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How Do I Become a Turnaround Specialist?

By YaShekia King
Updated May 17, 2024
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A turnaround specialist is a consultant who helps struggling businesses recover and thrive. They typically must have earned a two-year master’s degree in business administration or public accounting, which first requires a four-year bachelor’s degree in a similar field. Those who wish to operate in the education field usually must have a two-year master’s degree in school administration. To become a turnaround specialist, an individual then should complete specialized field training and gain practical industry experience.

A person who wants to become a turnaround specialist should look for a college or university that offers a training program in this specialized field. This type of certificate program often lasts a couple of years and allows students to focus on either helping companies in the business sector or academically struggling schools in the education sector. If you want to work as a turnaround specialist for a school, you typically must already be a principal of a struggling school. When you are seeking to become a turnaround specialist in the business sector, training programs often look for individuals who have served as company leaders. You should be prepared to submit a resume, past college degrees, and letters of recommendation, as well as fill out the institution’s admissions application.

An aspiring turnaround professional must take classes that cover financial regulations and organizational accountability. For instance, you need to master classes on lender laws because many companies that are experiencing financial problems and are clients of banks will require you to take over as interim chief executive officer (CEO) and work with these banks. You also must study how to spot companies that do not report their financials adequately to help them meet national guidelines and create better working capital policies.

Turnaround expert training programs additionally teach you how to hone your management and communication skills. As an aspiring turnaround specialist, you need to take classes that explain how to help company executives to delegate their power and manage their staffs appropriately. In addition, you must practice helping a troubled company create a written business plan that highlights how the company plans to succeed and deal with setbacks. Helping management communicate this plan with employees also is part of a turnaround specialist’s job, so you should use your training time to hone your presentation skills as well.

An individual who wants to enter the turnaround industry should seek a company that will accept him or her as an apprentice in this field. An apprenticeship or internship will give you hands-on experience with analyzing a business problem and implementing an emergency plan, which might include trimming product lines. You should use this opportunity to gain a solid understanding of business restructuring and be prepared to do traveling regularly.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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