Should I even try for MBB/Big 4?

I am a rising junior doing a double major at Harvard, one of the majors being Econ.(perfect ACT/SAT scores) I have a 3.1 cumulative GPA and 3.6 in my major. I am involved in multiple clubs on campus including finance clubs and non-business ones and leadership roles. With my lower GPA( I know I spread myself too thin)..should I even try applying to MBB/Big 4 consulting firms or go directly to boutique ones for a junior 2025 summer internship? Help!

 

Based on the insights from Wall Street Oasis, it's clear that while a lower GPA can be a hurdle, it's not necessarily a deal-breaker, especially with your strong background in other areas. Here’s a strategic approach you might consider:

  1. Leverage Your Strengths: Highlight your perfect ACT/SAT scores, leadership roles, and involvement in clubs. These are significant and can set you apart. Your major GPA is also strong, which is beneficial.

  2. Target Both MBB/Big 4 and Boutiques: Don’t limit your options. Apply to both MBB/Big 4 and boutique firms. MBB/Big 4 firms value diverse experiences and leadership, which you have. Boutique firms might be more flexible regarding GPA and can offer valuable experience too.

  3. Enhance Your Networking: Continue to build relationships through your clubs and alumni connections. Networking can significantly influence your application, especially in consulting where referrals matter.

  4. Prepare Thoroughly for Interviews: Given that your GPA isn't as strong, excelling in case interviews becomes even more crucial. Start preparing early to ensure you can perform exceptionally.

  5. Consult Your Career Center: Utilize your school’s career resources to get advice tailored to your specific situation and possibly connect with recruiters from these firms.

  6. Consider Explaining Your GPA: If there’s a valid reason your GPA suffered (like managing multiple major commitments), you might briefly explain this in your cover letter or interviews to provide context.

Remember, firms look at the whole picture, not just one aspect of your application. Your diverse involvements and leadership roles are definitely strengths. Keep a positive mindset and prepare diligently!

Sources: Did my GPA screw up my application?, https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forum/investment-banking/low-gpa-but-have-experience-in-the-field-what-do-i-do?customgpt=1, Why can't I even get any interviews?, What should I do as an undergrad if I want to work for Mckinsey?, Consulting Recruiting 2023

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.
 

Two points: 

- Consider putting your major GPA on your resume (make sure to indicate as such) to ensure passing the resume screen

- Big 4 consulting (outside of Strategy&, Parthenon, and to a lesser extent Deloitte’s strategy practice) is a very different experience than MBB, which not all college sophomores appreciate. Assuming you are interested in pursuing strategy consulting, I’d encourage you to look at the T2 firms (LEK, Oliver Wyman, Kearney, EYP, S&) and some of the notable strategy boutiques (Roland Berger in the US, Altman Solon, OC&C)

 

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