Entering consulting after a rough career start

consulting
Recent activity on May 31, 2019
2 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 27, 2019

I graduated with a bachelors degree in 2015 from a top university (target school regionally for consulting/investment banking jobs), post which I had two work experiences (one full-time paid and one part-time unpaid internship). After this, I went on to pursue a Masters degree for a year and a half from a top school as well. I graduated from the Master's program 3 months back, and have started working with a fast-growing startup in an account management role.

I've had a fairly rough career path so far (this is my 3rd role since I graduated from undergrad in 2015). Part of the reason for this I believe has been my poor academic grades in university (though I was lucky enough to get into some of the top schools) and part of it has been the lack of coaching/guidance.

I have, however, always wanted to get into consulting, but for mostly financial reasons, had to take up other roles right out of university as the road to consulting has been taking much longer. However, I am completely dedicated to look for jobs in consulting now. My only concern is - will my short stints in the past be a hindrance to my applications to consulting firms? I mainly intend to apply through networking. How can I network effectively and sell my story?

(edited)

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 27, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

  1. It's totally fine to work 1 year in each job at your stage of career
  2. However, if you had issues on the previous jobs, how do you know you won't have similar issues in a fast-paced consulting environments? Maybe it's better to work on your weaknesses first?
  3. There are multiple ways to network:

1) Leverage your own network - find friends or friends of friends who can practice cases with you or make you a reference.

2) Attend company events. Consulting companies do a lot of events both for graduates and experienced hires. Find the social network groups related to consulting or websites, subscribe to newsletters and stay tuned. Also, check if they have events in your University since you are a PHD.

While some of the events will be open to everyone, others will require a resume and a cover letter, so make sure to prep.

3) Talk to people on the events and send Thank You notes. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. Ask for contact info or send a thank you note after the event ("I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University... It was especially interesting to hear about... Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.). Alternatively, you may use linkedin for that. If you are an experienced hire I strongly suggest to ask for a 1 on 1 meeting in a thank you note.

4) 1 on 1 meetings. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to ask consultants for a career advice. Tell your story and ask how consulting fits into it

5) Mock interview Depending on where you are in your prep process you may ask a consultant for a mock interview. Consultants are very much opened to help even if it is a cold call e-mail. The main problem is a lack of time on their side. So don't be afraid to remind about yourself if the consultant has already committed but finds it hard to find the time

6) Talking to partners If you are an experienced hire I suggest to talk directly to the partners in your industry or the partner responsible for experienced hires (in consulting partners also have additional roles). Get an intro from the HR or from your friends working there. Partners care a lot about experienced hires with relevant industry expertise. Chances to get referral are much lower though. They also will not be interested in giving mock interviews.

7) If you are an MBA graduate Just talk to your section mates and ask for a reference or a mock interview - they will be happy to help. Make sure you attend all the consulting events.

Good luck!

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Serhat
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replied on May 31, 2019
BCG | Kellogg MBA |82% Success rate| 450+ case interview| 5+ year consulting | 30+ projects in ~10 countries

Hi there,

It is a long topic and to answer your question, I need more points from you. I would love to have a free 15 min call and share my perspective with you. Please let me know if you are interested.

Cheers

Serhat

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Vlad

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McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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