On Thursday, February 13, on the occasion of the Forum des métiers du Conseil, twenty prestigious consulting firms presented their work to Sciences Po students. As a prelude to this day, the Careers Department invited Junior Consulting Sciences Po to lead an introductory round table, during which 3 consultants answered the students' questions.
Why talk to Sciences Po students about careers in consulting?
Contrary to popular belief, Sciences Po is no longer just the "school of Public Affairs", let alone the "school of politics". In fact, the world of consulting is the main sector to which graduates turn. According to the latest graduate survey, more than 27% of graduates starting their careers in the private sector choose to work in consulting.
This is reflected in our activities as Junior Entrepreneurs, we very easily recruit students to carry out the missions we carry out, and above all, we recruit students from backgrounds that were previously more impervious to our activities: this is the case for the master's degrees of the School of Urban Planning or even some courses of the School of Public Affairs.
What were the topics discussed during the round table?
They were very diverse! From how to stand out with your cover letter to the possibilities of international mobility internally. In concrete terms, we discussed a lot about professional integration: which internships should be favored? what are the recruitment practices of the different firms? how to identify the "right" firm?
On the other hand, we also discussed the professional/personal life balance for a consultant. The speakers were keen to highlight the clear evolution of the sector's practices in this area: the vast majority of firms have implemented internal policies in favor of a better balance.
What do students' expectations of the consulting world reveal?
I see two main areas of student expectations.
- On the one hand, there is a strong demand regarding the meaning that one gives to one's professional activity. The consulting sector is sometimes wrongly perceived as a cynical world where the dogma of profit is the only requirement. The questions raised during this round table clearly show that Sciences Po students aspire to exercise a meaningful profession that creates value in the general interest. In concrete terms, this translates into an aspiration to work around the ecological transition, but also into a desire to reconcile a demanding professional activity with a fulfilling personal life.
- Second, and not surprisingly, students wishing to become consultants are attracted by the promise of strong intellectual stimulation. The consulting profession offers the opportunity, at the beginning of a professional career, to work on a wide variety of issues at a high level. Intellectual curiosity, a trait that is very present among Sciences Po students, is therefore perfectly present in the consulting profession.