Senior majoring in History at Penn missed fall recruitment, interested in consulting help!

gg2's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | 73

i'm a history major at penn with a 3.92 gpa/ honors student.

unfortunately i missed recruitment because i was originally pre-law and wasted my time studying for lsat's instead. but am 99% i do not want to go to law school.

i have no relevant work experience except a human rights internship in a third world country, a really terrible internship at a small real estate company, and a lot of history research experience

i really want to do management consulting but missed recruitment. what should i do? -------------

i took calculus, microeconomics, and macroeconomics (got As in all of them) but thats it for quantitative courses.
should i try to take more quantitative courses this semester e.g. finance, acct, etc at wharton? or just take easy classes and spend time preparing for interviews/looking for a job when i graduate?

in the long run, i want to go to business school.

Comments (7)

Jan 10, 2013

don't give up - just try and use every connection you can. Penn should be a solid platform to land you something. It may not be the big brand name consultancies but if you put sometime into reaching out, you'll still land a relevant job somewhere.

if you were at a non-target, you'd have almost no shot.. but luckily you don't/ good luck.

    • 1
Jan 10, 2013


Jan 13, 2013

thanks couchy.
im also wondering if i should take relevant courses this semester e.g. accounting or management... does it even matter at this point?

Best Response
Jan 16, 2013

Fuck the PM, I'll just post it here. Your resume will grant you entree into whatever industry you desire (given the requisite elbow grease, which could include following SEVERAL leads for one opening), but you must be able to back that up with interview skill and face-to-face adaptability. I probably don't need to spell this out for you, but it means 1) great case interview work and 2) personable, accessible rapport and a sociopathic facility with sculpting your output to complement markedly different interviewer personalities. I'm digressing wildly here, so let's momentarily return to point - this is a generic outline of what you should do:

a) DO NOT strive take "relevant courses" like accounting or management - your academic skill-set is already too superficially divergent from your current, intended career path (which doesn't matter, by the way), and you won't have the grades to show for your burgeoning academic expertise in all things commerce until June. Your GPA already demonstrates your intellect, and large consulting firms are going to train you anyway. Don't waste your time. It certainly can't hurt, but it's going to be the least meaningful part of any compendium effort you make in the next 4 months of job hunting. Anyone else, feel free to interject, but "UPenn", "3.92" and networking will be the battering ram that breaks down the door to the interview room, management 101 or not.

b) Be, or become, very comfortable having warm, discursive, and somewhat complex discussions with utter strangers. This is a skill that has hopefully emerged over the last 3.5 years of seminary discourse in history class. If not, temper it. Either way, buy case-in-point, befriend someone with an offer at MBB or the like, and drill. You don't need to Victor-Cheng this thing, but it wouldn't hurt. You might be a natural, in which case you'll only require familiarization with the interview setting, structure and protocol (i.e., clarifying the case question, walking your interviewer through your logical profiling, and so forth) before you start getting consistently successful practice results. If you do manage to get an interview, find someone at the firm who will give you a practice round. There are many more threads about case interviewing - this is just an outline, but it should give you a flavor of expectation.

c) Create a list of companies and fields within which you can conceive of working. McKinsey/management consulting is a nice place to start, but you might have to go down the list. And don't just stick to the Vault rankings - there are many niche companies in subfields, and they're not exactly easy pickings, either. Look far and wide. And don't stick to Penn's job listing.

d) Network! Network. Your Penn degree + GPA are your bludgeon and grappling hook. Be somewhat judicious - no "Can I have a job?" - but otherwise, cast a wide and pervasive net. Palatably and humbly advertise your awesomeness. Figuratively suck cock. Look up the companies you've listed as interests, fire up LinkedIn, and search for alumni working there. They will be surprisingly responsive. Ask if they can recommend avenues of employment, without asking for a job.

e) Put in the time. This could be hours a day, at first - learning how to interview properly and how to network effectively have something of a learning curve.

f) Don't despair - barring a technological singularity, you and all of your friends and rivals will ultimately perish. Even if they go to Harvard, work at McKinsey, and found the next Apple-Walmart. Point being, try to enjoy living - work and prestige will not feed your soul.

    • 4
Oct 29, 2014

For future use; if you have such a high GPA at Penn and history is generally respected, you just need to network and practice. Above poster is so right. Had you not missed recruitment, it would have been very easy to get interviews. But I mean, again, feel like consulting is fussier with coursework - so don't take things because it looks good, do it because you're interested and it shouldn't be divergent from your academic interests.

Penn liberal arts people are usually so oblivious to how strong their network and how easy these things come compared to people at materially more prestigious schools. Leverage that.

Nov 3, 2014

Actually if you are really good at history research, with the prestige of your school and the large alum network, you can lead a very interesting conversation when you get to go on interviews and for sure people will like that. Just start networking and try to start a project or something that shows you have an initiative to apply your transferable skills in business field, rather than an intro-level class that doesn't give you much of an advantage.

Nov 4, 2014