How do you get an interview at MBB and/or the Big 4?

I'm a rising senior at Berkeley (Econ major) and applied to MBB and the Big 4 advisory and never got an interview at any of those places for an internship. I noticed most of the MBB interns were Haas students.

Is it because I didn't have an "in" at any of those companies? Or didn't have any big name internships? this summer, I'll have an internship at a fairly reputable economic consulting firm so maybe that'll help?

FWIW, I got an interview at LEK and other firms (FTI and other boutiques) without any networking. 

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Comments (16)

  • Prospect in Consulting
May 14, 2021 - 2:47pm

It's a numbers game, at berkeley there's so many applicants (hundreds) at the big brand firms, haas or otherwise that it's a crapshoot unless you have close connections somewhere or have a really idealized resume, surface level "networking" in my experience is a complete waste of time.

Most Helpful
May 14, 2021 - 5:37pm

real in-depth networking can help - do you have any friends at MBB? if no personal friends, try alumni of the clubs you are in (even if you dont know them personally). if you literally don't know anyone, cold reaching out to UCB alumns on linkedin is still better than doing nothing. try to build up a network by asking them to refer you to other people to talk to. this work can culminate in a referral for next year's campus recruiting

caveat: all of this is moot if you don't have an excellent gpa (3.8+) and a good internship lined up for this summer. otherwise, the numbers just really don't work out in your favor. 

  • Prospect in Consulting
May 14, 2021 - 5:51pm

I'm OP. I have a 3.74 and will be interning at a reputable economic consulting firm. Is my GPA too low?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 14, 2021 - 8:10pm

3.74 should be high enough. I knew people at Cal that had below a 3.5 in Econ that got interviews at Parthenon. Tons of hires in consulting are not the typical Biz Admin in Haas but they tend to be STEM majors.

May 15, 2021 - 12:43am

this advice is specific to MBB - not sure what the standards are for the T2s (lower than MBB, unclear how much lower)

by most measures, 3.74 is a great gpa. the problem is, your biggest competition is everyone with a better gpa than that, who go to Haas, who are in the same frat or consulting club as current analysts, who interned at prestigious name brand companies, and you are recruiting for full-time. Most of the spots have been taken up by returning interns so you're really competing against hundreds of people for maybe 2 or 3 offers per MBB. Competition at the top of the funnel will be fierce - I wouldn't expect them to invite more than a few dozen people to a first round. 

The point I'm making here is that you need to make every move you can to distinguish yourself. A 3.74 and a T3 consulting internship is workable, but it isn't enough to secure an interview at a regional target like UCB without a good deal of networking. 

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May 14, 2021 - 10:05pm

I would argue that forming solid connections with 2-3 people at each of your target firms could do wonders for you. Speaking from personal experience, received multiple interviews at MBB and comparable firms with a 3.4 GPA at a target school, and no particularly notable internship experiences.

May 14, 2021 - 10:11pm

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