GPA for STEM Degrees

Chillguy's picture
Rank: Baboon | 131

I know that GPA is question that is often asked, but what would be a good GPA to have if you are an undergrad applying for consulting jobs with an engineering degree?

To be more specific I am an engineering major, with an additional major in the humanities, as well as a minor in Econ at a top public.

Also I will be a junior next year, so what sort of internships should I be shooting for to best position myself for full-time recruiting come my senior year? What are good consulting firms that are a step down from MBB and hire interns?

Thanks guys!

Comments (42)

Mar 22, 2013

3.3 at the very least. 3.5+ if you want to be safe. Deloitte Consulting, Oliver Wymann, Booz & Co, ATKearney, LEK are some companies that are right below MBB and hire interns. You could also look at "Tier 3" firms like PwC Management Consulting, E&Y Valuation/Transaction Services, etc.

Mar 22, 2013

3.5 and above is great for engineering. For Finance or Accounting, I would expect to see 3.8 and above because most BBA degrees inflate GPAs like no other.

Mar 22, 2013

For a lot of government tech consulting, GPA is largely irrelevant if you have the necessary security clearance.

Mar 22, 2013
knivek:

For a lot of government tech consulting, GPA is largely irrelevant if you have the necessary security clearance.

Jesus Christ -- he's a sophomore in college. He obviously doesn't have a fucking security clearance.

Why do you always have to bring this shit up?

Mar 22, 2013
holla_back:
knivek:

For a lot of government tech consulting, GPA is largely irrelevant if you have the necessary security clearance.

Jesus Christ -- he's a sophomore in college. He obviously doesn't have a fucking security clearance.

Why do you always have to bring this shit up?

You love stalking me! It's so awesome. I need to get you a CareBear as a present! :)

Mar 23, 2013
holla_back:
knivek:

For a lot of government tech consulting, GPA is largely irrelevant if you have the necessary security clearance.

Jesus Christ -- he's a sophomore in college. He obviously doesn't have a fucking security clearance.

Why do you always have to bring this shit up?

Certainly not the norm, but I held a TS/SCI (top secret government clearance) as a college sophomore for an engineering internship with a defense contractor. Easily doubled if not tripled the number of job offers I got for government tech consulting positions when full-time recruiting rolled around.

Mar 23, 2013
Chillguy:

I know that GPA is question that is often asked, but what would be a good GPA to have if you are an undergrad applying for consulting jobs with an engineering degree?

To be more specific I am an engineering major, with an additional major in the humanities, as well as a minor in Econ at a top public.

Also I will be a junior next year, so what sort of internships should I be shooting for to best position myself for full-time recruiting come my senior year? What are good consulting firms that are a step down from MBB and hire interns?

Thanks guys!

I'd say 3.5 engineering GPA as a rough cutoff Speaking from personal experience, if you can hold a 3.8 engineering GPA with additional major and minor(s) and have extracurricular experience, you'll get MBB first rounds easily.

As for internships, I had several summers of cookie cutter engineering internships before nabbing a business analyst-type internship prior to my senior year, which helped me land a full-time management consulting. TL;DR an engineering internship this early on won't hurt you, just know how to spin it in interviews.

Mar 23, 2013

So if I were to have a 3.65ish GPA for summer recruiting, would that be enough for me to land a tier-2 consulting interview? And should I take the GMAT sometime my junior year, so if I get a solid score, I can put it on my resume for FT recruiting?

Mar 25, 2013
Chillguy:

So if I were to have a 3.65ish GPA for summer recruiting, would that be enough for me to land a tier-2 consulting interview? And should I take the GMAT sometime my junior year, so if I get a solid score, I can put it on my resume for FT recruiting?

Your GPA may help you, but at the very least won't be the reason you don't land a top-tier consulting interview. Assuming your other qualifications are in order, you'll get tier-2 interviews. Most people take their GMAT during their senior year (and thus after FT recruiting), but I took it at the end of the summer right before starting my senior year. I'm pretty sure it helped me with interviews.

Mar 25, 2013

What are the other quantifications that I would need to have in order? The only hole on my resume is my lack of real work experience (circumstances outside of my control caused me to unable to work during the summers after Freshman and (now) Sophomore year. Do you guys know of anything that would sort of make up for that?

