I am a rising junior at a target school and I am somewhat anxious about entering consulting recruitment this fall. My GPA (3.54 communication major, business and history minor) I can't change at this point, and I am doing everything I can to prepare for interviews. I really think that networking needs to be the difference maker heading into the fall, but I have little idea what that should look like.
I've been able to connect with people at specific firms via alumni databases, alumni of student orgs, and fraternity, but I'm unsure of how these conversations should go and who I should be talking to.
1) who should I be talking to? more senior people, more recent employees, only with the specific office I want, etc
2) How should I find them? My tactic has been "cold emails" to people I have some overlap with (same major, club, or student org)
3) What should we be talking about? (firm culture, interview tips, etc??)
4) What are the strict benefits? What makes networking so valuable?
The bottom line is I am unsure of the networking "rules and formalities". Are the benefits mostly knowledge of the firm/culture or will networking help me pass preinterview screenings (I am most anxious about the screenings because I can control my preparation for interviews, but not so much a screening)? I am sort of clueless on this whole networking thing.
Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading this far; I know there is a lot going on here.