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I am currently an Active duty military member nearing the end of my contract. I am looking for a possibility of going into the consulting field and i would like some feedback or advice on my plan.
I am currently staioned in San Diego and my plan is to go to a California Community College and after two years transfer to UC Berkeley/Haas and double major in Econ and Business. I am looking for advice or feedback on the soundness of this plan.

Comments (15)

  • JPMortgage's picture

    What branch? I was enlisted in the Marines in the DEP in high school until I both of my shoulders requiring surgery my senior year. There's something similar between the attraction to the military and to investment banking I think. Probably enjoying hard work and competition, and being the best. I've talked to an Army guy who now works at a boutique after going to college after he served.
    You're plan is solid, make sure you maintain a high GPA at the CC and try and get involved in some ECs. To transfer into Haas will be a lot harder, but with your service on your resume and a good GPA you should have a shot.
    CC to UC is definitely the route to go. Under the TAP program you basically have guaranteed admission as long as you maintain a certain GPA. Sucks for me though since I'm trying to transfer from an out-of-state 4-yr to USC.
    Cheers

    "If it were easy, everyone would do it"

  • lunsford2847's picture

    I joined the Marine Corps in '09 right out of high school. Less than a month between graduation and boot. I probably need shoulder and knee surgery now. But at least its covered.

    "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries"
    -Winston Churchill

  • BepBep12's picture

    Not too much on here for enlisted guys; however, my old CO currently works at Booz Allen in A&D consulting and I know an MD that works at HW&Co as well that is prior military. You are in good company.

    Edit: The military gives you a strong foundation, but just be aware that there isn't as much 'cachet' w/ being a veteran as there once was IMO. Given the fact that there's hundreds of thousands newly minted veterans given Afghanistan/Iraq you still need to be strong in everything else. The military won't make or break a candidacy, but it could just push you over the edge when you can talk about real life and some other asshole talks about he/she 'managed a group project in XYZ class'.

    'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

  • lunsford2847's picture

    Oh I understand it's really not a leg up for post undergrad employment. I was just explaining my situation. I plan on working my a** of to get to where I want to be. I mainly posted to see if anyone had any suggestions or at least feedback of the feasibility of my plan.

    "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries"
    -Winston Churchill

  • td12's picture

    You’re the man. I also went the enlisted to undergrad route and my biggest mistakes were 1. Not retaking the SAT and applying to better schools, and 2. Underestimating my military experience. But you seem to have a solid vision moving forward. When it comes time for you to apply for internships/FT positions, do not underestimate the veteran network (in addition to your school’s network) – regardless of rank or branch. If you have the Post 9/11 then you’re in an even better situation. Good luck with everything.

  • surferbarney's picture

    Enlisted Marine infantry for 8 friggin years. Got a SA at a BB, and I am by no means at a target school. Grades are key. Not saying you arent Haas material, but keep options open. Network your ass off too. I am a dual major econ and finance. The Marines def helped me see the big picture and appreciate the use of my time. Good luck to you.

  • lunsford2847's picture

    Eight Years infantry? Thats harsh. I'm on the other end of the spectrum. Communications Electronics Maintenance. The exit opps are actually really good. Most people get out, get a job as a contracter for Rockwell Collins or General Dynamics and get paid $200k to end up answering phones at a help desk in Afghanistan. But I would much rather do something outside the military-industrial complex realm of things.

    "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries"
    -Winston Churchill

  • surferbarney's picture

    I think exit opps are what you make them in the infantry. You can not replace the leadership and stress level experience you get leading men in combat. I used my human capital for the best and took on projects using stats and calculus to prove or disprove different things, which def helped me in the quantitative aspect. I went to school for a year before I joined and when I went back it was a completely different mindset.

    Just make sure when you get to Haas you do not tell any of them you were in the Marines. Berkeley is not exactly known for embracing those that serve. http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-march-10-200...

  • In reply to BepBep12
    devildog2067's picture

    BepBep12 wrote:
    Not too much on here for enlisted guys; however, my old CO currently works at Booz Allen in A&D consulting and I know an MD that works at HW&Co as well that is prior military. You are in good company.

    I'm at an MBB and we have a strong commitment to veteran recruiting. It's true that most are former officers, simply because a college degree is sort of a minimum qualification and many officers do B-school after getting out, but I'm former enlisted and I'm not the only one, even in my office.

    Quote:
    Edit: The military gives you a strong foundation, but just be aware that there isn't as much 'cachet' w/ being a veteran as there once was IMO. Given the fact that there's hundreds of thousands newly minted veterans given Afghanistan/Iraq you still need to be strong in everything else. The military won't make or break a candidacy, but it could just push you over the edge when you can talk about real life and some other asshole talks about he/she 'managed a group project in XYZ class'.

    This is the truth. Just being a veteran isn't enough, but it gives you good things to talk about when you're asked the question "tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership."

    I talked a lot about "mission accomplishment and troop welfare" during interviews. It's the truth in consulting as much as it was in the Corps.

  • lunsford2847's picture

    Thanks for the encouragement, it's good to know that it is doable. When should I start looking at summer internships? What is applicable for the consulting field?

    "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries"
    -Winston Churchill

  • pecan's picture

    Lunsford2847, I'm also a former enlisted Marine in Southern California. I got out three years ago and I'll be joining MBB full-time in the fall. td12 gave good advice for going back to school post-enlistment: definitely don't underestimate your military experience and feel like you have to go to community college first. I had some college under my belt already plus a few classes I took in between deployments, and was able to get straight into a target 4-year school out of undergrad.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about the application process or the steps you might want to take afterwards to end up in consulting.