I've had a great and interesting journey so far, and to be honest, I'm not sure what I want to do finally - we'll see how it goes.
I'm impatient, not detail-oriented, fun loving, not serious - none of the characteristics generally valued in banking or consulting. Yet I just got an outstanding review from my consulting internship saying I don't have any major areas that need improvement, and should I want to return to finance, have a standing offer from a former manager.
Things that have helped me a lot:
1) Going to a semi-target business school, where those management and marketing classes offer a lot that you can actually implement
2) First internship under a tough, emotionless boss at a small firm where I got to do a lot of work and my team was very reliant on a young intern. Also no one knew how old I was, so I was completely expected to act and perform like a first year even though I was about 18 years old.
3) A school club where I organized a large event with many professional sponsors and guests. It was a year long endeavor, very successful, and allowed me to make great impressions on tons of recruiters.
My strengths and tips:
1) This is not something I like, but as been said many times before, double and triple check everything before you give it in. Even if its simple edits and, be proud and committed of anything you do.
2) Partners/MD's whatever are not scary. Respect yourself. You are talented and have plenty to offer - act like it. Speak to them as an equal, be genuinely curious, find common ground (sports, schools, weather, news, their kids).
3) Feel ownership for your work.
4) Don't be afraid of people. They're all humans.
5) Middle school girls are great practice. You can say anything to anyone if you're tactful about how you do it. I do think women tend to be better than men at this.
6) Be positive. This site is so negative - is that really how you want to live your life? No one wants to be around a negative person anyway. Don't dwell on the bad, don't ruminate on things you can't fix right now. Be practical.
I don't know if this will help anyone, but the mental aspect makes a huge difference, so I wanted to put it out there. I don't think it's something that can be taught - it comes from experience, but at least this is a start.
I also want to add that I had a terrible experience with anxiety and depression junior year, and I am still on medicine for it. All I have to say is if this happens to you, please reach out immediately. The medicine made such a huge difference in my life. Some type of treatment is definitely better than trying to "get over it".