategy: Consultants help organizations boost their performance, anticipate risks and opportunities, expand their reach into new markets, and increase profits. This requires closely examining an organization’s core strategy, operations, and structure and developing actionable plans for improvement. Bowdoin graduates have joined firms such as Accenture Strategy, McKinsey & Company, Booz Allen Hamilton, Kaiser Associates, The Beacon Group, Huron, and Vista Consulting Group.

Health care: Consultants tackle similar problems as general management and strategy consultants, but with a focus on the unique challenges and considerations faced by clients in the health care industry, specifically pharmaceutical, medical device, and insurance firms or healthcare providers. Demonstrating a genuine interest in the health care industry is key to successfully pursuing this career path. Employers including Artisan Healthcare Consulting, Putnam Associates, Trinity Partners, ClearView Healthcare Partners, and bioStrategies Group have recently recruited Bowdoin graduates.

Economic: Consultants play a key role in high-profile legal cases involving Fortune 500 corporations and governments. They produce research and analysis on complex financial or economic aspects of litigation, such as antitrust, securities, intellectual property damages, and general commercial damages, providing their clients with expert testimony to be leveraged in court. Bowdoin graduates work at economic consulting firms including The Analysis Group, Cornerstone Research, and Compass Lexecon.

Executive Search/Knowledge Search: Executive search consultants (informally called headhunters) find and recruit highly qualified candidates for senior-level and executive jobs for their clients. They perform research to identify suitable candidates, contact potential candidates to gauge interest, carry out preliminary screenings, assist with compensation negotiations, and prepare employment contracts. Knowledge search consultants connect business decision-makers to industry experts who may provide market insights, industry expertise, and execution support. Bowdoin alum work at companies including Dinte Executive Search, Russell Reynolds Associates, Isaacson, Miller, and AlphaSights.