Entry-level Full-Time Opportunities

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New answer on Jan 26, 2022
6 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Jan 25, 2022


I am an undergraduate student from a non-target school for MBB firms. I applied for internships with all 3 and did not make it to the interview round. I had a referral from an associate partner for one. I have experience with a very notable boutique consulting firm (similar to Accenture, Booz Allen, and OW). This summer I will be interning with a Big 4 in consulting. I am hoping to try again for MBB full-time for entry-level opportunities. Do you have any advice on how to get to the interview stage? Any particular things/experiences that will boost my application?

Thank you in advance!

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 25, 2022
ex-McKinsey | Senior Interviewer & MBA Coach @ McKinsey | Personalized key-skill coaching |Blue-chip Strategy Lead

Good question! Let me elaborate on three things you need to prioritize:

Networking: Referrals are key for any application and even more so for applicants from non-target schools. Good on you for getting one from an AP already! Going forward, make sure to (1) attend whatever MBB event you can and (2) contact all of your school alumni in MBB to network in the firms. Goal is to build a relationship and ultimately receive referrals.

Experience: Getting more experience under your belt will help you craft a more powerful CV/application. Just make sure to provide what MBB are looking for on the back of your existing and upcoming Big4 experience. McKinsey for example is very clear on this i.e. Personal Impact, Entrepreneurial Drive, Leadership. You have to be able to convey your story and value to MBB along these lines (dimensions work very well for Bain and BCG, too).

Documents: Get professional help on preparing CV and cover letter. You will need to excel in three dimensions here i.e. format, form, and content. Any potential investment is going to be well worth it if you're not sure as to whether your documents make your application shine, which it really has to considering the 100s of applications that MBB offices receive on a monthly/weekly basis.

Hope this helps! Let me know if there's anything you'd like to discuss.

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 26, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I read in the comments that you passed the screening for McKinsey but you failed the Imbellus Solve test. For the new application I would prepare accordingly for that.

In case you want to learn how to best prepare for the Imbellus Solve game, you can check the following guides (full disclosure: I am the author;) )

In terms of the other companies, it is difficult to provide tips without additional information. Just from what you shared, the possible improvements may be on CV, Cover and/or referrals.

1) CV

The key elements they will look for and that you have to optimize are:

  • University brand
  • Major
  • GPA
  • Work experience
  • Experience abroad
  • Extracurriculars and volunteer experience

Red flags include:

  • Low GPA
  • Lack of any kind of work experience
  • Bad formatting / typos
  • 3-4 pages length
  • Lack of clear action --> results structure for the bullets of the experiences
  • Long paragraphs (3-4 lines) for the bullets of the experiences with irrelevant details
  • Long time gaps without any explanation


You can structure a cover in 4 parts:

  1. Introduction, mentioning the position you are interested in and a specific element you find attractive for that company
  2. Why you are qualified for the job, where you can report 3 skills/stories from your CV, ideally related to leadership, impact, drive and teamwork
  3. Why you are interested in that particular firm, with additional 1-2 specific reasons
  4. Final remarks, mentioning again your interest and contacts

In part 2 you can write about experiences that show skills useful in consulting such as drive, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork and convincing others.

It is important that in part 3 you make your cover specific to a particular firm – the rule of thumb is, can you send the exact same cover to another consulting company if you change the name? If that’s the case, your cover is too generic.


To find a referral, you should follow three steps:

  1. Identify the people that can help you
  2. Write to them a customized email
  3. Have a call and indirectly ask for a referral

You can find more information on the steps here:


If you need help to be invited please feel free to PM me, I do a session where we can optimize everything you need for an invitation (referrals included).



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updated an answer on Jan 25, 2022
BCG Project Leader | Wharton MBA, Dartmouth Undergrad

Sorry to hear you didn't get an interview - in terms of how to boost your application, it's difficult to say without more detail on the experience you have at the boutique consulting firm and more information about your background (education history, GPA, exam scores etc). If you have a strong academic record and you will be interning for one of the Big 4 this upcoming summer, it sounds like you are doing the right things - I would encourage to have your resume reviewed by someone from MBB so you can ensure that you are highlighting the right things and are making yourself stand out in the right away. More of than not, cover letters are not read in the MBB hiring process and resumes are looked at for 7-10 seconds so it's critical to highlight the right information. 


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Pedro on Jan 25, 2022

I agree.

Anonymous replied on Jan 25, 2022

Hi there, 

with little working experience, it is important your CV and cover letter very clearly transmit through powerful stories your key strengths and capabilities from your university time, personal life, extra-cuniculus activities - it must come clear you have all the key strengths the MBB look for (leadership, ability to make an impact, drive, curiosity, problem-solving, etc.). You need to go the extra mile to offset the non-target uni, please spend enough time to think beyond traditional work. Btw. candidates with strong stories beyond work gets extra points.

A good career coach can help you with that, it may be worth investing considering CV screening is where most of the candidates fail and the chances are the lowest of all recruiting steps. 

Please feel free to check my profile and reach out if you need support. 

Good luck!

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 26, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

It sounds like where you're lacking is in your application documents themselves. The most likely answer is that your Resume and Cover Letter are not up to scratch.

Feel free to send them through to me. Of course I can't get them to 10/10 for free but I can give you my initial take as to whether they are the problem or not!

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replied on Jan 25, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger |Former Head Recruiter | Market Sizing

You need to make sure your resume is as “crisp” as possible, and that you network extensively and get more referals. Unfortunately, not coming from a target school it is not an easy task unless you really stand out.

Did you actually had the opportunity to do one of their online assessments, or not even that?

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Anonymous A on Jan 25, 2022

Hello- thank you for your response! I received the opportunity to take the McKinsey Imbellus test. Does getting to this stage but not making interviews reflect on my performance in the online assessment?

Pedro on Jan 25, 2022

No, it doesn't. But it means that your performance at the test was not good enough to get the interview. So that's something you will need to improve on as well.

Moritz gave the best answer


Content Creator
ex-McKinsey | Senior Interviewer & MBA Coach @ McKinsey | Personalized key-skill coaching |Blue-chip Strategy Lead
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