Advice/Tips for Undergrad to break into Consulting

Hello Everyone,

To start off just a little bit about myself, attending a non-target university graduating in december '18 majoring in Finance and Real Estate. Currently interning at one of the largest residential developer in the finance division. I have a solid GPA

Recently I have become very interested in consulting and idea of advising companies, getting to different industries and as well as get to travel new places. Now keeping in my mind background what are my chances for breaking into consulting for an internship in summer 2018? What is the Consulting recruiting timeline ? and what is the best way to start preparing for the interviews if I am able to get any.

Any or all advice is welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Comments (71)

Aug 2, 2017

Bump

Aug 2, 2017

Fellow (former) non-targeter here to give you some advice: use the search function then ask more specific/better questions after doing your research.

Aug 2, 2017

Thanks, for that comment, but this is not very helpful at all..

Aug 2, 2017

I have spoken to many professionals in different sectors and they have all said the biggest thing they look for in a prospect consultant Is experience. Why would a company who is hiring a consulting firm want a kid straight from college or young person telling them what they should do. That's just what I have heard if it helps at all!

    • 1
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Aug 2, 2017

Yes, that helps me a lot. It takes away some of the pressure i felt in deciding wether to take the trainee in the industry or trying to break in directly in Management Consulting..

Aug 2, 2017

What? management consulting firms hire a bunch of people directly out of undergrad, no idea what trader is talking about

Also, op, if you already worked in management consulting at PwC, how do you have such simple questions? Why are you still unemployed now, when you have 3 great internships on your resume. Why are your English skills so poor?

This post makes no sense, I feel like it's a set up for someone to try to sell something a few posts down.

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Aug 2, 2017

Post seems completely legit to me. English skills are fine, a lot better than most people's second language.

You have a good profile. Blast people on linked in explain that based on your experience at PwC you want to switch to management consulting from finance and if they have any advice on how to do this. Find Germans that went from finance to mc and contact them.

Good luck.

Aug 3, 2017

A 3.5 is completely reasonable for PwC, Deloitte, and Oliver Wyman; I have friends with 3.5's in Big 4 consulting and another friend with a 3.3 at Oliver Wyman. The fact that your GPA shows an upward trajectory should play to your advantage, as well.

Aug 3, 2017
artfuldodger23:

Hey everyone,

I am currently a sophomore MPA (masters of professional accountancy) student at the University of Texas at Austin and lately I have been seriously thinking about entering the management consulting industry. As my second year comes to a close I realize my time before major interview time during fall is getting shorter and shorter and sometimes I think I may be too late thinking about interviewing for management consulting firms next fall for my future summer internship.

I currently have a 3.25 GPA and hope to get it up to a 3.5 at the end of this semester. With this I was wondering if there is a "GPA cutoff" for MBB and the other consulting firms and also should I even bother with considering consulting if I am not expecting/aiming for MBB (if I'm expecting like Booz, Deloitte, Oliver Wyman, PWC... firms along those lines)? Or do I just simply mark consulting off my list?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Aug 3, 2017

Well young man. Grades are not everything it is seems like you are doing well-as long as you are taking time away from serious studies to do humanistic things like helping others, etc. Most important element in my mind, is of course effort, sincerity and a willingness to listen and learn from the wiser. You can become a good consultant without a degree and I doubt if you have to go the MBB, Del. route to have success. It is you and your mindset and dedication to professionalism that matter. And having strong heart, a will to do what it takes and Faith. believe in yourself. if you are in Austin/UT you are in a good starting ground to begin with. I have many friends in TX and some may need a good acct. someday, most do not need mang. at this time. Just folks with organizing skills and think-power. just do it-not when you get around TUIT!

Aug 3, 2017

How important are SAT/ACT scores in the recruiting process for consulting firms for undergraduate recruiting?

Aug 3, 2017
artfuldodger23:

How important are SAT/ACT scores in the recruiting process for consulting firms for undergraduate recruiting?

They're pretty important, but are still just another data point to compare against other applicants.

Aug 3, 2017

Used similar to a GPA. Most likely need a minimum to make a cut-off point. Almost irrelevant if you can get an interview (Just don't have a bad SAT/ACT score)

Aug 3, 2017

How reasonable is a 3.5 for firms like Accenture?

