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Chance me for MBB, given my GPA & other credentials?

apply GPA MBB
New answer on Jan 02, 2023
8 Answers
1.2 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Dec 30, 2022

Hi,

I'm looking to break into Management Consulting (MBB) for Full-Time roles out of undergrad (I'm currently a Junior). I've got an S&T internship at MS/GS/JPM (non-U.S office, but a global financial hub city's office) for this coming Junior summer, and I know MBB U.S FT positions will go live in this coming Summer. Even though S&T is great, I'm still interested in giving Consulting my shot (and I know they're very different skillsets so I'll work on explaining 'Why Consulting'). I'm only targeting MBB because they are the only ones that sponsor international students

I'm currently studying at a lower-tier Ivy (so I guess a target or semi-target), and I'll be able to get my gpa up to a 3.68 or 3.69 max by my spring semester (I'm an Econ major)... I won't likely be able to get a 3.7 gpa
- Will I get cut-off from first round resume selections for getting literally 0.01 less than 3.7? 
- However, if I do get a 3.7, am I 'smooth sailing' or will I still be likely cut from the resume selections? I know of course, I've got to have killer casing skills, I should network hard for the offices, and be well-rounded ofc
- Will my Bulge Bracket summer internship give me any leeway here with the 3.68 or 3.69 since they're not just going off GPA anymore?
- I'm also an international student, so is all your advice nullified, and I need a 3.8+ instead?

Let me know if NYC,SF offices are out of reach and I should target NJ, LA, DC, Philly, Texas, Seattle, etc instead… I know the recession is gonna make things harder too

(edited)

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Jan 02, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) Will I get cut-off from first round resume selections for getting literally 0.01 less than 3.7? 

The GPA is just one of the elements considered during the screening and in any case you can compensate for even lower GPAs with a referral. You can find more on that here:

▶ How to Get an MBB Invitation

2) However, if I do get a 3.7, am I 'smooth sailing' or will I still be likely cut from the resume selections

The GPA is just one of the elements they will consider. You can find a full description of what is needed here:

▶ How to Get a Consulting Interview Invitation

3) Will my Bulge Bracket summer internship give me any leeway here with the 3.68 or 3.69 since they're not just going off GPA anymore?

As mentioned, the GPA is not the only element considered. Your internship definitely adds value to your CV.

4) I'm also an international student, so is all your advice nullified, and I need a 3.8+ instead?

Same as above – GPA is not the only relevant element. If a company can sponsor a visa there should not be issues if you are an international student.

5) Let me know if NYC,SF offices are out of reach and I should target NJ, LA, DC, Philly, Texas, Seattle, etc instead

I would not recommend to choose a smaller office just to try to increase your odds. It is true that smaller offices may have less demand, but also less supply. Unless you know insiders in those offices and know the hiring trend, it is difficult to know what would work best.

Instead, I would recommend to choose an office for which (i) you have an interest and (ii) you can find a referral.

Best,
Francesco

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Rushabh
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updated an answer on Dec 31, 2022
Limited Availability | BCG Expert | Middle East Expert | 100+ Mocks Delivered | IESE & NYU MBA | Ex-KPMG Dxb Consultant

Hello,

Thanks for sharing some context, here are my thoughts:

1) GPA: It shouldn't matter if you're at 3.69 or 3.7. If you're in a target/semi-target school, your CV will certainly get screened. What matters is your background, your motivation (cover letter) and your networking

2) International student: Focus more on justifying your motivation on working in Philly/Texas/etc rather than focussing on the grades. Texas wants to see that you really WANT to stay in Texas for the long run for some reason beyond just using it as a soft target to land an American job [same goes for any city]

3) There is no smooth even if you have a 3.9. You have to put in the work to get the interview and to pass the interview :)

4) Yes, I think interning at a large investment bank will certainly add some brand power to your resume. But as you have rightly pointed out, you need to be able to sell the ‘Why Consulting' story.

Hope this helps!

Feel free to message me directly via chat if you need any further help!

Rushabh

(edited)

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Anonymous replied on Dec 30, 2022

I don't think you should worry about this as decisions tend to be made in the round. BB internship + ~3.7 @ IVY doing Econ should be good enough to get your CV looked at (e.g. not automatic desk reject).

It definitely won't be smooth sailing. You need a CV that really stands out, and a referral would be very helpful as you mention. As you mention, for more competitive offices, you will be competing against top-tier candidates with 4.0s who also have BB internships. You need to look at how you can differentiate yourself. Happy to talk further if helpful.

