Consulting Firms That Are More Non-Target Friendly?

Hi,

I was wondering if there are any (presumably) lower brand name consulting firms that are more open to people from non-targets applying there or hire a larger number of them relative to MBB? Also, would these smaller consulting firms still be good enough to go to a top 10-15 MBA so that I can transition to an MBB afterward?

thanks in advance

Comments (25)

Jul 5, 2010
  1. Booz, Deloitte, AT Kearney, LEK, Monitor
  2. Yes, people from here can get into top 5 b-schools.
    • 1
Jul 5, 2010

Smaller firms like LEK, Monitor, and Parthenon are actually less friendly to students at non-targets than MBB is. Furthermore, they recruit at a smaller, more select list of schools than MBB. Because they aren't hiring as big of classes but are competing for the same students, they don't have the recruiting budget to target students at a broader list of targets and non-targets.

The firms you're most likely to have success with coming from a non-target school are the large firms that are a step down from MBB... Firms like Accenture and Deloitte still recruit primarily from top schools, but they also recruit a significant number of students from second-tier schools that McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Booz, LEK, Monitor, Parthenon, etc. do not recruit at.

Jul 5, 2010

Yea, I think a good rule of thumb is, firms with more recruiting resources (e.g. larger firms), can afford to broaden reach to non-target schools, otherwise they are going to focus almost of recruiting resources to target schools (higher candidate yield)

Jul 5, 2010

Know personally of many people out of undergrad who worked at AT Kearney, Monitor, etc. and then went to B school (think Tuck, NYU, MIT). They then transitioned into MBB.

Jul 6, 2010

How realistic are Booz, AT Kearney, etc from a non-target though?

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Jul 6, 2010

Not very realistic. Read Indenturedprimate's post above - this is spot on. Smaller firms don't have the budget to go to non-targets and don't need to either because of the huge numbers applying from targets and their relatively small intakes.

Jul 6, 2010

Just to reiterate... the profiles of the students that are hired at firms like Booz (which although a half-step behind MBB in reputation should still be considered one of the white-shoe consulting firms), LEK, Monitor, and Parthenon are virtually identical to those hired at McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. While almost all students will choose one of MBB over these other firms, the same group of students is interviewing at all of these firms -- in fact, there will be even fewer students interviewing at the smaller firms because they will have fewer interview slots available. All of these firms are equally selective in who they choose to interview, and offers are given out based on the somewhat arbitrary process of who performs best in case interviews.

The key question for the OP is what school do you go to? "Non-target" covers a huge range of schools.

Jul 6, 2010

Well, since it looks like I won't get into consulting right after college, what can I do to break in after an MBA assuming that i-banking, consulting, PE, HF (even at small PE/HF not FOFs) are out? I think I do want to pursue consulting as a long term career and not just for exit opps, so I'd be perfectly fine with starting somewhere else and then changing to MBB after my MBA.

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Jul 6, 2010

Go to a top b-school and you should be able to get interviews at MBB fairly easily. There is no "best" pre-MBA career track for consulting (other than consulting!). Consultants like to have diverse teams consisting of everything from medical doctors to supply chain gurus. After a few years, most offices will expect you to specialize around an industry/function. Accordingly, pursue something you are passionate about and excel at it.

Jul 6, 2010

How top is considered to be a top business school? Am I basically only looking at HSW or are there other top 15 or so schools that can place me there?

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Jul 7, 2010

MBB firms will recruit to some degree at most top 15 schools. However, as you move down the ranks they will take fewer and fewer interview spots (and thus positions). For instance, they might give 200 aggregate first round interviews at Stanford or HBS, but maybe only 20 at Darden or McCombs. From there, they'll actually hire maybe 5%.

Jul 7, 2010

What makes you sure that you want to pursue consulting as a long term career? That's impossible to know until you've actually worked in consulting. The hours, travel, stress, and constant feeling of being tethered to work eventually lead most people to pursue other career paths.

To your question about schools... you can get into the top consulting firms from the top 15 schools, but as Sojourner stated above, the degree of difficulty increases as you move down the chain. Attending any of the top 8 (Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Booth, Kellogg, Sloan, Columbia, and Tuck... Haas may be included here as well) schools will give you a very good chance of getting into consulting, as McKinsey, Bain, and BCG will each have enough interview slots for 15-25% of the class at these schools. At the next tier of schools (Michigan, Duke, Darden, NYU, Yale), you can still get offers at MBB, but there will be far fewer interview slots and some of the firms won't go on campus to all of these schools.

Jul 7, 2010

as they've said....top 15 MBA is reasonable as i've seen at my mbb

and there are hundreds of ways to get into a top 15 (ofcourse the higher th better)

Jul 7, 2010

Just because a firm doesn't come to campus does not mean you cannot get an interview. I think there is a difference between a larger firm, MBB, who has the budget, but wont look at you unless you went to XYZ school vs a smaller firm that might not have the resources to go all over, but would be willing to look at someone regardless of their school.

1) Find some alumni or anyone with a connection to you at a consulting firm
2) Get in contact with them somehow

Just because a place doesn't come on campus does not mean you cannot get a job there.

