Business, consulting and management
This sector involves advising others on how to manage their businesses and projects. It is suited to those who can gather, combine and connect information quickly, and make practical proposals on the basis of that information.
Typical jobs in this sector include:
- business analyst
- management consultant
- business development manager
Key skills that are useful in this sector include:
- the ability to pick out the most important information from large sets of data
- strategic thinking
- commercial awareness, including awareness of the business environments of your clients
- the ability to rapidly make connections and build rapport with others
- the capacity to work as part of a large team delivering long-term projects.
For job profiles and detailed information on pursuing a career in this sector, see the Prospects website:
How to get a job
To prepare for a career in business, consulting and management, you should research the sector carefully. You should also talk with people who are in the sector already.
Work experience is also an essential requirement for gaining employment in this sector. You can get this through internships and insight days.
Make a connection
Ideas to help you make contacts and connections:
- Join Saint Connect, the University of St Andrews’ exclusive, global, online community for networking and career mentoring.
- Join the Consulting Society or the Management Society, where you can meet like-minded students and expand your network in this sector.
See more ideas for making a connection.
Before applying for an internship, consider getting experience to show the employer that you are committed to working in this sector
- Undertake free ('pro-bono') consulting work, such as with the St Andrews student-led pro bono consultancy firm Playfair.
- Take part in the St Andrews Summer Team Enterprise programme (STEP). This gives St Andrews students the opportunity to work on a real consulting project for various University academic Schools and professional service units. These projects last for six weeks over the summer vacation.
Consider making a speculative application to smaller companies who may offer other types of work experience. The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) has a directory of consultancies to which you could apply.
These internships usually last for two to eight weeks during the summer. They can be in any aspect of the employer’s business, and can sometimes lead to an offer of a graduate job at the end of your degree.
These internships can be highly competitive. Pay close attention to the application information provided on the company’s website and talk with those who have successfully applied to internships before. The Careers Centre also hosts events in which employers provide tips on making internship applications - see upcoming events.
You could also consider undertaking a shorter-term, unpaid virtual internship through Forage virtual internships. Some companies will fast-track an in-person internship application if you have already completed a Forage internship with them.
Larger employers often offer insight days and short work experience opportunities for first and second-year students. These usually last a couple of days and are unpaid. They help give you a sense of what the company’s values are, what work they do, and what it is like to work for them.
As well as gaining some work experience, these opportunities could provide you with useful contacts and possibly a formal placement.
The Careers Centre often puts on events where you can talk to employers visiting St Andrews. Visit the events page for more information.
Finding a job
Check out our job listings for vacancies or see the resources below for jobs in the business, consulting and management sector.
Jobs in the UK
Graduate training schemes
A graduate training scheme is a paid, entry-level job that also acts as a training programme. Graduate training schemes are common in this sector and are one way of acquiring a graduate-level position. They are offered by a wide variety of large graduate employers, usually those that offer insight days and internships.
For further information on graduate training schemes in this sector, see Prospects’ consulting graduate schemes page.
Jobs outside the UK
Applying for a job
When applying for jobs in this sector, you can expect to do at least some of the following:
- complete a CV and cover letter
- complete an online application form
- attend at least one interview
- complete psychometric tests
- attend an assessment centre.
Assessment centres in this sector often ask you to participate in a mock consultation session, or ‘case study’, replicating the sort of challenges you could face when dealing with a real client. For more information on assessment centres in this sector, see TARGETjobs’ what happens at a consulting assessment centre.
If you would like personalised help on any aspect of applying for a job, you can book an appointment with a careers adviser.