Mar 25, 2013

My room mate also held a security clearance and he was a Junior.

But, honestly I don't see why you Math/CS/Engin shouldn't have at least a 3.5

Mar 25, 2013

What would be the better part-time gig while I'm taking courses over the summer: unpaid PWM internship (name brand firm, but local branch), or being part of the university IT support staff?

I mean neither are great, but I guess what I'm really asking is if it's worth doing an unpaid PWM internship just for the firm's name on your resume.

Mar 25, 2013
Chillguy:

What would be the better part-time gig while I'm taking courses over the summer: unpaid PWM internship (name brand firm, but local branch), or being part of the university IT support staff?

I mean neither are great, but I guess what I'm really asking is if it's worth doing an unpaid PWM internship just for the firm's name on your resume.

I know that many BB/MBB level firms look at name value quite a bit. I'd think that the 2nd+ tiers would also pay attention to it, although slightly less.

I'd say just compare: Is the PWM name value greater than the amount of $ from the paid IT gig?
It's obviously worth gauging the type of work you'll be doing at both too.

Mar 28, 2013

On the high chance that one doesn't land an MBB internship, what should they go for next? Try for tier-2 consulting internships or shoot for BBs? Also if I apply to BBs, will I get blasted with a lot of technicals in interviews with my background (Math/CS/Engineering)?

Apr 17, 2013
Chillguy:

On the high chance that one doesn't land an MBB internship, what should they go for next? Try for tier-2 consulting internships or shoot for BBs? Also if I apply to BBs, will I get blasted with a lot of technicals in interviews with my background (Math/CS/Engineering)?

Tier 2 consulting would be great, but those are just as competitive. I'd aim for either IB internships or F500 strategy ones. A good chunk of my MBB class (90-95%) did one of the three before full time (consulting, IB, or strategy).

Apr 15, 2013

There is no reason you shouldn't have a 3.5 after your sophomore year in a STEM major. Calc 1-3 and science 101's are not that hard. I don't think the MBB firms are softer on engineering majors; they expect at least a 3.8. In the MBB office I'll be working, all the undergrad offerees had >3.9 GPA's, with about 50% of them STEM majors.

Apr 17, 2013
exceptionruled:

There is no reason you shouldn't have a 3.5 after your sophomore year in a STEM major. Calc 1-3 and science 101's are not that hard. I don't think the MBB firms are softer on engineering majors; they expect at least a 3.8. In the MBB office I'll be working, all the undergrad offerees had >3.9 GPA's, with about 50% of them STEM majors.

yup. unless you're at a severely grade deflated university (i.e. Berkeley, Harvey Mudd, Georgia Tech, UIUC, etc...), if you show up to class and basically do the minimum expected, a 3.5 should easily be in reach for STEM majors. Simply showing up to class, paying attention, and doing a reasonable job on problem sets is 80-90% of the battle.

Apr 17, 2013
exceptionruled:

There is no reason you shouldn't have a 3.5 after your sophomore year in a STEM major. Calc 1-3 and science 101's are not that hard. I don't think the MBB firms are softer on engineering majors; they expect at least a 3.8. In the MBB office I'll be working, all the undergrad offerees had >3.9 GPA's, with about 50% of them STEM majors.

Agreed that 3.5 sounds low even for STEM majors. But the GPA cutoff depends on the school you go to. If your'e at a non-target, it may be that you need a 3.8+. If you're at a target, however, 3.7+ is enough. At my school, plenty of people got interviews with every single firm, including all of MBB.

Also, the median GPA of my MBB office's incoming class was something like 3.78 with around 95% coming from target schools. Very similar for the other two MBBs that my friends are joining. All one of the biggest offices in the US (i.e. NYC, Chicago, etc.).

Apr 17, 2013

more valuable skill would be learning the functional skills of either Oracle's E-Business Suite or SAP's erp system

Apr 17, 2013

Math is a harder major, but when you have 100 kids apply for an analyst spot who have a 3.7 math/econ double major the 3.3 math kid might get an interview if the resume is sexy.

Apr 17, 2013

for I-banking, gpa matters a lot regardless of your major. for trading, they like math/ engineering people and might cut you some slack regarding lower gpa

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Apr 17, 2013

Applying mostly for Risk and S&T. Actually transferred from a shitty non-target (3.8+) to a Liberal Arts College where the first semester GPA was 3.3. LAC gets some OCR from BB's.

