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Department of Sociology and Anthropology

International and Global Studies BS - Career Opportunities


The consulting profession continues to thrive and grow as the pace of change in business and government increases.  There appears to be no end insight for technological, economic, and political change.  All this ensures the ongoing need and role for consultants to help businesses and government adapt.  Consultants have increasingly been called upon to help solve wide-ranging and complex problems in every area of business and government activity, including strategy, operations improvement, organizational design, change management, information systems design and implementation, marketing and public relations, performance measurement and management, benefits and compensation planning balance sheet restructuring, litigation support, and security planning.

The consultants' task is to assist their clients in solving problems or seizing advantages (related to business, competition, or technology), when clients need or want to augment their own internal resources.  Providing clients with the best, most appropriate advice on the problem or opportunity at hand is of utmost importance.  Clients can be domestic or foreign government agencies, international organizations, corporations, or public institutions.  Most consulting work is done on a fee basis, and consulting success depends in large part upon the client receiving value in excess of the consulting fees paid.

Clients look to consultants for an objective viewpoint, specialized knowledge or expertise, and the ability to focus on a problem or opportunity in a way and with a time commitment that the clients themselves cannot, given their need to manage the many varied activities of their organization.  Because of experience gained while serving other clients, consultants bring an ever broader understanding and perspective of potential solutions to each case.  Often, they have dealt with the same issues in several organizations and have first-hand knowledge and experience of the state-of-the-art approaches and methodologies.  A career in consulting is fast-paced, challenging, and varied.  Such a career offers the opportunity to see the world and to address important strategic, operational, and organizational issues facing business and government leaders.  The international aspects and opportunities in consulting are numerous, particularly in the larger international consulting firms or whenever the client is a global or multinational organization.

In hiring, most major consulting firms seek candidates with advanced degrees in business or other specialty areas.  Many firms have active recruitment programs to attract candidates from undergraduate schools for full-time associates, business analysts, and internship positions.  Most such programs last two years, after which individuals usually pursue a graduate degree.  In some cases, a firm offers financial assistance and/or makes an offer of employment after successful completion of graduate studies.

It is difficult for most consultants to describe a typical day succinctly.  There is a high degree of variability from project to project, and this is one aspect of the job most consultants highly value.  There is also a high degree if ambiguity and uncertainty.  There may be frequent and extensive travel requirements and long hours.  There are few careers as stimulating, diverse, demanding, and potentially lucrative as consulting.  Many find consulting a rewarding experience, whether it is for a few years or a lifetime.  If it is for a few years, the experience gained and the skills developed are well suited and sought after by many organizations and for a variety of positions.

Accenture: global management and technology consulting organization whose mission is to find innovations that improve the way the world works and lives.  Accenture is the world's leading provider of management and consulting services and solutions operating worldwide, delivering a wide range of specialized capabilities and solutions to clients across all industries.  Accenture seeks applicants who demonstrate leadership enthusiasm, and solid analytical and interpersonal skills.

CGI-AMS:  CGI is a consulting firm in information technology and business process services. It combines industry expertise, end-to-end services, and global delivery capabilities to deliver cost-effective solutions that solve its clients’ business problems. Backed by a rich heritage, global delivery capabilities, and a strong financial position, CGI has a solid track record of on-time, on-budget delivery and high-value repeat performance. Core strength is its pool of talented consultants with expertise in systems development and implementation, large-scale technology integration, change management, and e-business reinvention. Consultants word side-by-side with clients, using advanced technologies to analyze business functions, design and develop applications using state-of-the-art-tools, and provide systems implementation services. Wanted skills: a solid university education, complemented with certifications and/or post-graduate studies; valuable expertise in technology, industry verticals, project management, consulting environment, proposals, etc.; seasoned professional, bringing experience that demonstrates success.

The Cohen Group:  a government relations consulting firm that specializes in U.S. foreign policy and political risk analysis. Through its understanding of the decision-making process in Washington, the firm provides strategic counsel on how clients' interests can be most effectively supported in Washington. The firm assists clients in obtaining financial support from Washington-based trade finance institutions and actively works with U.S. government and nonprofit organizations to promote the creation of democratic government systems and political parties in developing countries. Wanted are applicants in fields such as International and Global Studies, international business, government, or public policy.