Aug 3, 2017

It would be more meaningful to compare if you knew what past UT grad's going into Accenture had for their GPA's.

Personally, I think a 3.5 is reasonable.

Aug 3, 2017

Why would you dump MBB consulting for a place like Big 4 Audit? In terms of training/credibility, I'm sure MBB will do an excellent job of that on their own, so I'm not sure I follow the logic on why you'd turn down a white-shoe consulting firm that regularly places people into M7 MBAs for Big 4 audit that take just about every above average state schooler under the sun and have mostly accounting/fp&a related exits? The CA might make a marginal difference, but I think your overall reputation (i.e. how well you perform while at MBB) will make more of an impact.

Btw, not trying to shit on the Big 4 or anything because I know a few very sharp kids that are very happy with their careers after the Big 4 (were miserable during, however), but I'm sure most here would agree with me that turning down MBB for them is a bit short-sighted in that MBB has a broader array of exits. You can always get your CA later, but who knows if the MBB offer will still be there later since the industry is so competitive.

Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer.

Aug 3, 2017

Prep for both--back up plans!

Aug 3, 2017

It's easier to get into MBB out of college than after goofing off for a few years. Out of college (or MBA, etc.) you need to be smart and all the other good stuff. To get in laterally, not only do you have to be smart and all the other good stuff, there needs to be a very good reason for them to hire you instead of one more college/MBA person.

Aug 3, 2017

I am planning on having CA set up as a back up. Honestly I don't want become an accountant however I think that the experience it provides to become a CA in an Audit firm will be useful. By working with them i will learn about the structure and the operations of multiple industries which will help me perform better.

Think of it this way, why would a a Client CEO respect the word of a 22yr old kid out of uni who has never worked in industry. By working in an audit firm you get experience which makes me a better consultant and will keep me there and help me progress in the firm. Im not concerned about getting a job in MBB, i think i have the capabilities and if i go get an MBA I can apply for MBB after I Graduate. I want to make sure i can really move up the ranks of the firm.

Another option I have considered is going into MBB if i get the job out of undergrad and after they drain me out, I get my CA and get my industry experience then. Once i feel ready to go back to MBB in a higher position I will apply then, or after an MBA.

Aug 3, 2017

As a 22 year old you won't really be talking to the CEO. You'll be doing a part of the analysis and the presentation that someone more senior than you will present to the CEO.

MBB has a clear career path and trains you every step of the way. They take people right out of college and if you perform well, you move up fast. These circuitous path you mention here is a gamble considering that the MBB career path is very clearly laid out and open to all who enter the firm on the consulting staff.

Aug 3, 2017

Thank you for you input. Personally i would prefer to attempt to get a job in MBB out of uni and stay there. However my parents feel that i should get a CA first. Their reasoning did make some sense to me, however it isnt really what i want to do and wanted input from any consultants.

Aug 3, 2017

If you ultimately want to work in consulting, then your parents are wrong. It's good to have a variety of skills, for sure, but MBB will train the fuck out of you.

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Aug 3, 2017

Choose whichever one you think you'll enjoy most/get the best GPA. For consulting the prestige of your undergrad and the GPA you attain there matters a whole lot more than the concentration of your major. Depending on where you go it may matter more than your major itself.

Aug 3, 2017

I've heard that its impossible to get into HWS from accenture which is why i'm asking

Aug 3, 2017
Husky32:

I've heard that its impossible to get into HWS from accenture which is why i'm asking

Check out the Top Feeder Companies articles on the Poets and Quants website. They give rough numbers on who gets in to what school from which company. It doesn't really give you the chances as we have no idea how many people applied from what company to get the overall odds but it does give a fair amount of insight.

FYI: it's not impossible to get into HSW from Accenture or any other "tier 2" consulting firm. It's actually fairly common. I went to a HSW school and there were lots of people from these places.

Aug 3, 2017

It would be better to do whatever you are actually interested in. Especially considering - correct me if I'm wrong - you have not had a management consulting internship, taking a 3-5 year PhD course solely to look more "impressive" for a job you've never had seems daft. If, however, you really want a PhD in Economics or Finance, by all means, go do it. Having taken doctoral level economics classes, that path is not one to flippantly throw yourself into.

