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Concerns Over Sophomore Summer Plans Ahead of MBB Recruiting

recruiting
New answer on May 31, 2024
7 Answers
88 Views
Daniel asked on May 28, 2024

Hi! I'm a rising junior at a target school for MBB, PWC, EY, and other top firms. I'm planning on applying to many of these firms (including MBB) in a few months. I'm most interested in public/social sector practice areas though I know I won't be able to specialize initially. 

I have not been able to land a real sophomore summer internship, and certainly not one at an F500 firm. I'm posting to 1) ask whether I'm screwed for next summer and should just focus on full-time recruiting and 2) weigh the summer options I do have. 

One option I have is volunteering abroad as an English teacher in a developing nation. I've been accepted to a program and it's sort of tempting. I would of course go because I have backgrounds in teaching and childcare and it seems like a socially meaningful thing to do, but I'm curious as to whether it would harm me since it's not the most applicable to management consulting. I also found a local opportunity to volunteer for high schoolers getting ready for college in a very underserved area in the city I live near. Could either of these things help me in recruiting?

Another option I have is to conduct independent research and produce some sort of serious research paper; I would probably research something in political economy. My concern is that this would make it obvious I didn't get an internship. 

Any advice or help is appreciated!

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 29, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Sorry to hear about your situation. You sound a bit stressed about the options that are ahead of you. 

It might be useful to actually consider them with more enthusiasm. They're all great options and realistically, regardless of the advice we'll provide you here, nobody knows where each of these paths are likely to lead you. 

In the end, it comes down to what you want to optimise for. 

Do you want to maximise your chances of getting an MBB offer? Then, hunt any sort of internship or work experience that is consulting-related or can prove that you have consultant-like skills. If you can't find any, volunteer for an NGO to do a consulting project for them. 

You want to have impact on a more human level and get a better sense of what you want to do in the future? Then teaching might be more fulfilling in that sense. 

The thing is that if you approach each step in life in such an instrumental way, you're bound to be unhappy whichever way it turns out. Because you'll constantly be using one step to get to the other, rather than making most of each step and enjoying it for the opportunities it provides (believe me, been there). 

If you're keen on consulting, you might find these two materials helpful in terms of explaining what they look for in candidates and how to approach the recruitment process:

Expert Guide: What Do Management Consultants Do?

Expert Guide: Build A Winning Application Strategy

Best,
Cristian

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Yousef
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replied on May 28, 2024
I make it easy for you to master case interviews! (ex-McKinsey |Stanford University | Imperial College London | ex-P&G)

Hi Daniel,

You still have an opportunity to secure a consulting internship. Dont get bogged down with where you are at right now. Keep your eye on the prize and remember: to be relevanted to consulting you especially at undergrad, you need to have relevant experience and preferably from a target school.

Focus on doing consulting pro-bono locally, see what opportunities are available for you to pick up skills that are relevant to your career as a consultant. You need to show your interest in business, especially since you have done education related work previously to make your profile attractive.

Feel free to message me if you need to think this through more!

Yousef

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Francesco
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replied on May 29, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Daniel, 

Q: Could either of these things help me in recruiting?

If the alternative is between the internships and the research paper, I would recommend picking one of the two job internships. Although none is directly linked to consulting, I believe having a proper internship could help to improve your CV more, and you might develop more useful skills.

Between the two, the experience abroad seems the most interesting and the one you would prefer, so I would probably go for it.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Florian
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replied on May 29, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi Daniel,

Don't worry. Sometimes it's not the most direct road that leads to your planned outcome.

I'd go for volunteering experience abroad as this is a. meaningful, b. exciting and c. can positively impact your consulting applications later on (in that order - don't optimize for consulting firms but experience and joy).

Meanwhile, keep your eyes open for other opportunities in the corporate/consulting space and start engaging with consultants and employees for referrals down the line.

All the best,

Florian

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Agrim
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replied on May 29, 2024
BCG Dubai Project Leader | Learn to think like a Consultant | Free personalised prep plan | 6+ years in Consulting

Volunteer work is actually a plus point in consulting applications in my opinion. The more serious the impact, the better your creds from that opportunity.

Volunteer work helps build your interpersonal capabilities and indicates a sense of responsibility, accountability, coachability, and not to mention a drive for doing impact-oriented work.

Consulting firms also actively engage in pro-bono consulting work and sustainability-focused work - and hence the connection.

Definitely a better choice v/s the research paper.

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Pedro
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replied on May 31, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

Consulting Internship > Business Internship > Non business internship > volunteering work > academic research > nothing.

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Alberto
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replied on May 29, 2024
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

If you want to land in consulting, securing the internship this summer is probably the best move.

Best,

Alberto

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Cristian gave the best answer

Cristian

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