A. T. Kearney: global general management consulting firm with offices worldwide.  The firm has worked for clients in every industry in mature and newly market-oriented economies.  The firm has a continued presence in North America, Europe, and Asia.  The firm's mission is to help its clients gain and sustain a competitive advantage, now and in the future.  It strives to excel by delivering tangible results, providing a strong process orientation that focuses on implementation, providing service enhancements, and practicing total quality management.  Recruitment takes place primarily for consulting positions and for business associates.  Consultants must have a master's degree, which is usually but not necessarily an M.B.A.  Business associates must have an undergraduate degree in such areas as engineering, mathematics, economics, business, or management.

Bain & Company: Associate Consultants generally join Bain directly after graduating college or university with a Bachelor degree. ACs are a diverse group of highly qualified people with extremely broad backgrounds - from economics to literature and International and Global Studies, with and without deep analytic experience. It is an unparalleled opportunity to gain broad business exposure in a challenging environment where learning is the primary reward. Day-to-Day associate consultants are generalists who work with case teams and are exposed to a wide variety of industries and capabilities. On each case, associate consultants find the right information, create and interpret analyses, and present their findings to case teams and clients. Their work becomes the basis of the team's strategic recommendations. MBA graduates and most other candidates with advanced degrees who have rigorous, relevant business and analytical experience join Bain as Consultants. Day-to-Day Consultants take responsibility for attacking the most advanced and difficult problems our clients face, including understanding specific competitor performance, assessing underlying market dynamics or dissecting the drivers of—and potential for—financial returns. Consultants create the necessary consensus within a client's organization to achieve results. As a Consultant, you'll learn and develop as a business leader by: Developing the strategy behind a client's new market-entry, product launch, or reorganization; Presenting that strategy to the client's executive leadership; Advocating for the right set of actions to implement that strategy; Working closely with the team to continuously improve the thinking, analysis and direction of the strategy.

Bearing Point: provides strategic consulting, application services, technology solutions and managed services to private and public sectors, companies and government institutions; focused on the emerging market countries of the world; much of the work performed is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, and other international funding institutions; foreign government counterparts include ministries of finance, planning, privatization, health and economy; central banks; government owned banks; and other institutions. The firm assists foreign government counterparts in designing and implementing sound fiscal, financial, and economic policies and in implementing modem processes, procedures, and technology.  The firm has offices in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Recruits hired from a pool of college graduates from diverse academic backgrounds.

Booz-Allen Hamilton: an international management and technology consulting firm with more than 100 offices around the globe; serves most of the largest industrial and service corporations in the world, the departments and agencies of the U.S. federal government, and major institutional government bodies internationally.  The firm's diverse assignments range from strategic planning and acquisitions to global markets, energy policy design, and technological advancements. Employment opportunities exist for college graduates with a variety of educational backgrounds, ranging from business studies, physics, and electrical engineering to psychology, linguistics, International and Global Studies, history, or law. Booz Allen actively recruits talented college graduates for opportunities in all areas of the firm. College graduates are typically hired in the associate positions to work in business, information technology, environment, healthcare, national security, and other issues.  The firm also offers internship opportunities.

The Boston Consulting Group:  The Boston Consulting Group is an international strategy and general management consulting firm whose mission is to help leading corporations create and sustain competitive advantage. As a truly international firm, its strong global presence offers clients and employees a wealth of cross-cultural experience. Hires College graduates from a diversity of academic backgrounds in associate positions.

Chemonics International Inc.: is an international consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C.  The firm emphasizes several practice areas: business solutions for agriculture, environmental management, resource conservation, private-sector development, environmental responsibility services, finance and banking, law and governance, and humanitarian response and health.  The firm has project offices in Africa, Asia, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Chemonics is hiring approximately 50 entry level employees each year: interested in people who dedicate themselves to a career in international development and who demonstrate leadership, versatility, and integrity. It seeks applicants who are interested in learning all phases of the business and in becoming the future leaders of Chemonics. Requirements: Bachelor’s degree required; Master's degree preferred; Strong communications skills; 1-2 years administrative experience preferred; Skills in French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and/or an Asian language; Experience living or traveling overseas; Ability to carry out short- and possibly long-term assignments outside the United States.