Similarly, if you truly think you'd like to management consulting, give it a try at the best firm you can get an offer and fit in. By the way, feel free to ask me follow up. I merely wanted to steer you towards what you actually want to do, which coincidentally gives you the best chance of success. As a nontarget MBB hire, that path is not impossible. I merely question your ostensibly boring "give me the definitive path to X given my not that unique situation" approach to the question.

Aug 3, 2017

top 15 MBAs are alternatives as well lol

Aug 3, 2017

True, but its too late at this point

Any suggestions for plan B now that app period is over?what would you do if you didn't get in and reapplying was not an option?

Aug 3, 2017
clever_username:

True, but its too late at this point

Any suggestions for plan B now that app period is over?what would you do if you didn't get in and reapplying was not an option?

I don't even 3rd round deadlines are even there yet. Apply to Duke, Yale, NYU and Michigan. These four would give a great chance at MBB as well.

Aug 3, 2017

Don't leave out Deloitte Consulting. Very attainable from outside M-7. Scores well in Vault Prestige rankings.

Bang.

"Just go to the prom and get your promotion. That's the way the business world works. Come on, Keith!" - The Boss

Aug 3, 2017

if you are trying to create connections that actually mean anything then try to find a volunteer consulting or not-for-profit consulting organization... we have a few in Toronto... there has got to be a few in NYC... good for your soul and for your resume

Get it!

Aug 3, 2017

thanks

def considering Deloitte.

For a few reasons I am done with U.S. bschools (applying to INSEAD now and that's prob it). Was mainly looking for advice on how to break into strat consulting without the MBA route.

Aug 3, 2017

You're in a tough spot. I would say do all you can to get into a top 15 MBA. You are looking for advice without the MBA but here's why it's tough:

1) You're too "experienced" for an analyst position at a top firm. These firms have hordes of kids at top schools filling up their recruiting cycles each year. There is really no compelling reason to take you. Plus, their classes for next year are already full.

2) The only other major entry point is at the Associate/Consultant/Senior Consultant level, which are almost impossible to get without an MBA or other advanced degree (MD, JD, PhD). The only way I've seen people get around this is if they have a very specific and very deep expertise in a function and/or industry AND this matches up with what a firm is looking to plus up NOW. Otherwise, they can develop internally.

Aug 3, 2017

karl - all of that makes sense. will keep at it. appreciate the responses.

Aug 3, 2017

I have a lot of questions, maybe I am missing some back story. What's your experience and where'd you go to undergrad? The thing that immediately stands out is that if you didn't make it into a top-15 MBA program this year, you probably have no shot at a first/second tier consulting firm. No application process is perfect, but b-schools and strat consulting firms look for many of the same things.

If I were you, I would look into different types of consulting. There are plenty of other consulting disciplines (econ, financial services, restructuring) that hire without MBA's and are looking for people with 3-4 of experience. This might help you on your future b-school apps or may allow you to develop an expertise that would help you get into strat later in your life.

Also, I would look at start-ups. Much better business experience than management consulting, and b-schools love start-up experience.

Aug 3, 2017

Top,

I realize that undergrad/prior work matters and was trying to get advice in a vacuum. Start-up sounds incredible, but how to break into something legitimate that is also willing to sponsor a work visa (as absurd as it sounds...network/friends/good luck/timing etc.)

Fair questions though. I'll pm you.

Aug 3, 2017

Originally: Charles Schwab, Deloitte has a tax.

Edited: "...Deloitte has a tax consultant recruiter at my school..."

Aug 3, 2017

I don't know which firms have offices in Ohio, but I think your best bet is to choose 1 city (Chicago has all MBBs) and network with anyone you can and maintain those relationships until you're ready to apply for full-time. In my opinion, there really isn't much of a point to recruit for more than 1 city if you're from a non-target. Being from a non (maaaaaaybe semi) target school myself, almost everyone I know in consulting had some contact at their firm.

Additionally, practice cases religiously. There are volunteer organizations that pair students with consultants (http://www.chicagocaseprep.com/#!how-it-works/cdtt).
All you have to do is get 1 person to go back you up when you submit your resume. The rest is up to you in the interview!

