I've been following the site/forums for over a year now, and this is my first forum submission. I value the experiences and perspectives of you all, and was hoping for some insights that any of you may have.
My background: I am a non-US citizen (Asian-Canadian). I graduated in 2013 with a BA in Economics from a well ranked (NESCAC) liberal arts college. I finished with a 3.83/4.0 GPA, and graduated with Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and Scholar-Athlete distinctions. I was on a varsity team (DIII) team in college, although I competed in my main sport independently, as my school does not have a program. I competed at a competitive level, qualifying for and competing at Junior World Championship, World Cup, and World Championship level events, and won the collegiate level nationals in my only year of competing at the collegiate level (my junior year). I was fairly involved during my undergrad years, holding roles in various clubs as well as being an RA for two years.
Since graduating, I moved to Washington DC to work at a large multinational organization (think World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations, International Finance Corporation, etc.). I have been in my current position for about a year now. The typical route for someone in my position is to go on to an Economics PhD, or a top (usually top 3-5) MBA/MPP/MPA program. I will not be pursuing a PhD, and will most likely go the MBA route but not for a couple of years - I was young for my class and want to gain a bit more work experience/money before going to an MBA.
As of January, I started my MS inHopkins University, and I am completing my program in the evenings. I personally feel that it is a good move for me, given that a) it has a low opportunity cost, with no forgone wages/experiences, b) it increases my quantitative/analytical capacities, c) it improves my eligibility for certain positions that require an advanced degree, d) it connects me to a larger network, and e) it has a certain degree of 'signalling', and improves my candidacy in comparison to those with similar experiences as me but only holding an undergraduate degree. My expected graduation is Aug 2015, at which point I will be 23 years old (turning 24 that December) with multiple years of credible work experience and a MS.
Given my background, do you think that consulting is a feasible step in my career? I think that I am well qualified for an analyst role (one of my predecessors who made the switch to the private sector ended up at McK within a year or two of leaving my organization), but don't know how best to set myself up for success. I am sure that I am at least as strong as any applicant coming straight out of undergraduate programs, and would love to hear everyone's advice on how best to improve my shot at getting into a top () consulting firm. From a firm, what I would be most looking for is learning opportunities, room for advancement, exit opportunities (MBA, more-so than another company), compensation, and lifestyle/work-life balance. Also, as I will be finishing my MS in Aug 2015, I would be looking to start work in Sep/Fall 2015... What would be the best time to apply, as I would be later than the typical recruiting cycle?
Thanks in advance!
Reasonably strong academic background, feel well qualified but not sure how best to break into the consulting field. Is consulting the right move for, or should I be looking somewhere else (finance, economic consulting, etc.)?