Been using this site throughout my college career, and it's really helped me out so I think it's time to give back. I love reading success stories on the site, especially non-target ones, so I thought I'd share my own in order to help others who are trying to get jobs, especially you non-target guys.
I go to an undergrad business school that has very little recruiting exposure for the kinds of jobs we talk about on this site. Most students go on to work for BB BO roles or B4 audit. Most don't know what MBB is, or what an IB exactly does. Fortunately, I learned about these things through this site, and associated myself with a very small group of people that were as ambitious as I was.
I didn't seriously pursue consulting until the summer before my senior year. I previous had 3 internships (fr, so, jr summers) mostly finance related. I was also president of a business club on campus that actually had a significant amount of influence/importance, and did a few other things on campus. Up to junior year, my goal was set mostly on IB, with consulting as a potential 2nd choice. As I gained more experience, I started gravitating the other way and made the decision to recruit exclusively for consulting for full time.
Enter summer 2014, the summer of networking. I generally finished my work day and had phone calls/coffee chats/sent emails/researched consulting until 2am. Rinse and repeat. Did this into fall semester and recruiting season. By the time I received my interview invite from the MBB firm that hired me, I think I had 6 or 7 referrals, from the fresh grad to senior partner level. Also managed to network into the process for a different MBB firm as well.
Next came the interviews. There are obviously no consulting clubs on campus. I reached out to the MBB people who I'd connected with to do practice cases with me, which was really helpful. I also taught some of my friends how to give case interviews, and practiced on my own as well. Had my first round at one MBB, so happy I made it through to finals, then got dinged at finals. I took a really hard hit in confidence for a few days, but knew I had to bounce back. Got my shit together, went through the other MBB's recruiting, and ended up with an offer!
So I was basically on cloud nine for like a month. I was going nuts, friends (that new what is was) were going nuts, professors going nuts, school administration going nuts. It's settled in a bit, but I still can't believe I got an offer. So excited to start.
Happy to share anything about networking tactics, case prep, choosing consulting vs IB, or anything else that might help people make a jump like I did. Please ask away!