Aug 3, 2017

One of the Big 3 consulting firms probably has a Cleveland or Cinncinnati office- if not, then the second tiers definitely do. I would try to remain in Ohio likely- it sounds like its easier for your girlfriend and it'll likely be easier for you from a recruiting standpoint since the people in the office will have at least heard of your school. Barring that, stay sharp on the cases, network as much as possible, and submit online. Don't stop until you get responses!

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers

Aug 3, 2017

Which school do you go to? I'm at Miami and am going into Deloitte S&O after school. As far as offices in Ohio, you've got Deloitte in Cincinnati and Cleveland, McKinsey in Cleveland, Accenture in Columbus, Cincinnati, maybe elsewhere and some other smaller ones. Ohio is not big, and as another poster stated, Chicago will be more plentiful with opportunity.

As I see it you have two options: transfer schools (if you're looking to stay in-state then either OSU or Miami) or network your ass off. If you want to transfer this will be easiest. Neither Miami nor OSU are "targets", but Miami has sent a very small number of kids to McK in Cleveland, we are a semi-target for Bain in Chicago, and we are a target for S&O (if you are interested in Miami, getting into Farmer is a must). I can't speak to OSU entirely but I've seen a few on Linkedin at McK in Cleveland.

As for the networking route, it's extremely tough and nothing is guaranteed, but I know of a kid from Ohio U, a less than stellar school (excluding journalism), that will be at McK. Anything is possible. PM if you want more info.

Aug 3, 2017

If you want the most prestige on you resumA(c), go with the IB path.

My 2 cents.

Aug 3, 2017

Assuming you are targeting Mck, Bain, BCG, go IB or something prestigious and interesting. I would not go the lower tier consulting route.

Aug 3, 2017

I agree too. Going to lower end consulting (or worse IT consulting) is not going to help your MBB application.

Aug 3, 2017

is bah considered lower end?

Aug 3, 2017

BAH is not considered low end.

Aug 3, 2017

As someone who has started being more involved in recruiting, I can say: it depends. To make it fast, if you are a 4.0, 1600 guy it may make sense to intern at Deloitte. If you are a 3.6, middle of the road, do the IB.

Deloitte -> indicates strong interest in consulting and not simply applying to MBB because everyone else is. IB -> provides a qualification roughly equal to having great grades.

I'm sure there will be vociferous arguments on this, especially from the IBD fan-boys, but that's my view on it.

Aug 3, 2017

2.3-2.7 for accounting courses? What the fuck do you study that's so outrageously more difficult than your regular-ass accounting? It's not as if you're coming up with new theories and doing some sort of high math.

Aug 3, 2017
Flake:

2.3-2.7 for accounting courses? What the fuck do you study that's so outrageously more difficult than your regular-ass accounting? It's not as if you're coming up with new theories and doing some sort of high math.

The average range is at most 3.0 (letter grade B). Most marks fall between 2.3-3.0

Professors have to show some resemblance of a bell. If not a bell, they have a strict amount of people scoring within each letter grade range. While it might not seem fair, there are still those who do exceptional and are determined to work hard (thus the reputation for our accounting program). Needless to say, this might affect my chances at MBB because I don't have a superstar GPA, but I don't count myself out of contention.

Aug 3, 2017

waterloo, eh?

The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

Aug 3, 2017
mhurricane:

waterloo, eh?

Nope, not Waterloo

Aug 3, 2017

sounds like uoft rotman - known for accounting, B- class averages

to op: 3.5 is pretty solid id say, id still take the audit job and try to internally transfer to big 4 advisory (ive seen it happen)

Aug 3, 2017

Damn, why would they rape these kids so much with accounting? This school sounds like a nightmare.

Aug 3, 2017

You can only worry about your grades so much. They are what they are.

If you really want to be ahead of the game, then master case interviews now in anticipation that you'll find ways to break into interviews. Be bold.

Aug 3, 2017

hi

Aug 3, 2017

Check out managementconsulted dot com for basic info that covers a lot of bases. Take with grain of salt though. Also research if MBB is right for you, there are tons of other great firms that do interesting work as well. Gluck.

Aug 3, 2017

Thanks, definitely going to check that out!

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