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Big 4 entry level possible without internship/much working experience?

Anonymous A

Hi,

I graduated M.A. business administration and am a bit clueless what I should do now.

I like the idea of management consulting, but have no prior work experience in that area. I have a good GPA, international experience and some work experience in start ups.

Do you think I have a chance to get a job at one of the big 4? I know MBB is out of my possibilities, but was wondering what other options might be realistic.

Let me know please!

Francesco replied on 07/26/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

it would be difficult to assess your chances without more specific information. In general what management consulting companies assess in a CV is the following:

  1. University reputation
  2. Degree
  3. Academic performance
  4. Work experience
  5. Extracurricular activities
  6. Experience abroad

It would be good thus to know how you specifically fit in these areas to properly assess your chances (Where did you get your MA? Which is your GPA? Where did you go in exchange? How long and where did you get startup experience?)

Having said that, the most critical and normally underestimated area in an application for consulting is your ability to get a referral. With the right referral, indeed, it is possible to reach an invitation, even from MBB, also if you are not stellar in the previous areas - I personally saw people with below average GPA receiving an invitation from BCG thanks to a proper referral. At the second post of the following link you can find some additional information on how to get referrals:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/open-house-at-bcg-311

Finally, if your long-term goal is to enter management consulting in MBB, it could make sense to look for strategy companies like ATK, OW, RB, Strategy&, rather than the Big 4. We the exception of Deloitte, indeed, they are not very strong in strategy (assuming you are considering PwC separated from Strategy&). Thus, an experience in a strategy consulting firm – although not as prestigious as MBB – could help more in reaching the top firms in the industry/ have a good career in management consulting.

Hope this helps,

Francesco