2021 ADC/APD Summer Programs/Full-Time Applications Thread

Applications are starting up so figured I'd set up a thread similar to last year so people could ask questions or share updates as they prepare for recruiting season. Giving back to the community I heavily lurked last year for sure!

Below are links with deadlines for firms with applications updated for 2021.

Summer Programs:

Other firms that hire PhDs include:

  • EY-Parthenon
  • Health Advances
  • Navigant
  • ZS
  • CBPartners
  • Cello Health Bioconsulting
  • Comment if I'm missing some

Link to Past Threads:

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Comments (409)

Most Helpful
Feb 22, 2021 - 8:35pm

Hi ADCs! I was in your spot last year and now I'm starting at an MBB firm. Happy answer questions here and/or to share resources and example application docs via DM. Coaching interviewees as an assigned buddy for my firm has shown me how valuable it can be to give back. Welcome and good luck!

Feb 23, 2021 - 8:44am

Great question! I applied for all three summer programs by MBBs, but I did not get into Bain's or BCG's. For both, I was put on a "stay in touch" type of list. In my region, McKinsey had a one-day info session and I did get into that.

As for whether it helped my application, it could help you get on folks' radars. But those summer programs are very limited, so it's okay if you aren't one of the handful of people who actually gets into Bridge to BCG or the others. Many more people I know were invited to the full-time interview than to the summer program.

Keep in mind this was all during Covid, and the firms changed a lot of their recruitment that year. Who knows what will happen this time!

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Feb 23, 2021 - 9:39am

Hi ADCs, like the first commenter WSO served me well last year and its time to pay it forward. Received offers for LS and generalist firms during covid, currently a PhD in a LS firm. Happy to share more in PMs about this path. Best of luck everyone! 

Mar 31, 2021 - 11:21am

Anyone heard back from Bain ADvantage since the application submission? I got an invite to play the McKinsey Imbellus game yesterday.

Mar 31, 2021 - 12:35pm

Heard some people received invitations to case-prep workshops but that might be office-specific

Apr 5, 2021 - 1:21pm

Hi, I was wondering if an incomplete application to the summer program would affect FT applications? I applied to Bridge2BCG but had technical issues with the one-way video interviews and wasn't able to complete before deadline :( Would it be more negative than a rejection? Is there anything I can do to make up for it? Thanks in advance!

Apr 5, 2021 - 4:10pm

Hope you get the extension! To answer your first question, your Bridge application is completely separate from the FT app so will thus have no effect. I know plenty of people who did not apply to Bridge or got rejected and received a FT interview later in the summer.

Apr 6, 2021 - 10:05am

Am I not qualified to apply as an ADC if I'm a PhD candidate set to graduate in April/May 2022? This year will be my final summer before graduation.

I applied to McKinsey Insight and Bridge to BCG, but BCG emailed me saying my application will not be considered because of my anticipated graduation date. McKisney hasn't said anything and I was able to take my Imbellus test, so I'm a bit confused.

EDIT: Thanks everyone. It turns out that I am an ape and put down the wrong year for graduation in my application. Luckily, they're still giving me the one-way interview.

Apr 6, 2021 - 11:52am

I don't see a problem with your anticipated graduation date. My colleagues and I who applied last year (i.e., in 2020) have graduation dates from Jan 2021 to August 2021. The BCG recruiters I spoke to have typically been very flexible about when you start.

I would still try for the full time applications, though it might help to find out if BCG thought that is too early or too late; they are catching up due to slow/minimal hiring last year, so they could be prioritizing different people at this point. Good luck!

Apr 6, 2021 - 12:14pm

Very strange, I also know people with similar graduation dates who applied last year and did qualify. I also know people graduating in 2022 and applying for Bridge this year. Is there a possibility of a mistake in your application/dates? Based on their eligibility description you should be the following:
- US or Canadian school or hospital
- looking to start full-time with BCG in late 2021 or in 2022
So my assumption would be that either there is a mistake and they think you graduate in April/May 2021, not 2022, or if there is a mistake with the indicated start date (e.g. 2023 or before July 2021).

Apr 8, 2021 - 4:21pm

Just got an invitation to McKinsey Insight (May 7th)!

Not really sure though if they assign you based on your office preference or the region you are from. The website says " You will be aligned to a date based off of your school and region."