Jul 7, 2010

There are certainly exceptions, and you should never rule out the possibility of landing an interview coming from a non-target through networking, but the reality is that this is very tough and not common. Unless you have a partner that's really willing to go to bat for you, it's tough to get your foot in the door simply through networking. The schedules of people in consulting are so busy that it's just much easier to fill all of the hiring needs for fresh MBA's through the structured process of on campus recruiting. Furthermore, consulting firms are very pedigree driven, and it can be tough to get a real look from a firm if they don't have a history of positive experiences with other people from your school. This isn't necessarily fair, but it's the reality.

As an example, I worked at one of the smaller firms mentioned earlier in this thread coming out of business school. Of our class of roughly 30-35 people, only 1 person came from a school that the firm did not recruit at, and that school was among the top 15 MBA programs. The vast majority of the new hires came from what are (from a recruiting perspective) generally considered the top 8 programs, and not all of the top 15 schools were represented in the class.

In the scenario where a firm does not come to campus to recruit at a school, the instances where students at that school will have the greatest chance of getting hired will be in off-cycle situations where firms suddenly need to fill more slots than they were able to during on-campus recruiting. The most common situations where this could be the case are:

(1) The firm had a lower yield on offers extended than it expected
(2) The economy is heating up and the firm didn't recruit a big enough class to meet the increasing number of client engagements
(3) The attrition rate at a firm is unexpectedly high in a given year (e.g., more 1st and 2nd year consultants decided to escape consulting for a better life than a firm traditionally sees)

The problem with these situations is that the timing is different than it is for on-campus recruiting. That matters a lot in business school because if you have offers at other firms or in other industries, you can't spend your second year of business school waiting around for opportunities to open up. On campus interviews for other roles or industries will take place simultaneously or 1-2 weeks later than they do for consulting jobs. In situation (1), you may be able to get into the interview process quickly enough to deal with this. But in situations (2) and (3) you'll either have to still be looking for a job or reneg on an offer that you accepted earlier in the school year.

Jul 7, 2010

How can you possibly know that you want to work in consulting long term? You haven't even tried it yet. Very few people do make a long term career of it. Most people find it to be a major let down after few years. Number of reasons: poor intellectual challenge of the work itself, rigid creativity, long hours spent overdoing something that has been done hundreds time before, frequent traveling, money, though good, unable to compensate for poor social/family life and etc. Next time when at an airport, if you see a man or a woman that look like the life has been sucked out of them, with their shirt crumpled and trousers hanging all over the place, do ask them politely what they do for living. I bet you hundred bucks that their answer will be: CONSULTING!!! :) :)

Jul 7, 2010

Well, you can never be sure of anything in life, but this is my best guess. I've done a lot of research about careers and from what I've seen, consulting seems to be the best fit for me. Plus, and this is an aside, I'm not sure I want to get married and I definitely don't want kids (to be fair, this could definitely change though), so as long as I enjoy my work, giving up something for "family" or something like that isn't really a big deal. Furthermore, as I said, there's no way I'm getting into a decent firm right out of undergrad, so I'll be expected to work at MBB (if I even get in) for a longer term after my MBA (if I even get into a decent MBA that'll give me a shot at MBB).

In any case, whether or not I want to do consulting for the long haul is besides the point. If I don't break in, then all of this discussion will be a moot point. Right now, the only thing I care about is getting in, everything else can wait.

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

Jul 9, 2010

bump any more opinions?

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

Jul 10, 2010

Cold call firms, target boutiques as well as lower tier firms. What is your GPA/Major?

Jul 15, 2010

I have a 3.7 GPA majoring in CS & Math. I go to a Top 50 School. (U of Washington)

What consulting firms do I have a legit shot in, and will experience there be enough for a Top 8 MBA School?

Jul 15, 2010
ssk13809:

I have a 3.7 GPA majoring in CS & Math. I go to a Top 50 School. (U of Washington)

What consulting firms do I have a legit shot in, and will experience there be enough for a Top 8 MBA School?

SSK, I received this from a UW lacrosse alum, basically some of the places where they ended up (includes a few consulting firms)

http://tinyurl.com/y47tl6b

    • 3
Sep 16, 2010
Short:
ssk13809:

I have a 3.7 GPA majoring in CS & Math. I go to a Top 50 School. (U of Washington)

What consulting firms do I have a legit shot in, and will experience there be enough for a Top 8 MBA School?

SSK, I received this from a UW lacrosse alum, basically some of the places where they ended up (includes a few consulting firms)

http://tinyurl.com/y47tl6b

Although funny, that's just a low blow. Negative banana points for you sir.

Sep 16, 2010

If you go to UW, there should be plenty of 2nd tier consulting firms in the Seattle area. Try networking with alumni, and talk to professors. Alot of professors, especially in smaller cities, have connections to ex-students/colleagues/etc. in the business world.

I had professors set me up with alumni in positions that I wanted right after undergrad. Even if the only thing you get out of it is an informational interview, that puts you one step closer than you were.

Sep 16, 2010
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Feb 21, 2014