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Comments (41)

Best Response
Apr 20, 2017 - 11:23am

I went to a non-target undergrad and had a poor GPA (was facing some significant personal issues and life challenges during undergrad) and was working full time. I ended up laying low for a while at smaller boutiques while slowly climbing up until I landed at Deloitte Consulting (not strategy but technology). Once in Deloitte Consulting, I managed to network onto a strategy project. I graduated back in 2014 so it took about 2.5 years to make this happen. Granted, my first Strategy project kicked my ass, but it was a huge learning experience for me. Now I'm back on a technology consulting project. (I also managed to land an interview w/ McKinsey's technology practice last year before joining Deloitte). In a few weeks, I'm meeting w/ my first PE firm, not for a finance role, but for an Operations role. (So I truly feel like if you have the confidence, you can make anything happen), and then have another meeting during the summer time.

What you need to do is ask yourself if you truly think you're capable enough to compete with the top students from target schools. Make a tracker on Excel and browse Linkedin of the names of all the recruiters for all the strategy practices and start messaging them on Linkedin. Be humble, tell them you're interested in their roles. If you're still in school, start attending career fairs at some of the target schools. If any alumni from your school have gone onto a strategy consulting firm, network and have coffee with them.

Also make sure your skills are on point. If you went to a non-target and majored in Art/History and have no prior internship experience or strategy/finance or technology (analytics/big data) experience, it might be difficult to convince a strategy firm to take a chance on you.


  • 5
Apr 20, 2017 - 11:28am

I will add though: Its super competitive even once you break in. Most people on my teams went to ivy league schools or top non-ivy league schools ( UVA/Berkeley/Chicago/Northwestern) and usually had top GPAs, are very dedicated Type A personalities who are all significantly smarter than I am. I think I generally have better people skills than they do and have more of a sales type personality. If you have certain qualities that stand out, make sure you communicate and share those with the people you reach out to (or let them see it for themselves). Based on my first scatter plot (ranking against my peers), I'm doing extremely well and slightly better than I expected at the firm, despite the feeling of getting constantly ass kicked around.
So just mentally prepare yourself for the challenges that come with being surrounded by super smart, hard working people. At my state school, no one was really that smart so coming to Deloitte was a huge change for me.


  • 4
Apr 20, 2017 - 11:32am

Can you elaborate on how you got into your smaller boutique?

With so many areas in management consulting, how did you decide what fit you best? I'm currently debating which area to enter. Can you provide your thought process on how you made your decision?

Just had my trade dispute rejected by Schwab for a loss of 35k. This single issue alone should be a gigantic red flag to anyone who trades on their platform.

If they have a system error, and you do not video record your trading (they actually said this), they will not honour their fuck up. Switching everything away from them. Fuck this company.

Apr 20, 2017 - 11:45am

Consulting possible from a nontarget? (Originally Posted: 07/07/2016)

Rising sophomore at UCSB, majoring in Political Science - 4.0 GPA so far. I'm looking into consulting and from what I'm taking, it's more competitive than banking. I'm looking at consulting because it feels like a good fit for me. I haven't done consulting-specific stuff, but I have interned with World Bank in Afghanistan and I'm running for office at my college.

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Apr 20, 2017 - 11:46am

My friend is in consulting from a non-target. You have to network, get yourself out there and do not let your grades fall below a 3.8. Also take 1 or 2 stats classes above the requirement for political science

Apr 20, 2017 - 11:47am

At my MBB, you will basically have to network - nobody will grab a UCSB Political Science major based on resume alone. In addition to the usual outreach to alumni, I would just find out about MBB recruiting events at LA schools and crash them.

You will have to get a bit lucky, and be very polished for this to work. Some people might react poorly to you saying "I got to UCSB but I'm here at the USC event anyway" but I LOVE it because I think it shows drive.

I can't speak to going after jobs somewhere like Deloitte or Accenture; it might be much easier path.

Apr 20, 2017 - 11:48am

I got an introduction to a partner at MBB and currently attend a non-target.

I would recommend checking out Firms Consulting and just listen to their podcasts (you can also find them on the iTunes store and on pocket casts on Android)

Those podcasts are a wealth of information, and a couple talk in depth about what a consulting engagement project looks like. Also, they talk a great deal about what it means to be a consultant, the kinds of skills a consultant has, and why individuals from non-targets are able to break into MBB.