Apr 8, 2021 - 5:25pm

My top office preference was San Francisco but my Insight invitation is from the Chicago office recruiter. I am currently in the Midwest, so that would make sense if they assign you based on current location/school. I also remember during one of the McKinsey Info session they said assignments for Insight would be based on your current location. At least in my case that seems to be true.

Apr 8, 2021 - 5:41pm

Actually now that I've read my invite email more carefully, I got the Insight invite from a San Francisco recruiter. I'm currently based in the South, and my undergrad school was in the midwest, with my preference being Texas. As there are two dates for the Insight program, maybe they try to accommodate people based on their locations, but sometimes it's not always the case?

Apr 9, 2021 - 10:48am

Does anyone know how probable it is to get a job offer out of one of summer programs, especially in a virtual context? Thanks!

Apr 9, 2021 - 12:52pm

For one of the Insights 2020, there were about 25 people, and 6 are joining McK now. I know of other 4 that passed R1 but not R2 and were encouraged to reapply this season, 2 people joining BCG, 1 joining Bain, and 3 joining LS firms, some people were just clearly there to learn about what is this thing called consulting, e.g. 1 person looked super bored and disinterested during the event, not even trying to pretend to care. I don't know everyone since it was virtual, so there may be more people with offers, but I would say these are pretty good odds overall. Also Bain and BCG were not really hiring as much last season and they were waiting to see what COVID times will bring, so I would imagine this year will be the best year for applying. 

Apr 9, 2021 - 4:16pm

Congrats to those who get into Insight! I got rejected which was sort of expected, as I did not do well in the Imbellus game :( The email also says that applying for FT will not require to retake the Imbellus game. Anyone knows if it means the old Imbellus results will be taken into consideration for FT application? TIA!

Apr 9, 2021 - 7:42pm

I've been wondering this, since if I didn't do well on the imbellus and that was the reason for not getting invited, maybe it would be worth retaking it? Still confused about how they evaluate it.

Apr 10, 2021 - 1:39pm

I got a rejection as well -- email mentioned the "Keep in Touch Program". It did mention that the school recruiter will get in touch, which makes me think it might be a thing they do for target schools?

Apr 10, 2021 - 4:40pm

For the Link to LEK interview, does anyone know whether it's a general case problem or life sciences case problem specifically? Also does anyone have experience with the format of the interview? For FT first round interview, there are 2 interviews that are 30 min each, so I was wondering whether the Link to LEK interview is structurally different.

Apr 12, 2021 - 11:56pm

Does anyone know what time the Connect to ClearView application closed? I was running late and tried to submit tonight, but it said the job posting is no longer available...

Apr 13, 2021 - 5:26pm

Just received an invite for a first round phone interview (next week) for C2C- fit plus case. I sent my application about 3 weeks ago, but wasn't expecting to hear back any time soon given deadline. Anyone else?

Apr 13, 2021 - 9:22pm

Hi! Thanks for all of the helpful content. I applied to Insight (rejected), Bridge to BCG (pymetrics and 1-way, waiting to hear from them), and ClearView (just in time, thanks to the comments above!). 🤞

I'm going to apply to CRA LS Symposium (due 4/25), but I'm not sure what they're looking for regarding the writing sample. Does anyone have tips?

Apr 13, 2021 - 10:49pm

I heard from people who participated previously that if you have a publication, then you just attach the pdf file. If you don't have a publication yet, then just submit like an abstract. 

Apr 14, 2021 - 10:32am

How important would you guys say that networking is in getting that full-time interview offer? I'm pretty bad when it comes to reaching out to people (and I don't know very many consultants to begin with.) 

Apr 14, 2021 - 4:12pm

It seems networking your way to a referral can only help your case, but becomes increasingly important if you're coming from a 'non-target' institution where you wouldn't have the benefit of a recruiting pipeline.  That being said, I believe you'd still have to jump through the requisite pre-interview hoops (e.g. Pymetrics/Imbellus).

Apr 14, 2021 - 11:24am

For those rejected from Insight, are you going to wait till June (which is approximately when the deadline is) to apply for full-time positions? Any advice on how you plan on building your profile/pitch to improve your chances of securing that full-time interview would be appreciated! Thank you!

Apr 14, 2021 - 11:49am

I was rejected from Insight and will probably wait until June to apply for the full-time positions. I plan to build more experience in the extracurriculars that I'm currently involved in so the numbers on my resume look better -- if you can look for ways to gain additional experience between now and June, that might be a good idea. I also plan to brainstorm more ways to include impact on my resume. Not sure whether this will work, but it's what I plan to do!

