Experiences in health care-focused firms also vary by the firm's size and business focus. At one firm that specializes in strategic and management support to hospital systems, newly hired college graduates are not expected to do much more than provide non-substantive administrative support to senior consultants on the road. At smaller boutique firms competing largely with academic think tanks and non-profit organizations for public-sector work, the experiences of new consultants range from work as "data monkeys," who analyze large sets of information, to presenting results to clients.
New hires at larger firms are more likely to have a standardized, predictable experience compared to their counterparts at smaller firms without formal internal processes for allocating work. But a "can-do" attitude regardless of the nature or size of the task is rewarded at all firms.
Consultants typically do the following:
- Gather and organize information about the problem to be solved or the procedure to be improved
- Interview personnel and conduct onsite observations to determine the methods, equipment, and personnel that will be needed
- Analyze financial and other data, including revenue, expenditure, and employment reports
- Develop solutions or alternative practices
- Recommend new systems, procedures, or organizational changes
- Make recommendations to management through presentations or written reports
- Confer with managers to ensure changes are working