Corporate Executive Board: the Corporate Executive Board provides best practices research, decision support tools, and executive education to a membership of the world's leading corporations and non-profit institutions. Its mission is to increase the effectiveness of executives and their enterprises by discovering and teaching to this membership the best new thinking and strategies from across industry and around the world. Hires college graduate from different academic backgrounds.

Deloitte & Touche: one of the world’s leading professional services firms, which provides accounting, assurance, and advisory, tax, management, and financial and human capital consulting services; known as an employer of choice for innovative human resources programs; global operations and offices worldwide.  Career opportunities for college graduates are focused on client service in audit and enterprise risk services, consulting, financial advisory services, and tax.

The Delphi Group: trade in the commodity of knowledge - helping private companies, governments, and organizations with creative solutions to manage risk and the process of complex change and to move towards a more competitive and sustainable future; provides strategic advice on climate change and health and environment issues; assists Canadian and other companies to penetrate the Latin American market, suggests strategies for international development assistance in climate change, and works in partnership with governmental agencies and stockholders.  The business units involved in Latin America are climate change, health, and environment, and sustainable energy.  The Delphi Group also does international development climate change work in Asia (China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc.).  The firm’s mission is to change the way markets and organizations operate to make them more environmentally and economically sustainable through the provision of value-added consulting services and a range of sustainable ventures in Canada and abroad. It is a small consulting firm, so opportunities are limited.  New hires usually have previous training and/or work experience in either climate change economics or policy, or health and environment.  Fluency in Spanish is desirable.  Team players are valued, as are those with communication skills.

Development Associates: provides public policy research and technical services to Federal, State, and local government agencies and private organizations in the U.S. and abroad; areas of expertise include democracy and governance, economic development, education, nutrition and health, family planning, minorities and special populations, program evaluation and monitoring, surveys and survey methods research, and training, urban and regional planning.  Seek to hire applicants who speak a foreign language and have some technical background (such as economics) for research analyst positions; those with advanced degrees are considered for professional slots; also recruit annually for short-term consultancies.

Environmental Resource Management:  is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading providers of environmental consulting services; operates with a global business model that enables the company to serve its clients with the highest levels of professionalism, flexibility, and consistency.  The firm provides results for hundreds of leading industry and government clients by helping them improve their business and environmental performance; determines the potential implications of key issues such as environmental regulations, consumer concerns, supply chain issues, corporate reputation, and cost.  Dedicated global teams within the firm provide expert services on climate change, biodiversity, waste management, and corporate social strategies.  The firm offers many opportunities for career developments.

Ernst & Young: leading international services firm dedicated to helping companies identify and capitalize on business opportunities throughout the world.  The firm focuses on seven major industry groups: financial services; technology, communications and entertainment; energy, chemicals and utilities; industrial products; retailing and consumer products; health sciences; and real estate, hospitality and construction.  The firm provides specific services for additional industries on a country-by-country basis. Significant international opportunities exist in all practice areas and are enhanced by international residencies and exchange programs. The firm seeks applicants with the following qualifications: management consulting candidates must have strong academic performance, first-rate analytical skills, excellent interpersonal abilities, a willingness to travel, an a career goal of helping companies make and implement better business decisions.  Preferred undergraduate degrees are engineering, accounting, finance, information systems, or other strong quantitative or business degree.

Futures Group:  specializes in the design and implementation of public health and social programs for developing countries; works with government agencies, foundations, corporations, and nongovernmental organizations to address conditions that compromise the well-being of people around the world.  The Group is a management, marketing, and strategic planning organization that helps clients make critical decisions in the presence of future uncertainty.  Futures is committed to enhancing sustainable development through the transfer of technologies to global experts and institutions through the creation of appropriate project designs.  Areas of the program concentration include child survival, family planning, reproductive health, population policy, nutrition, and prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, safe motherhood, poverty alleviation, education, and the environment.

