Last updated: May 19, 2022.
Teaching Management Consulting
Management consulting is a popular career path for business school students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and consulting skills are also increasingly in demand in a variety of other career paths. As a result, business schools generally provide a variety of curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities for students to gain familiarity, skills and connections related to consulting. Having taught management consulting at both the University of Virginia and the University of Denver for many years, this page summarizes resources and approaches that exist in this subject area, in the hope that the material is helpful for students, faculty and industry participants.
My Current UVA Consulting Courses
COMM 4660 – Management Consulting and Advisory Services – Offered in both fall and spring semesters for 3rd/4th year UVA students. Management majors and 4th year McIntire students receive priority enrollment but students from all UVA degree programs are eligible to enroll. The course has three main components – learning about the consulting industry and its structure, learning about the consulting process (both problem-solving and relationship management) and practicing consulting through a group project with a real-world client organization. Student teams in the course have worked on consulting projects with a variety of organizations and have benefitted from interacting with a number of guest speakers.
Fall 2019 – Banner Signs & Decals (Denver, CO), Data Capable, Forge (formerly Hack Cville), Kung Fu Tea, Trinity Irish Pub, University Programs Council (UPC), UVA Aquatic & Fitness Center. Guest speakers: Tom Archer, Gail Rand.
Spring 2020 – COVID Response Projects for The Biltmore, Virginia Liquor Stores, Virginia Elementary Schools, The Tattoo Industry, College Bookstores, Restaurants, Local Fitness Studios. Guest speakers: Carroll Ross, Collaborative Solutions, Jennie Blumenthal (PWC) and Yeon Lee (PWC), Jeff Green (Ankura), Gail Rand.
Fall 2020 – Challah for Hunger at UVA, Drunk Fruit Seltzer, GovSmart Tactical, King Family Vineyards, International Relations Organization at UVA, Rivanna Solid Waste Authority, Vibez Music App, The Virginian Restaurant. Guest speakers: Jennie Blumenthal (ex-PWC), Sindhu Zachariah (PWC), Bernie Woolfrey (Ankura), Austen Morrow (Accenture), Chip Bond, Jeff Green, Natalie Weinberg
Spring 2021 – Blue Ridge Pizza, Sigma Alpha Lambda, The Yolk Shack, Opex South Brooklyn Fitness Center. Guest speakers: Bryan Myers (ex-BCG, Sweetgreen, solidcore), Colston Carr (Google), Jennie Blumenthal (ex-PWC), Zach Scharf (Alix Partners/BCG), Kylie Philbin (BCG)
Fall 2021 – Lampo Pizza, IX Art Park, Kung Fu Tea, McIntire Investment Institute, NSID Club, Fly Dog Yoga, Sammy’s On The Corner (2 teams). Guest speakers: Jennie Blumenthal (ex-PWC), Zach Scharf (Alix Partners/BCG),
COMM 7560 – Consultants and Other Advisors – This MS in Commerce graduate elective course provides an abbreviated version of my undergraduate course. Student teams in the course have worked on consulting projects with a variety of organizations.
Spring 2020 – COVID Response Projects for Auto Dealerships, Breweries, Live Entertainment Venues, Fitness Chains, Boutique Fitness Studios, Independent Restaurants
Spring 2021 – The Standard, UVA Women’s Club Basketball, McIntire Transfer Program, El Retiro de Aigua (Uruguayan agritourism business)
COMM 4881 – Leadership Practicum – This new course, designed for Leadership Minor students, includes a consulting project focused on leadership practices of a real-world organization. Student teams in the course have worked on projects with the following organizations:
Spring 2021 – IX Art Park, CASH Program at Madison House.
Books I Have Used in My Consulting Teaching
- Cracked it! How to Solve Big Problems and Sell Solutions like Top Strategy Consultants (2018) by Bernard Garrette, Corey Phelps, and Olivier Sibony. This book was written for practitioners but also works well in the classroom and can be helpful for case interview preparation.
- Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used (2011, 3rd Edition) by Peter Block. Online Summary. This book was written for practitioners but also works well in the classroom with some context and support.
– Interview with Peter Block on Why Relationships are Paramount
– Interview with Peter Block on Learning Outside Your Area of Expertise
– Interview with Peter Block on ‘Contracting’ With Your Client
- Management Consulting Today & Tomorrow (2017, 2nd Edition, 468 pages) by Flemming Poulfelt and Thomas Olson (Free UVA Library Link for UVA users only). I used this textbook at the University of Denver but stopped once I adopted CrackedIt. It is a collection of separate essays/articles on consulting rather than a cohesive textbook.
