Anything I should do to set myself up for a career in consulting?

Hello! I'm a freshman at Northwestern, and was wondering if there's anything I should do right now to set myself up for success in consulting (MBB is the goal, but I'm young and naive so idk if that's realistic). Was there anything those already in consulting did/wish you would have done early that would improve my chances of success at a job in consulting? Any and all input would be appreciated, thank you so much!

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Comments (2)

Most Helpful
Oct 14, 2021 - 3:59pm

Here are my two cents on the matter... anyone can get into consulting, but few people can place in the top firms. Consulting firms look for well-rounded individuals, the primary criteria I've seen and heard in countless coffee chats is a breakdown of the following: 

  • Strong GPA - this depends on the discipline, it's easier to get a higher GPA in business than math courses.
  • Prior work experience - it doesn't matter what the work experience is, there are a core set of skills improved just working in an office, whether that's soft skills like communication when summarizing meeting minutes, technical skills like working with PowerPoint to revise presentations or data analytical/coding skills in a business intelligence role.
  • Leadership experience - consulting firms love to see leadership or entrepreneurial experience. This may involve leadership/executive positions in school clubs, founding your own company/club and raising it off the ground or taking on case competitions, stock pitch competitions, or written report competitions.
  • Volunteer experience - consulting firms like to see any form of volunteer experience, whether that's non-profit work, providing services like resume critiques/helping students with interviews, or raising money for charities you're passionate about.
  • Interest in the field - through coffee chats, information sessions, participation in consulting clubs or research into corporate strategy.
  • Additional skills - this includes coding languages [Python, R], Database languages [SQL & Others], designations/achievements, foreign languages, past competitions, hobbies & interests.

I know I named and threw a lot. I 100% expect a few replies to say: "Hey, just have fun in University." as a response to this laundry list. Above all else, do NOT feel the need to tick every box on here. Make sure you absolutely enjoy your time in University through hobbies you enjoy [working out, going for walks, Friday night clubs, etc.]. This is just a series of ways for you to stand out; rather than going for quantity and doing everything, find a few things in your school that you're passionate about and get involved from there. 

Oct 15, 2021 - 2:05pm

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