Also, there is more to life than work so chose a location which you think you would enjoy living in…

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Anonymous A on Dec 30, 2022

Ok, that's a relief, but yes I'll work hard on fine-tuning my casing skills, referrals, and having strong extracurriculars/leaderships. Thanks! If I have those three other things done well, would I be a strong candidate (perhaps if I pick a less competitive office like NJ.. otherwise NYC office has 4.0 BB students)?? Moreover, I'm hoping being an international student + there being a recession doesn't make your advice moot by the way! Furthermore, I was not aware if there is an automatic cutoff for any resume below a 3.70 (given we're not talking about engineering GPAs). In that case, then a 3.69 would've could come back to bite me and so such a minor thing may shoot me in the foot. I've heard of firms making the applicant pool smaller by 'filtering' by GPA, but I don't know where that line is and if I'm dangerously close to straddling it.. this is why I'm so frantic about this. I used to have a 3.8+ so i wasnt sure if this drop in gpa was the end of the line for my consulting prospects

(edited)

Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 30, 2022
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

Given what you have shared here I think you have a decent chance at being invited to interview. How many people are hired into MBB from your school every year? That is a good indication of whether your school is considered a target school or not.

The best thing to do would be to start networking with alumni that went to your school to help get your foot in the door. 

All the best,

Udayan

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Hagen
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replied on Dec 30, 2022
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

This is indeed an interesting question which is probably relevant for a lot of users, thus I am happy to provide my perspective on it:

  • While a GPA of 3.7 is often seen as a threshold for many top consulting firms, it is not necessarily a cut-off point and other factors such as relevant coursework, extracurricular activities, and internships can also be important. Having a summer internship at a bulge bracket firm can certainly give you an advantage and may make up for a slightly lower GPA.
  • As an international student, it may be more challenging to secure a consulting job, as these firms often have stricter visa sponsorship requirements. However, it is not necessarily impossible and you should still focus on building your skills and networking with consultants at these firms. It may be helpful to target offices in locations with more favorable visa sponsorship policies, such as those in the Northeast or West Coast.

In case you want a more detailed discussion on what to do in your specific situation, please feel free to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Maikol
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updated an answer on Dec 30, 2022
BCG Project Leader | Former Bain, AlixPartner, and PE | INSEAD MBA | GMAT 780

To go to MBB it is mandatory to prove to have a practical mind. If you ask whether there is a difference between a GPA of 3.68 and 3.71 you show that you like to talk about things that are not important and practical.

MBB run a holistic analysis of your application, GPA is just a minor part of it. 

There is no evidence that it is easier to get hired by smaller offices. It is important, given the period, to target offices that are growing (e.g., Texas).

(edited)

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Anonymous A on Dec 30, 2022

Thanks for your response. I'm not aware if there is an automatic cutoff for any resume below a 3.7 (given we're not talking about engineering GPAs). In that case, then a 3.69 could come back to bite me and so so such an unpractical minor thing may shoot me in the foot. I've heard of firms making the applicant pool smaller by 'filtering' by gpa, but i don't know where that line is, and if I'm dangerously close to straddling it. I hope that makes sense why I'm so frantic on this little thing, which is my fault.

(edited)

Maikol on Dec 30, 2022

Don't worry, there is no automatic cutoff. 3.68 is perfectly fine if you come from a semi-target school and you have either good extracurricular activities and/or some work experience. You have to be aware that is tougher to get hired nowadays, as a consequence of a global slowdown that is obviously impacting consulting. But good CVs are still considered for what they are. Just a suggestion: work on getting a referral for your target office, if possible.

Moritz
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 02, 2023
ex-McKinsey EM & Interviewer | 7/8 offer rate for 4+ sessions | 90min sessions with FREE exercises & videos

Hi there,

Here's the deal:

  • People with better academic records and credentials have failed to be invited to an interview
  • People with worse academic records and credentials have successfully interviewed and went on to become firm leaders

The difference between these two groups is their approach to networking, seeking the right mentorship, and taking the advice they're getting by putting in the work.

Your background is what it is. So what's your strategy for maximizing your chances? That's what you should be asking yourself!

If this is something you need help with, please do reach out!

Best of luck,

Moritz

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Anonymous B replied on Dec 30, 2022

You may need to improve on your english before you apply.

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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