How to break in to MBB from IU Kelley

Hi I'm going to be an incoming freshman attending the Kelley school of business as a direct admit. From what I have heard Kelley gets solid looks from T-2 consulting but I'm aiming high and am interested in learning how I can break into MBB consulting. If those from Kelley or a similarly ranked semi target school who have landed MBB consulting could speak on what they did in terms of clubs, internships, or workshops, I would appreciate it. I understand that there is no one size all fits all approach but I am just looking for some pointers and direction. Thanks 

Consulting Case Interview Course

  • 2,037 questions across 209 consulting firms. Crowdsourced from over 600,000 members.
  • 11 Detailed Exclusive Cases developed by a McKinsey Associate and 10+ hours of video.
  • Trusted by over 1,000 aspiring consultants just like you.

Comments (35)

Jul 12, 2021 - 4:48pm

Shaun.D7, hey, look at the bright side, at least you didn't get a ton of monkey shit thrown at you...here is my best guess on threads that might be helpful:

More suggestions...

Fingers crossed that one of those helps you.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 15, 2021 - 9:04pm

Join 180 degrees consulting. Start doing interview prep right now because applications are due in August and entrance is competitive.

Jul 15, 2021 - 9:25pm

Thank you for your response, I am working on sending an application ASAP but how exactly do I prep for on this interview? Are there technicals or anything of that sort I need to know beforehand? I'm assuming that you or you know someone applied to this program so what strategies or approaches did you apply going into this interview?

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jul 15, 2021 - 10:53pm

I didn't apply so I know very little. Though, I would:

1. Learn about 180 degrees consulting online

2. Learn what consulting is and what a consultant does online so you can properly explain your interest

3. Practice standard behavioral interview questions (just google this)

4. Watch a case study interview on Youtube in case it is part of the interview

5. Reach out to a current member of the club to gain additional insight

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Jul 16, 2021 - 9:15pm

grades need to be your number 1 focus, then clubs, and then you need find a solid sophomore internship you can talk intelligently about. if you arent sitting at 3.8+ by the time junior internship recruiting starts, you will find it fairly difficult to get an interview without literally having a partner flag your resume 

Jul 16, 2021 - 9:26pm

Thank you for your response, hypothetically let's say I'm around a 3.6 or 3.7 gpa but have really solid club involvement and networking, would my chances be completely ruined by having a lower gpa? I understand GPA is a very critical portion of the recruiting process and landing MBB but how would I be able to offset that? Also if you are from kelley can you speak on the consulting workshop and whether or not it would be worth it to join. Thanks

Jul 16, 2021 - 9:35pm

there was a sizable portion of my target school (was not at kelley, unfortunately) who were not given interviews at MBB because their gpa was less than 3.6 (including me the first time around lol)

i definitely dont think solid club involvement will offset a gpa that low when youre from a non-target. i think youd have to accomplish something like landing a top tier sophomore internship (e.g. swe at google) or getting a partner, maybe an associate partner, to vouch for you for that gpa to be sufficient 

Jul 16, 2021 - 9:43pm

Is kelley even a non target for chicago offices I would at least think it was a semi target. However I do understand that not coming from a target school will require me to be scrappy and maintain a higher gpa. If you dont mind me asking how did you network during the recruiting process did you just reach out to alum from your school and network your way up the ranks? Thanks 

  • Consultant in Consulting
Aug 2, 2021 - 4:13pm

Just one additional data point - I'm on the resume screening team for a target school at my East Coast MBB office, and we will generally not fully screen resumes that don't meet the GPA cutoffs.

There's still a 'sanity check' for all of these resumes that don't meet the GPA bar, but you have to be truly exceptional (and a bit lucky) to get an interview this way, even if you're from a target school.

The only way you'll have a real shot coming from a non-target with a low GPA is if a partner who is involved in the recruiting process flags you as worth considering. It kind of sucks, but that's the reality, and you need to be prepared for it.

Aug 6, 2021 - 12:07pm

Thank you so much for helping clear that up, hearing from your perspective as part of the screening team gives a lot more validity to the importance of GPA. As a screener may I ask have you seen people from non-targets develop relationships with partners who were not family or close friends? 

Most Helpful
  • Consultant in Consulting
Aug 6, 2021 - 3:34pm

In my experience, it's rare, but not unheard of.

If you know your shit and come across well in coffee chats etc., there's a good chance you could get flagged as 'high potential' (the recruiting team won't have visibility into your grades until you formally apply, so GPA won't be in the picture at this stage).

If the person flagging you happens to be senior (i.e., Partner,  Principal/AP etc.), it adds a lot of weight to your application and can possibly overcome a low GPA. Ultimately, if a partner is telling us that we should be interviewing someone, we're unlikely to just disregard that, unless there is some sort of major red flag on your application.

It's something of a long shot, but you don't really have anything to lose. There's a good chance you'll never hear back from whoever you're reaching out to, but it costs you nothing to try. And even if you don't get in this way, you're building out your network, which can help you lateral later.

Aug 1, 2021 - 4:34pm

Came from a non-target, working in MBB. Keep up grades. Get good internships. Join Greek Life and clubs, get leadership experience. Then literally just connect with post-undergrad MBB consultants from IU and alumni who broke in after MBA. That's the tried and true path, but it's contingent on you being someone that they would feel comfortable putting in front of a recruiter (knowing your shit, test scores, grades, leadership etc).

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 1, 2021 - 10:41pm

I'm a current student at Kelley and I think the best thing you can do right now is network. The odds are definitely against you. We aren't a target for MBB, or even a semi-target for that matter. However, the Kelley alumni network is strong and it would be wise to use that to your advantage.

If you need any advice, feel free to PM me.

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Aug 2, 2021 - 12:28am

Joining the Consulting Workshop gives you the best shot at landing at MBB. With only 30 total members, it is difficult to get in but focus on your grades (3.75+) and aim for 3-4 organizations (with 1-2 leadership roles) to give you the best chance when applying to the CW. I believe half of the workshops' 2021 class ended up at MBB (2 to McKinsey, 3 to BCG, and 10 to Bain).

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Aug 3, 2021 - 1:54pm

Look at the current members on the CW website and follow them on LinkedIn to see where they end up (believe the 2021 class is already removed from the website). Filtering people search on LinkedIn to IU graduates and MBB firms is another way students find CW alums at those firms (looking at their campus involvements under the eduction section). Get to know a few individuals and they can connect you with others if you struggle to find more.

You are also an incoming freshmen so no need to go full force into networking this early. Quality of relationships > quantity will get you further imo.

Aug 6, 2021 - 6:10pm

Voluptatem quo consequatur eos dolorem. Repudiandae qui iusto excepturi doloremque ratione. Odit aliquid et et.

Et eos nihil consectetur dolorum. Nemo voluptatem fugiat iure omnis. Ab molestiae et excepturi.

Sit nesciunt ex numquam debitis. Omnis et et voluptatibus accusamus sunt. Repudiandae perferendis dicta recusandae officia.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

November 2021 Consulting

  • Principal (22) $269
  • Director/MD (43) $260
  • Vice President (36) $244
  • Engagement Manager (79) $217
  • Manager (133) $165
  • 2nd Year Associate (128) $137
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (96) $129
  • Senior Consultant (284) $128
  • Consultant (510) $115
  • 1st Year Associate (455) $113
  • NA (11) $111
  • Engineer (4) $110
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (117) $107
  • 2nd Year Analyst (263) $97
  • Associate Consultant (143) $95
  • 1st Year Analyst (888) $85
  • Intern/Summer Associate (146) $82
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (404) $67