So it is:
LAC 3.3 (JY First Sem)
Non-target 3.8+ (Fres-Soph)

I was actually double majoring in Math and Econ. But I decided to leave off Econ from my Resume since 3.3 in Econ is not really impressive, but a 3.3 in Math is somewhat explainable. You guys think I should still put Econ and Math double major in my Resume?

Thanks!

    • 1
Apr 17, 2013

Nothing is ever impossible. Yes your GPA is low but its not a big deal. Yes, make sure to leave Econ on your resume. I had a double major in two liberal arts majors that were neither math nor econ and had a 3.4...and I got a MM FT offer. So if I can accomplish that, you can too. The key is....always...Network, Network, Network.

Apr 17, 2013

I don't think it gives you a "very strong chance." But it isn't taking away from you either.

I'm not sure why people keep asking this question. Does someone on the internet telling you whether your chance is "strong, neutral, not strong" change what you are going to do?

If this is actually what you want to do go out there and get it. Network your ass off, show a strong interest in the field and you'll get your chances.

You're a smart guy so go out there and get it.

Apr 17, 2013

A 3.6 will rarely, if ever, raise an eyebrow as far as helping or hurting you. As Bisu said, it'll come down to networking as it always does.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Apr 17, 2013

Okay I have the option of either attending Rotman Commerce and Waterloo Math at this point in time.
Would a 3.7 from Waterloo be "easier" to break into S&T and receive interviews
OR
Would a 3.8 from Rotman Commerce be "easier" to break into investment banking and receive interviews

Thanks for helping :)

Apr 17, 2013

if you want to work for the big 5 so bad, the FARM program almost guarantees it if you can muster a good gpa in the program. Otherwise the regular Bmath would suffice if, like the other guys said, you network.

Apr 17, 2013

I think the site needs to start an "I'm an insecure Sophomore/Junior seeking validation regarding my GPA concerns" forum... There's a clear need for it...

Apr 17, 2013
rufiolove:

I think the site needs to start an "I'm an insecure Sophomore/Junior seeking validation regarding my GPA concerns" forum... There's a clear need for it...

Hmm, they might want to add a "Post your unwanted comments here" forum as well. If you do not want to provide any help, why read through this thread?

Apr 17, 2013

Cuz it's a stupid question and people need to be made aware of the amount of asinine/irrelevant nature of their questions... also I contribute a lot more productive posts to this forum than you have so keep your witty quips to yourself youngin'

Apr 17, 2013
rufiolove:

Cuz it's a stupid question and people need to be made aware of the amount of asinine/irrelevant nature of their questions... also I contribute a lot more productive posts to this forum than you have so keep your witty quips to yourself youngin'

Okay thats great! its a stupid post. Now walk along so the kid can get his answers

Apr 17, 2013

But yea like Toronto said, FARM is probably the next best thing to DD

Apr 18, 2013

Thanks aebo and Toronto, and rufiolove, i understand why you see my post as stupid, but to be honest a lot of other posts did not mention exactly what i am looking for which is why I am asking the question. But i will try to keep the stupid questions to a minimum

Apr 18, 2013

I guarantee you there have been literally dozens of "Will a 3.X GPA from This University give me a better chance at getting a BB offer than a 3.X GPA from That University" what we have here is a repetitive cycle where new users ask the same annoying questions rather than using the search function... As happypants and I are the only users who replied to this with more than 50 banana points I'm sure he could easily back me up on the ridiculous number of posts that shoot up that could be easily answered if the OP did a Google search, searched WSO forums using the keywords in his/her post, read M&I... your situation isn't unique... you are a kid in college trying to seek validation that your GPA is strong enough... I can appreciate that, but no user on this site is going to drop some earth-shattering wisdom on you with regard to your GPA. It is what it is, if you bring it up it will be better than it was previously, if you do worse it will be adversely effected. Ultimately, as any person who has done more than an hour of research on the financial services industry would know, networking is always going to be more important than your grades. Long story short, you can make it with worse grades than you have as dozens of my friends/colleagues have done so. Therefore, it is a moot point.

P.S. Merry Christmas to those on the east coast, and to those in the time zones further west, I bid you a Merry Christmas to come!

Apr 18, 2013