I am lost in terms of (firms/deadlines/position names)

I will be a senior this year at non-target and I will be applying for FT consulting entry levels. I am not sure if the following is going to make sense or no, but please help me if you can.

I have a good understanding of MBB, but when it comes to the big 4 and tier 2, it gets more confusing. For example, EY and then there is EY Parthenon, PwC and Strategy&, etc.. I know there are different types of consulting of course but I want to do strategy or maybe business performance improvement. And I am totally fine with any general consulting entry level. So what should I be applying to so that I could properly network accordingly?

Second problem is that whenever I go to these known firms' websites, I don't find any of those entry level positions postings, and that makes me more confused. And when should I be taking actions because I am not familiar with those deadlines, since I am from non-target school?

My strategy right now is going in two different directions. The first one is preparing for the interviews. The second one is that I keep calling any consulting-related alumni and network with them. Some of them, thankfully, asked me to send them my resume and they said they are going to refer me (BCG, Accenture, EY M&A Advisory so far). I feel I am missing something to be honest. Should I also reach out to non-alumni in the companies that I am interested in? If so, how do you guys get their emails? Because I know you have a limit on the messages you can send on Linkedin?

Comments (12)

Most Helpful
Aug 24, 2019

Big 4 is EY, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC. Each have their own consulting services but they also have a smaller company within a company that specialises in strategy consulting. PwC has Strategy&, Deloitte has Monitor, EY has Parthenon and KPMG has nothing. These are all boutiques they bought years ago. These firms do have entry positions if you check on their career section (Strategy& has this one open).

Tier 2 firms include: LEK, Roland Berger, Oliver Wyman, AT Kearney. All of these (and more boutiques) should have open positions on their website and if they don't it means they'll start showing them in September.

As for outreach, networking is always a good idea. Cold calling and asking for referrals straight out may not the best way though. Try to understand exactly what each type of firm does, why you like it and ask people (even on LinkedIn) to give you more information on what the firm does and what you would be doing on a day-to-day basis. Whatever you do, do not cold email someone who hasn't made their email public.

    • 3
Aug 24, 2019

So I should be applying to 7 firms basically (since all of them has consulting) under the name "big 4"? PwC, Strategy&, Deloitte, Monitor, EY, Parthenon and KPMG.

And do you have any general idea about the deadlines? Because I am from non-target and we don't have any recruiting events so I depend mainly on referrals and based on the deadlines I need to act fast.

Aug 24, 2019

No clue about deadlines for US recruitment. I know a bit more for the UK though if you're interested in applying there. And yes, apply to all because the sub-brands usually do their own recruitment

Aug 24, 2019

I don't think it's a good idea to, for example, apply to both PWC Advisory and S&, or both Deloitte S&O and Monitor. It makes you look scattered and as if you're just throwing applications at the wall to see what sticks. These are fundamentally different groups within these firms, so you need to assess which you would like to apply to.

Aug 24, 2019

Just an fyi that Monitor doesn't exist in the U.S. Former monitor folks are placed into different portfolios within S&O.

    • 1
Learn More

2,037 questions across 209 consulting firms. 11 Cases developed by a McKinsey Associate, 10+ hours of video. The WSO Consulting Interview Prep Course has everything you’ll ever need to ace your consulting case interviews. Learn more.

Aug 24, 2019

at an early stage when you have little options/idea of what you really want to do, I would suggest just casting your net wide and apply for as many firms as you can. if anything, just having a reasonably reputable firm's name on your resume can open up better opportunities in the future. had a guy in my previous job (corporate strategy for a large SEA organization) who came from a big 4 consulting division in HR consulting, and then moved on to Accenture in management consulting before jumping over to in-house consulting.

hope this helps.

Aug 25, 2019

I too am a little confused with the tier system. Would Parthenon/Strategy&/D S&O be considered T2 or Big 4? I know they're owned by members of the big 4 but I figured that all 3 were still a tier above traditional big 4 consulting (PWC MC, Deloitte Advisory, etc.)

Aug 25, 2019

Parthenon/Strategy&/Monitor are viewed more favourably compared to their corresponding Big 4 advisory departments. They are paid more too, afaik 20-30% more than their Big 4 counterparts. Accenture runs on a similar structure, with Strategy people being paid 20% more than those in Management Consulting.

    • 1
Aug 25, 2019

I can give you some perspective.

1) Tier 1 - MBB (especially for pure strategy work)
2) Tier 2 - OW, LEK, AT&K, Deloitte S&O

Now, this is where it becomes interesting. Tier 2 category is very much debatable. It depends on the type of project (strategy vs. nice consulting), location, office etc. The biggest point to be noted is that Tier 1 is just MBB for strategy consulting. Period. You will get the best exit ops from these 3 firms. This doesn't mean AT&K won't give you good exit ops, it's just that it may not be as attractive as you may end up with MBB.

I have worked for some time in Accenture and while it has its own MC and Strategy division, you would generally find Accenture doing a lot of tech implementation work. Accenture strategy is still good but then the exit opps may not be as attractive as AT&K or MBB.

Here is another important thing. A firm could be best known for general strategy work (MBB), tech implementation (Accenture) or a particular industry. For instance, I am working for a Life Science consulting firm (Huron/ClearView/ZS) and the opportunities in Life Science/Pharma are huge and much better than other firms such as At&K/Accenture. The firm may be a bit lower in prestige as compared to MBB but it is still very good.

So, while deciding anything about a consulting firm, I generally advise folks to looks into strategy vs. industry vs. tech vs audit (and so on) distinction before calling out any firm as good or bad.

I think you get the idea. Happy to expand wherever you need more inputs.

    • 1
Aug 26, 2019

And what do think about the way I could get interviews at all of these firms?

What I have been doing so far is emailing school alumni and networking with them. But at this point at the end of the summer I ran out of alumni to talk to because it's a very small school. Should I email people who work at these firms or is that in appropriate? Because I saw one of the most famous posts on here said "Never reach out to someone who's email is not public". So what should I do in that case?

Aug 26, 2019
Comment
    • 1