Apr 20, 2017 - 11:49am

Management Consulting from semi/non-target (Originally Posted: 11/18/2017)

I've read on here that breaking into MBB almost requires going to target schools and having a high GPA, but without as many opportunities of breaking in from a non-target as IB for example. Honestly, I'm still unsure the relationship between school "prestige" and chances at an MBB, but I'd assume with a lesser amount of firms/hiring positions semi-target schools for even IB may not even get a second look at McBainston.

How good would my odds be of getting a job at one of the tier-1 firms coming from a Big10 school like Penn State, Wisconsin, or IndianaU-Kelley? Or would it be a better idea to try to save some money and stay in-state at VT and try to transfer to UVA or apply for MFin there?

Apr 20, 2017 - 11:51am

I've read on here that breaking into MBB almost requires going to target schools and having a high GPA, but without as many opportunities of breaking in from a non-target as IB for example. Honestly, I'm still unsure the relationship between school "prestige" and chances at an MBB, but I'd assume with a lesser amount of firms/hiring positions semi-target schools for even IB may not even get a second look at McBainston.

How good would my odds be of getting a job at one of the tier-1 firms coming from a Big10 school like Penn State, Wisconsin, or IndianaU-Kelley? Or would it be a better idea to try to save some money and stay in-state at VT and try to transfer to UVA or apply for MFin there?

What is your year/GPA/major?

So you're thinking about transferring from Virginia Tech?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Apr 20, 2017 - 11:58am

Getting to an MBB is going to be hard no matter where you go to school. Even at a "target," you're going to be interviewing against some really smart people. Getting in from a non-target is even tougher - you need to stand out that much more just to get an interview. Without interviews on campus, it means you need to work harder to get better grades, have betters EC's, network more with people at the firm, etc. But it isn't impossible at all - once you get the interview, you are evaluated at the same level as everyone else.

In your situation, do as @Isaiah_53_5 said. There's not much you can do right now except get into the best school you can and work hard from there. Go on LinkedIn if you want and go to the state schools to see how many alumni from there make it into MBB firms. I go to a non-target and just accepted a full-time MBB offer. It is doable. I have people in my start class that, legitimately, come from schools I have never heard of. But they worked hard and are absolutely exceptional - if you really want it, you can do that too.

What I don't recommend is going into your freshman year with the full intention to transfer. There's a great chance you transfer to a target and don't get the offer a few years down the line. Go to whatever school you choose with the intention to stay. Do well in school, make friends, get involved in extracurriculars. If you absolutely hate it, then think about transferring and apply at that point. I personally don't think it's worth not giving a school/yourself a chance because you think down the road you might want a better chance at interviewing at 2 or 3 firms.

Hope that makes sense, PM me if you have any more questions. Good luck!!!

Apr 20, 2017 - 11:59am

Hoping to work in consulting from non target (Originally Posted: 09/28/2017)

Currently a junior studying economics and accounting at UCSB. My goal is to go into consulting once I graduate. Ideally strategy consulting but will work in any type of consulting just to break in. I have a few friends that work in Healthcare IT consulting. They work half remote and love what they do.

The big 4 accounting firms all recruit heavily out of my school, but only for audit and tax. I currently work at a smaller public accounting firm as a tax associate. By the time graduate I will have 3 years experience as tax accountant. I am looking for advice or tips on the best way to break into consulting once I graduate. Should I wait until I have my diploma then apply online? Cold email recruiters for other schools (UCLA, USC, etc)? I don't really want to take a summer internship as that would require me leaving my accounting position. Also curious, since I will have 3 years experience in accounting, as well as 2 years working as a marketing associate for a large clothing brand, will this qualify me to apply for more mid level positions? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Apr 20, 2017 - 12:00pm

I don't think that having the work experience you have puts you above having to climb the totem pole. Just start building relationships in the industry now. Thats never a bad idea.

โ€œThe only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am no quite sure that i know that.โ€ Socrates
Apr 20, 2017 - 12:01pm

academic path to consulting in a non-target (Originally Posted: 11/20/2009)

I'm currently a sophomore at Tufts and, after doing some research, consulting seems most
appealing to me in the short run because of the opportunity to work with smart people my
own age, to learn about companies in different industries and to travel around the world
(although I realize this doesn't apply to all firms). I'm pretty positive that I want to
get a job in consulting when I graduate, however, I'm not quite sure how I want to
position myself academically.

You see, at Tufts they offer both a regular Econ (qualitative) and a Quantitative
Economics major. I don't particularly want to major in the quant ec side because, 1. it's
really hard, my math skills are average, and although I could probably survive it, I'm
afraid my GPA won't be competitive enough, 2. it doesn't leave me a lot of options in
terms of non-econ courses since there are more core requirements in quant ec and I also
plan on taking Mandarin Chinese each semester for the remainder of the undergraduate
career, and 3. I defiinitely plan on studying abroad in China for one semester and am
thinking of studying abroad for a full year, which would even further reduce my
flexibility in terms of course selection because of requirements and the like.

