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The skills of a consultant cannot be taught in a classroom
Consultants are professionals who have a great deal of experience and expertise in a particular career field. Much of their knowledge is acquired through informal interactions with their colleagues and contacts in the same career field (Goodyear, 2006).
In the case study, Manchester Business School has recognized the need to involve consultant mentors to guide their MBA students so that they could become specialists in their fields of interest. The interaction that the students could have with their mentors could be essential in the future when they plan to start offering consulting services to their clients.
Classroom teachings and curricula are so inflexible that they do not allow much interaction between a student and the outside world (Goodyear, 2006). Consulting skills cannot be acquired in such settings. Classroom teachings equip students with the communication strategies to use when forming networks with colleagues and other contacts who could be vital in their career progression (Barker, 2006).
The role of mentorship in the development of consulting skills
Excellent consulting skills are required by consultants so that they could offer quality consulting services to their clients (Allen, Eby & Lentz, 2006). The mentorship program adopted by Manchester Business School will go a long way in ensuring that mentees acquire consulting skills from their mentors. Although some MBA students in the case study have reached very high positions in their careers, they assert that the mentorship program could enable them to gain additional skills needed in the corporate world.
Manchester Business School has recognized the need to mentor their MBA students so that they could be made to fit in the corporate world once they graduate. The informal communication that the MBA students could have with their mentors could be essential in imparting them with knowledge of consulting skills (Allen et al., 2006).
They could be exposed to different ways of doing things in the corporate world. This could prepare them to start offering consulting services to their clients and organizations in their areas of specialization. In addition, mentors could introduce the MBA students to their vital contacts in their areas of work. The contacts could be consultants who could be essential in nurturing the consulting skills in the MBA students.
Skills of an effective consultant
The corporate world is characterized by ever increasing competition. In order for a consultant to be successful, he or she needs to possess excellent consulting skills. Skills in analyzing decision making in a client’s business are essential for consultants to understand and describe the decision making processes in an organization (Godshalk & Sosik, 2003).
An advisor who understands the decision making process in a client’s business could offer excellent options to the client. Skills in decision context are essential attributes that a consultant could use to advise his or her clients on the implications some decisions could have on their business establishments. Skills in consulting project planning are required by consultants to articulate matters pertaining to project planning and management.
Many organizations seek expert advice on project design and implementation from consultants. Therefore, consultants who have excellent skills in consulting project planning could have many clients seeking their expert advice. Skills in conducting interviews are important attributes of consultants because they are often hired to conduct interviews on behalf of organizations (Godshalk & Sosik, 2003).
Allen, T. D., Eby, L. T., & Lentz, E. (2006). Mentorship behaviors and mentorship quality associated with formal mentoring programs: closing the gap between research and practice. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(3), 567.
Barker, E. R. (2006). Mentoring—A complex relationship. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 18(2), 56-61.
Godshalk, V. M., & Sosik, J. J. (2003). Aiming for career success: The role of learning goal orientation in mentoring relationships. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 63(3), 417-437.
Goodyear, M. (2006). Mentoring: A learning collaboration. Educause Quarterly, 29(4), 52.