McKinsey & Company: an international management consulting firm; office throughout the world.  The firm serves organizations in most industrial nations and in some developing countries on matters of strategy, organization, and operations.  The firm takes an integrated, general management approach to client work, addressing business problems and challenges from a broad perspective.  The firm seeks candidates with outstanding intellect, leadership, work experience, initiative, and proven ability to work effectively with people at all levels in an organization.  It looks for individuals with strong records of academic and managerial or professional achievement who have the capacity for continuous development.  College graduates with a wide range of backgrounds and experience join McKinsey as associates or consultants.

Mercer Management Consulting:  one of the leading international management consulting firms, which helps major corporations around the world address their most critical strategic challenges.  The firm has offices throughout the world.  College graduates are hired as analysts: the firm’s Analyst program offers excellent career and growth opportunities for talented, highly motivated university graduates. Analysts take on a variety of responsibilities: They carry out essential research and data collection, conduct complex quantitative, strategic, and financial business analyses, and work directly with client teams on client sites. Analysts have the opportunity to work on high-level business problems across diverse industries and clients.

Monitor Company: an international and global consulting firm; works for clients in such diverse industries such as electronics, telecommunications, aerospace, energy, retailing, and financial services.  The firm focuses on strategy consulting: developing competitive strategies for business units in individual industries; corporate strategies for diversified companies; strategies for entering new businesses or acquiring them; and organizational redesign to support continuous strategic action.  Increasingly, Monitor consults with state and national governments about their competitive prospects.  All of the firm’s staff, except the directors, are consultants.  College graduates should have excellent academic records, a willingness to take initiative and assume responsibility, and a desire to learn.

Nathan Associates Inc.:  an economic consulting firm headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.  It has served developing countries and international development agencies for more than fifty-five years.  The firm's hallmarks are decision support and capacity building for government and private sector leaders.  Job opportunities with a broad spectrum of specialties: these include macroeconomic analysis and policy formulation, urban and infrastructure development, national and regional development planning, taxation and municipal finance, bank reform, privatization, industrial development, management information systems, telecommunications, monitoring and project evaluation, sectorial studies in agriculture, transportation and energy, international trade and investment, and institutional development. Job opportunities are available for those individuals with backgrounds in economics, business administration, or public policy. The firm looks for quantitative skills and work experience in a developing country as well as fluency in a second language.

The Pragma Corporation: a private international development consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C.  With offices throughout the world, Pragma provides technical and management consulting services for development projects worldwide.  The firm seeks professionals with international experience and relevant degrees.  The degrees vary with the needs of the project, but include degrees in development, business, agriculture, law, and education. Opportunities for overseas consulting work usually require a graduate degree and relevant international work experience.

Pyramid Research: provides market analysis and consulting services to the telecommunications, internet, and media industry.  It helps clients to develop sound international business strategies; core competence is covering emerging markets around the world.  Pyramid offers a bridge between strategic consulting and proprietary research that assesses clients' individual business issues in emerging and developed countries worldwide.  All of Pyramid's analysts and consultants speak one or more languages fluently and have experience living and working abroad.  Candidates with bachelor's degree usually fill associate positions, whereas analysts and consultant positions are reserved for candidates with graduate degrees in business and International and Global Studies.

SRI International: a non-profit, independent, problem-solving corporation that provides a broad spectrum of basic and applied research and consulting services to business and government clients throughout the world. SRI is well known for its innovation in communications and networks, computing, economic development and science and technology policy, education, energy and the environment, engineering systems, pharmaceuticals and health sciences, homeland security and national defense, and materials and structures. Staff members have professional and technical expertise, including economists, management consultants, scientists, and other specialists.  The firm employs full-time staff in International and Global Studies, economics, public policy, business, science and technology policy, and education policy.  New recruits usually possess a graduate degree in one of these areas, as well as work experience in public policy, development, or consulting; strong research, writing, and analytic skills required, and some overseas experience desirable.


(Acknowledgment: our information is based on Careers in International Affairs, 7th ed., edited by Maria Pinto Carland and Lisa A. Gihring; Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2003; the descriptions of and links to the different entries have been updated and corrected based on our review of each entry.)