However, on one hand I keep hearing that it's best to take as many quantitatively based
classes as possible since quantitative skills are valued in consulting. On the other
hand, I have heard of philosophy and english majors breaking into consulting. I'm not
quite sure what to do.

A part of me really just wants to major in regular econ or maybe not econ at all and just
do political science/history/international relations and study abroad for a full year,
but the career-oriented part of me wants to be positive that I can secure a job in
strategy consulting after graduation and feels that quant ec would really boost my
chances since Tufts is a non-target.

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

Apr 20, 2017 - 12:02pm

With the focus shifting to Asia, an asian Jamie Dimon (Tuft alumn) would be a smart move. Mandarin will take you far. Do you already speak it by any chance? I took it from 6th-11th grade and now I'm a soph. strongly considering consulting; maybe I should start re-taking Chinese again...

Apr 20, 2017 - 12:04pm

How to land that consulting interview for someone who graduated from a non-target, non-finance background (Originally Posted: 03/13/2012)

I graduated last summer with a HBA in literature from a non-target school. My GPA was decent, 3.5 Major GPA. All my life I wanted to have nothing to do business (not sure why), I had always wanted to be a teacher, hence a degree in lit. In my last year, I had a sudden change of heart, and wanted to get a job in business. I recently (about 3 weeks ago) discovered management consulting, and just had that ding moment, when i realized this is what i want to do. Obviously this is going to be a tough uphill battle for me, but I am prepared for it. However I am just wondering what exactly can I do to beef up my resume, and tips on cover letter, and things that I should be looking into to help me land that job. I am planning on taking my GMAT in a few weeks, and I have some leadership experience and retail marketing experience. I am also looking at Victor Cheng's case and learning about case studies and doing info interviews. But any help would be appreciated. :)

Apr 20, 2017 - 12:11pm

wtf? why throw monkey shit to my sage advice?

seriously, one of my friends's gf slept with many people she thought who could help. she did that since her 1st internship at ml branch office and all the way to vp at bb. and she ended up at a bb's tmt group despite some major weakness on resume (sub par gpa, 2.9ish)

so it's very doable and the matter is only to find the right people

Apr 20, 2017 - 12:13pm

Breaking into consulting as a non target finance undergrad? (Originally Posted: 08/05/2016)

Consulting is a very broad term, but it is one of the fields I am interested in. Relevant information for my situation is:

Graduated at a state school in California. Big 4 target but ONLY for audit and tax.
obtained undergraduate bus/finance degree
3.4 GPA
Board member of the finance organization at my school
Completed case competition held by big well known f500 company
Part of school's investment fund
Interning a investment management company currently
My GPA is rather low, I know,

But what skills as a finance undergrad should I pick up to make it in consulting? I love doing case studies. What advice would anyone have to break in the field? From being on here it seems it's non target or its impossible. What field should I try to get into that will allow me to branch out into consulting?

Apr 20, 2017 - 12:17pm

From Non-Target to Summer Associate at MBB/Tier 2 - Getting my foot in the door. (Originally Posted: 07/18/2011)

Hello all - I would be really grateful if I could get some advice as to how best to move forward from my current situation.

I am a senior at a non-target (top 40) school, majoring in International Relations with minors in Middle Eastern Studies, History and Business in the Liberal Arts. My GPA is 3.5.

I do not have any brand name internships in the past - what I've had are: working for an oil and energy contractors in S.E. Asia, marketing summer associate with a 5* airplane company, fellowship at a IR non-profit, and research assistantships. I've had leadership positions in clubs and associations too.

If I am aiming to get into a top notch summer associates program at either MBB (which is everyone's dream) or some of the tier 2 firms - what else do I need to do on paper to get my foot in the door?

I understand networking is key - I've got informational interviews setup with ex-Mckinseyites who are willing to put me in touch with people working there currently so that is a plus, but I want to make sure I do everything else possible to stand a chance of being selected.

Case preparation is also vital - got that.

Apart from those two (case prep and networking), any other tips, pointers, advice on getting the foot in the door given my situation (which I believe a lot more other folks might be in as well; the non-target school situation).

I would appreciate any advice; as I'm entering my senior year, knowing early will give me a chance to strengthen areas I'm lacking in.


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