Other Books Specifically Focused on Management Consulting (Newest Listed First)
Management Consulting: Delivering an Effective Project (2016, 5th Edition) by
Louise Wickham & Jeremy Wilcock, Pearson
The Experiential Student Team Consulting Process: A Problem-Based Model for Consulting and Service-Learning (2016, 5th edition) by Ronald Cook and Diane Campbell, Wiley
The Practice of Professional Consulting (2012), by Edward G. Verlander
The McKinsey Engagement (2008) by Paul Friga – Introduces a consulting approach based loosely on McKinsey principles, with examples from industry and business schools.
The Advice Business: Essential Tools and Models for Management Consulting (2004) by Charles Fombrun and Mark Nevins, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 9780130303738
The McKinsey Mind (2001) by Ethan Raisel and Paul Friga. A more applied discussion of how to apply the McKinsey principles described in the McKinsey Way in businesses other than McKinsey, based on the experiences of McKinsey alumni.
True Professionalism: The Courage to Care about Your People, Your Clients, and Your Career (2000) by David Maister
The Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing and Thinking (2010, 3rd Edition) by Barbara Minto
The McKinsey Way (1999) by Ethan Raisel. Provides a broad overview of the McKinsey consulting approach. Descriptive, not prescriptive, but with some helpful suggestions and concepts.
Books Focused on Case Interviewing
Case in Point 11: Complete Case Interview Preparation by Marc Cosentino (2020)
Case Interview Secrets by Victor Cheng (2012)
Books Focused on Strategic Management
Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by Roger Martin and Alan Lafley (2014) (Amazon, HBR Page) – I consider this the best and most concise strategy overview for practitioners, written by Roger Martin, former dean of the Rotman School of Management and co-head of Monitor Consulting.
Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters by Richard Rumelt (2011), (Review #1, Review #2)
A Sample of Management Consulting Cases
- Tim Keller at Katzenbach Partners LLC (A),(B),(C),(D) – My favorite consulting case for its insights into early career challenges experienced when working on consulting projects as well as general career management
- Developing Professionals the BCG Way (A and B), 2003 (revised 2006), HBS 903113 and HBS 904068
- Bon Star Hotel, Ivey Publishing, 2009, HBS 909M72
- Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group, 1996, HBS 9-696-096, focused on operations consulting
- Innovation at the Boston Consulting Group, (313137), HBS, 2013
- Miles Everson at PricewaterhouseCoopers, (410062), HBS, 2009, revised in 2013 – Explores what is required to be successful in one of the most critical roles in a professional service firm; managing a key client relationship.
- George Martin at The Boston Consulting Group (A), (B), & (C), (410118‐PDF‐ENG), HBS, 2010 – Focused on managing partner of BCG as he deals with work-life balance issues at the firm
- Sherif Mityas at A.T. Kearney (A), (B), (C), & (D), (9-904-031/035/037/074-PDF-ENG), HBS, 2004
Management Cases that Could Also be Used in a Consulting Course
- East Central Ohio Freight, 2009, NACRA, HBS NA0009, transportation/distribution
- When Clients and Consultants Clash, HBS 97605, 1997 (6 pages, hypothetical)
- Welcome Aboard (But Don’t Change a Thing), HBR R0210A, 2002 – Business communications case focused on new CEO who needs some coaching/guidance.
- Growing For Broke, HBR R0209X
Management Consulting Syllabi at Other Schools
- Carnegie Mellon – Management Consulting 94-808 – Chris Brussalis and Jordan Pallitto (Spring 2018)
- Georgia Tech – MGT 4102 Management Consulting – Alan Flury (Spring 2014)
- Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) – MGMT 4250 Management Consulting (Fall 2018)
- Rotman/Toronto – RSM2052 Management Consulting – Beatrix Dart (Summer 2017), RSM495 Management Consulting – Jan Klakurka (Winter 2016, Winter 2014)
- University of British Columbia (UBC) – COHR307 Introduction to Organizational Consulting – Marc-David Siedel (Spring 2013)
- University of Southern California (USC) – MOR 462 Management Consulting – Thomas Olson (Spring 2012)
- University of Washington, Foster School of Business – Management Consulting: Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Winter 2018
- Wharton Global Consulting Practicum (GCP) (MKTG 890/895, 2016-17) (eliminated in Fall 2017)