Best path to strategy consulting from corporate venture?

Hey guys, I'm in a unique situation and I'm not sure how to recruit for strategy roles or what level I should be targeting.

My background:

I graduated in 2018 from a non-target, spent 2 years running a startup in CPG and now 2 years in corporate venture capital for a large non-profit. My background is quite unique but nothing super special. That being said, I'm great at selling myself and talking up my experiences.

My goals:

One thing I lack is a brand name on my resume. I didn't know about MBB or target schools when I was in college and I missed those recruiting cycles.

That being said, I'd like to enter strategy consulting to get that brand name on my resume and get some fantastic work experience.

What I need help with:

I don't really know how to recruit for these jobs. Given I'm 4yrs out of college and don't have a target on my resume, I'm finding that I'm getting rejected from standard LinkedIn applications without getting a 1st round interview.

How do I get in-front of decision makers / hiring managers at consulting firms to help move my resume forward? Should I reach out to partners for coffee chats? Reach out to the few alumni in MBB? Target specific teams that work in my industry (e.g., startups)?

If you were me, what would you do to get your foot in the door?

Comments (4)

Most Helpful
  • Senior Consultant in Consulting
Mar 31, 2022 - 2:15pm

You should not be blindly applying on company website or LinkedIn. Those application portals are black holes, especially for non-traditional backgrounds such as yours

What you need are referrals. They can come from partners but they don't have to. You need a good story about why you're interested in consulting, and "I need a brand name on my resume" isn't it. You chat with people and express your interest, and near the end of the call ask if they had any advice or guidance as you are going to apply soon -- if they want to refer you, they should pick up on the hint and offer to refer. In terms of people to target through relating your past experiences, strategy firms don't do a lot of work for startups but they do for CPGs, so that may be a better angle

Is there a reason you're not considering an MBA? I'm usually of the opinion that MBAs don't make sense for most people as they lack a specific need that it fulfills, but it sounds like a top-ranked MBA would satisfy a lot of the boxes you're looking to check (associating with a strong brand name and access to interesting higher profile work opportunities)

  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Mar 31, 2022 - 2:56pm

Thanks for the insightful reply. I won't waste my time with those applications and focus on getting a referral. I've definitely considered an MBA and it's still in the cards, just would rather not spend 2 years without an income. 

Do you have any advice for me on how to approach alumni / asking them to a coffee chat on LinkedIn? I know I'll do well once I get them on the phone, but I want to be strategic on my approach given I'm 4+ years out of undergrad and can't play the student card. What would you recommend? 

Mar 31, 2022 - 3:53pm
Angus Macgyver, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Every major consulting firm, from MBB to the Big 4 to all of the well known boutiques, has been hiring like crazy for the past year and are still adding bodies. Shouldn't be too difficult for you to land some interviews for <the level above entry level, whatever it is called at X shop>. Go start a Fishbowl account and start fishing for referrals.

  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Mar 31, 2022 - 4:27pm

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