It's natural to feel apprehensive about this, but it's important to remember that most consulting firms understand that academic performance is just one of many indicators of future job performance. However, it's also true that consulting firms tend to look for candidates with strong academic records. Your situation offers a unique opportunity to showcase how you can overcome challenges, which is a valuable trait in consulting.
Here's how you could approach this:
1. Include a brief explanation in your cover letter:
You can take this opportunity to address the matter directly in your cover letter. Use it to provide context around your GPA, but ensure it doesn't come across as an excuse. For instance, you could say:
"While studying, I chose to work full time, which posed a significant challenge. This decision was pivotal in shaping my professional ethic, providing me invaluable hands-on experience, and taught me resilience and adaptability. However, this demanding schedule did impact my GPA. Nevertheless, I am confident that my acquired skills, determination, and ability to thrive under pressure make me a strong candidate for the consulting role."
2. Highlight other strengths:
Apart from explaining the context of your GPA, focus on your strengths and achievements. This could be your work experience, projects you’ve worked on, leadership roles, or problem-solving skills. The idea is to convince them that despite your lower GPA, you possess the qualities that make a good consultant.
3. Mention your readiness for case studies:
Towards the end of your cover letter, you could mention your readiness and confidence in tackling case studies, indicating your practical problem-solving abilities, which are integral to the consulting role.
Remember, honesty is crucial in these situations. Be upfront about your situation and use this as an opportunity to showcase your resilience and commitment. Best of luck!