1st vs 2:1 for Strategy Consulting

Does a First Class in Economics at a 'target uni' (e.g. Oxbridge/LSE) hold much more weight over a 2:1? I'm interested in applying for grad roles in strategy consulting next year and think I'll probably end up on a 2:1 (around 67%). Would that be an issue or is a 2:1 good enough to get an interview at MBB/S&/OW etc? I have 2 society leadership positions, a consulting internship (not a strategy one) this summer and some other finance internships (non-brand name).

Most Helpful

Short answer - 2:1 is fine.

Longer answer - A 1st would obvioulsy be better, but if you're already at Oxbridge / LSE, the value added will be lower than if you came from, say Leeds. Since you already have the "university name" part down and are on track for a solid grade with your 2:1, the main thing is to ensure you also have:

  1. leadership experiences through extracurriculars if possible (any society / sports / or thing outside of university where you did more than just show up)
  2. ideally an internship at a top organisation (industry isn't super important, as long as it's one of the better firms in that)
  3. (maybe) a referral, can't hurt

Since you have most of those already, it will be about the prep + ensuring your CV / cover letter are up to par:

  • emphasise outcomes and not processes / tasks
  • display qualities you know are value by strat consulting firms (easy peasy, go on website, About Us section, and look at the "Core Principles" or whatever they're called at each firm)
  • have a good story for why consulting (it is fine if the story is that you want to build a diverse skillset in the short to medium term before exploring further opportunities later in your career)
  • obviously prep the online tests + case interviews + behavioural questions (STAR method only for those, never deviate) properly


I went through the recruitment process this year for summer internships and had interviews with most of the strategy consulting firms (not MBB but think I messed up their tests). But that was when my CV had Expected First, now if I'm on course for 67% not sure if I can still say Expected First so was wondering if that would reduce my chances. 

Thanks for your reply! I'll definitely look into improving in those areas. 

Always better to have better credentials but from top targets it's not even necessary to have a 2.1 (depending on your extracurriculars and internships). I graduated with a (low) 2.2 and didn't have any problems getting into both most of the MBBs and some T2s in London.

I applied October after graduation so I put (actual, not predicted) 2:2 on all the application forms that asked for grades and nothing about grades on CV.

How'd you get this? Do you reckon it'd be possible to find these for some of the banks?

it was a document that went around for BCGs pre screening a couple of years ago. Not sure if it's fully accurate and don't think there's one for IB unfortunately

FFS get a 1st, it consistutes 30-40% of degrees at those universities now. Not in charge of recruiting but would seriously ding any applicants for any job from a UK university without a 1st post-pandemic. How hard can it be to be in the first third of your class.

Dolorem eaque ut qui voluptates. Amet consequuntur amet voluptatem sit nostrum ut velit qui.

Ex quia vel quia tempore praesentium. Reiciendis ea corrupti veniam voluptas qui deleniti molestiae. Odio aut enim sint aut ut sit error.

Career Advancement Opportunities

September 2023 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • McKinsey and Co 98.9%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.3%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.7%
  • LEK Consulting 97.2%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

September 2023 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • Cornerstone Research 98.9%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.3%
  • McKinsey and Co 97.7%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.2%

Professional Growth Opportunities

September 2023 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • McKinsey and Co 98.9%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.3%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.7%
  • Alvarez & Marsal 97.2%

Total Avg Compensation

September 2023 Consulting

  • Partner (4) $368
  • Principal (25) $277
  • Director/MD (53) $265
  • Vice President (46) $244
  • Engagement Manager (95) $223
  • Manager (148) $169
  • 2nd Year Associate (153) $139
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (108) $130
  • Senior Consultant (323) $130
  • Consultant (576) $119
  • NA (15) $119
  • 1st Year Associate (527) $118
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (140) $114
  • Engineer (6) $114
  • 2nd Year Analyst (319) $101
  • Associate Consultant (161) $97
  • 1st Year Analyst (1023) $87
  • Intern/Summer Associate (184) $84
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (513) $68
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”

From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”