Sophomore wanting to break into management consulting – would love advice

Summary of me:

  • Sophomore at non-target, small but reputable liberal arts school with 3.6 GPA

  • Majoring in CS and minoring in Business; good club involvement with 1 leadership role 

  • Have an internship for summer 24 at a small risk management firm (will be splitting time between general underwriting and working with IT department)

  • Have good connections at some of the big 4, Accenture, and Protiviti

My dilemma:

I only started looking into consulting in the last month and want to grind for summer 2025 internships but am wondering if this is even worth my time. I genuinely do think this line of work can be for me but am also aware of how dicey the recruitment process can be. Will be gunning for Deloitte very hard, likely in something risk and/or tech-related so that I can leverage my academic background and the experience I get this summer. 

Questions:

-How cooked am I? Before I start grinding interview prep, I wanna know if this is even worth my time.

-When do the internships for 2025 come out? I heard that some are done recruiting whereas others released later this summer.

-Besides trying to get my GPA up and networking, what should I be doing to better my chances as an applicant? 

-My school does have a consulting facet of its business major which I am interested in switching to. This would mean that I would have to take multiple overloaded semesters to catch up with these classes and that I would have taken a bunch of math classes for nothing (huge gut shot). Does the CS major help me out as an applicant or is it worth switching to consulting?

Feel free to grill me. I need it

 

Navigating the path into management consulting, especially from a non-target school, requires a strategic approach, but it's entirely feasible with the right preparation and mindset. Here's a breakdown of your situation and some actionable advice:

Assessing Your Situation

  • Not Cooked at All: Your background in CS and Business, combined with leadership in clubs and an upcoming internship in risk management, positions you well. Consulting firms value diverse skill sets, and your technical background can be a significant asset, especially in tech or risk consulting roles.
  • Internship Timelines: Consulting firms, including the Big 4, typically start their recruiting process for summer internships a year in advance. For summer 2025 internships, expect the bulk of applications to open around summer 2024. However, timelines can vary, and some firms may have earlier deadlines or rolling recruitment processes.
  • Improving Your Chances: Beyond boosting your GPA and networking, focus on:
    • Case Interview Prep: Start practicing case interviews as early as possible. Utilize resources like case books, online forums, and practice with peers or mentors.
    • Personal Branding: Tailor your resume and LinkedIn profile to highlight your relevant skills and experiences. Emphasize your leadership role, technical skills, and any projects or achievements that demonstrate your problem-solving abilities.
    • Seek Relevant Experience: Your internship at a risk management firm is a great start. Look for opportunities to take on projects or roles that align with consulting, especially in technology and business analysis.

Major Decision: CS vs. Consulting Focus

  • Leveraging Your CS Major: The tech industry is booming, and consulting firms are increasingly looking for candidates with strong technical backgrounds. Your CS major is a valuable asset, especially for roles in technology consulting, digital transformation, and analytics.
  • Switching to a Consulting Focus: If you're passionate about consulting and believe that switching majors will significantly enhance your knowledge and skills in this area, it could be worth considering. However, this decision should be weighed carefully against the additional workload and the potential loss of progress in your current major.
  • Hybrid Approach: Consider sticking with your CS major while taking as many business and consulting-related courses as your schedule allows. This approach gives you a strong technical foundation with business acumen, making you a well-rounded candidate for consulting roles.

Final Thoughts

Your journey into management consulting is just beginning, and you're already asking the right questions. Leverage your unique background, continue building your network, and focus on developing the skills and knowledge that consulting firms value. Remember, consulting is about problem-solving, analytical thinking, and effective communication—skills that can be honed in any major.

Sources: Consulting Recruiting 2023, Consulting Recruiting 2023, What do companies look for in intern applications?, Consulting 2023 internship deadlines

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

Nah bro stick to your CS Major it’s far more valuable than a “consulting” major whatever that is and more valuable than a business major for sure.
If I were you I would recruit for consulting but don’t abandon CS, keep it in your back pocket because SWEs can make a lot of money with better WLB and stability than consulting

 

Id say im the middle of the pack in terms of GPA, internships, and extracurriculars amongst people wanting to go into consulting. The thing that makes me stand out the most is definitely my CS major. I don't know anyone with the major going into consulting, only minors. So I think I'm in a decent spot when it comes to comparing amongst people my age from my school.

 

Hey there, let me add first that I am only a sophomore in undergrad myself, taking a gap to intern to intern at Accenture with a second one lined up this summer.

I think you definitely still have a shot at consulting…really no harm in trying. Especially considering your tech background you have shots at more tech-related positions as well (given that that is your major you might actually wanna focus on those)

From the people I have met here I would argue that having the connection between CS and business would make you a strong candidate if you are interested in their technologies practice (which is still run under strategy) but since they are so tech focused and do a lot of integration work, being well-versed in that area would still be a strong point in your application, even if you are looking at other practices.

Getting your GPA up, networking, and having strong club engagement are really the three most important things to focus on (maybe a coding project or something in that regard).

Unfortunately I cannot really speak as to whether it is worth it for you to pursue the consulting “track” within your business degree. This probably also depends on whether the classes/material taught are really interesting to you. In general though, most people in consulting afaik don’t necessarily pursue such consulting “track,” so maybe that helps.
Besides that, I don’t think math classes have ever hurt anyone. Lastly, one thing you might want to consider is switching to a business major (then maybe being able to also pursue the consulting facet “at no extra cost”) and a minor in CS, but this is a fully different discussion.

 
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