Are you a consulting professional aiming to reach the top echelon of a prestigious firm? Though it is not easy to climb to a senior role, the rewards are plentiful once you get it. If you want to advance in your profession, it is more important to know the steps and choices needed to achieve an associate partner level.
In this article, we have provided detailed information on associate partners and how to become one.
What is an associate partner?
An associate partner is also a principal or junior partner in some companies. It is a senior consultant with vast experience in the respective field. These people usually end up being a partner with a consulting firm, which is considered one of the senior roles.
Every firm has a hierarchal structure, which varies from company to company. Here is the general hierarchal system:
Analysts: They are also known as associates and are mostly considered entry-level jobs in any firm. Their crucial role is performing research and presenting in front of the management.
Associates: They are also known as consultants. Usually, this job role is offered to the one who completes their master’s (MBA). An associate takes care of an entire project or a particular project area.
Project manager: As the name says, a project manager takes care of the projects, plans and leads the team.
Associate partner: It is a level above the project manager. He is responsible for overseeing the projects being handled by a project manager and also for getting new clients.
Partner: A Partner is a level above the Associate Partner. They are responsible for developing high-level plans to sell consulting services to either new or existing clients.
How to become an associate partner?
Depending on the level of experience and education, the steps to becoming an associate partner vary. However, we have outlined some general suggestions that might help you become an associate partner in any type of firm:
Get A Relevant Bachelor’s Degree
Most consulting firms require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, or related fields. People who have just finished their bachelor’s degree in the mentioned fields might get an entry-level consulting position. As they move the ladder, they need to complete an MBA to get the high-level position.
Get Professional Experience
Most consulting firms hire an associate partner based on previous experience. The candidate’s earlier achievements in the company play a crucial role in becoming an associate partner. Before reaching the level of an associate partner, the consultants usually work in many junior-level positions. By working in such a position, consultants gain enough skills and knowledge.
Check With the Management on Open Positions
If you already have experience as an entry-level or a mid-level consultant, you can check with the management about openings for the associate partner position. Consulting firms try to promote the existing candidates to the associate partner role (if they find the skills suitable) rather than hiring any external candidate.
Skills required in an associate partner
Technical and soft skills are the two most essential skills often looked into before hiring an associate partner. Here are a few more skills that are often looked at in an associate partner:
Project Management: The associate partner must be capable enough to oversee multiple projects.
Organization: Organizational skills are essential for an associate partner to manage the projects and the client data effectively.
Leadership: It is essential for an associate partner to have leadership skills, to lead the entry-level and mid-level consultants.
Sales: Associate Partners need to be good at selling consulting services to new and existing clients.
Communication: Communication skills are essential to communicate appropriately with the client and team and get the project done effectively.
Business Practices: Associate Partners might also need to offer business strategies to the clients.
Information Technology: Associate Partners who work for IT companies might have a sound knowledge of complex products and services.
Tips to become an associate partner
Evaluate the Employee Performance Reports
Many consultant firms try to assess the consultant’s strengths through regular evaluations. It helps them understand if the consultant is potential enough to get promoted.
Have a thought Leadership mentality.
A clear-minded consultant knows how he can improve himself and bring in results for the organization. By understanding how your decisions impact the organization’s growth and also the future of your role, it is crucial to adapt to a thought leadership mentality.
Communicate With the Network
Apart from the interaction with your management, it is essential to communicate with known contacts to know more about the associate partner role. Many of your peers or colleagues might have an idea of openings for the associate partner role.
We hope you now have clear insights on how to become an associate partner in any firm. Always be open to opportunities from your friends or contacts, and also make sure to improve your skills in the industry constantly you would like to enter (like IT).