Apr 14, 2021 - 5:00pm

Also, guys, don't forget that all summer programs are more competitive (especially by resume with no interviews) than applications for FT positions. The candidates with a really impressive resume attend 3-4 summer programs, but they will only select one job at the end. I know plenty of people who got job offers in previous years without attending the summer workshops (because they didn't apply for those or because they weren't selected). There was certainly a big number of people who applied for the summer workshops but weren't selected to attend them, and still got invited to interview for FT for the same firms.

Apr 14, 2021 - 6:33pm

As far as deadlines go, I sat in on an undergrad info session for McKinsey and the recruiter laid out the following timeline:

July 19th: Deadline #1 for all roles

Sept 16th: Deadline #2 for all roles

Aug-Sept: Interviews for group 1

Early-Mid Oct: Interviews for group 2

Apr 14, 2021 - 4:06pm

It sounds like a few people heard from LEK last week. ClearView started sending out invites but feels like they go through them based on when people submitted their application. They also have two events (June and July), so there is still time. Haven't heard anything about BCG and Clarion yet. They should reach out to people soon though. On the BCG website it says they will reach out by mid-April.

Apr 16, 2021 - 3:16pm

i suppose i should officially stop lurking and join in here. admitted to Bridge this afternoon! the invite specifically mentioned being invited to first rounds later in the summer and that this would be scheduled in a few weeks.

also admitted to McKinsey's program a couple weeks ago and now starting to panic bc i don't know how to case :'(

Apr 16, 2021 - 4:39pm

I feel like there were probably 4 tiers: accepted, invited to FT interview, summer engagement series only (you and me it seems), and rejected without other mentions. 

Apr 16, 2021 - 4:23pm

Got rejected for Insight and C2C, accepted to Bridge.

No consulting experience. Only joined the consulting group at my college (they don't have a PhD one) 2 weeks ago but have not participated yet. Had to rush to prepare since getting contacted to apply for bridge. Has been a whirlwind.

Apr 16, 2021 - 4:40pm

Is anyone else an MS2 here and know how recruiting for us will look? For the Bridge program at least, it says interviews for full-time are this summer, but we still have a while before graduating. And can we use this as a pipeline into the MD Fellows program?

Apr 16, 2021 - 5:10pm

In case it helps anyone get past that first screening, I wanted to share the resources I used to put my resume together.

For format and structure, I replicated the example from the BCG ADC Resume Writing Workshop.

After a first pass, I revised each bulletpoint to lead with the action verbs from this list.

I also looked through the materials in the free resume/cover letter course on casecoach. I don't think there was much added-value there though.

Next, I had a non-PhD friend take a look at it to be sure it made sense to someone without a technical background.

Finally, I asked a consultant friend for some feedback and incorporated some more changes.

Good luck everyone!

Apr 16, 2021 - 11:14pm

Agreed, with the added benefit of networking and case experience in a team setting. They use the words "fast tracked" in the letter but I still feel like I'm missing out a bit. I'm disappointed but also encouraged in some weird way. In my reading around I thought I saw there is a ~10% "acceptance" rate from bridge? If everyone at bridge gets an interview would that mean straight out hires?

Apr 17, 2021 - 1:00pm

For those that applied to McK insight, did you include undergraduate experiences at all? I notice their website mentions: 

"Include all teamwork and/or leadership experiences. We encourage you to add all of these experiences to your CV or resume. You are welcome to include examples from your undergraduate experience as well."

wondering if it's worth making my resume over 1 page for undergrad items. 

Apr 17, 2021 - 8:24pm

I included undergrad items but kept it to a single page. McK has said they're happy to review longer CVs, but I figured if someone was only going to spend a few seconds reviewing it, it would be best to keep it concentrated to just the highlights. I also wanted to work on a single document for all the applications, rather than a one page resume and a CV.

Coincidentally, this came out today:

Here is my advice: The strongest will fit on a single page. Exceptions are few. An 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of letter paper fits about 700 words. So be efficient. Recruiters often say they spend six seconds reviewing the average candidate. Are you worth seven?

Apr 19, 2021 - 12:01pm

For anyone who applied to Clarion PROPEL,  looks like invites for phone interviews were sent out this morning. It sounds like they just do a fit interview, no case component.

Apr 19, 2021 - 2:13pm

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