Hello, I'm currently a 3rd year undergraduate at a non-target school who just discovered consulting.

Summer Internship

I wish I had found out about this industry earlier but now that I know that I love everything about consulting, I want to set myself up for success. Sadly, I don't know what I'm doing. I applied to Mercer Consulting and surprisingly got an interview (I have no previous consulting experience so I was shocked). Because I was unaware of the complexity of consulting interviews, I treated a consulting interview like any other interview, so I was in shock when I got the questions that I did. Since then, I've been trying to learn more about how to prep for interviews but I'm not sure if I should be devoting my time applying and trying to land a summer internship (the deadline for summer internships are closing up) or if I should just accept the fact that Iprobably won't get an internship because I'm not adequately prepared and just focus on landing a job during the fall of next year. My end goal is to end up at BCG, Bain, or McKinsey after graduating. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

(Context: I have a 3.6 GPA, 7 years of part-time work as a legal assitant, and am not currently in any consulting clubs on campus but I plan to join one next quarter)


on Sep 12, 2020
Last Activity
1.2 k
on Sep 12, 2020
Last Activity

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer


You miss 100% of the chance that you don't take. So why not give a try?

Worst case - your resume will not be accepted. Best case - you'll be invited for the interviews and you'll have a chance to compete for a great job. If you fail - you can always reapply for a full-time role


Was this answer helpful? 3
Thank you! You're right, I'll at least give it a shot. I appreciate the feedback.

In order to get the interview at MCK / BCG / BAIN it is generally most important to have some brand names in the CV (Mercer, Big 4, Google, Unilever etc.). Alternatively it can be a smaller non-brand company bud with a clear and concrete description of what you were doing there.

E.g. before MCK I had only a half year internship at KPMG AUDIT but I had a work-experience with a small IT company where I was working on few very interesting projects (mainly I was able to talk about them very well).

The problem with brand name companies often is, that you might end up with a job where you cannot really achieve something and will mainly be doing relatively standard tasks.

To sum up - try to get some experience in both brand name company and in a small company where you can get a very special task...

Was this answer helpful? 2
Wow this is the first time someone has said to take up a role in a smaller non-brand company. Because most people say that you need big names, I never considered that as a possibility. I'll be actively searching for any positions that offer bigger roles. Thank you so much!

Hi! I was in the same shoes as you a few months ago, just discovered consulting in my 3rd year and thinking "what was I doing in my first and second year?!". That's totally fine :) I have a friend studying engineering who discovered consulting as a career in her 4th year and still got a full-time position at McKinsey. Another person actually walked into the interview with McKinsey asking the interviewer "what is a case?" and still got the full-time offer. So I think it might be a good thing that you haven't been through hundreds of case practices yet because then you will be just one of the thousands of applicants. So still definitely apply to internships, and it's ok to not have any case experiences. Just know the core of the problem and have your own style of solving an issue instead of applying framework and following the steps of cracking a case. If you are aiming for MBB, then I actually think you are in a better position than some people who have been training for years, since MBB just wants sharp people who can actually think on the spot (also a good personality) instead of people who just know how to solve a case for the sake of interviews.

Was this answer helpful? 2
Thank you!

Hi Andres,

You always have to try, otherwise, you don't even get a chance! So I would definitely recommend applying for an internship.

You don't lose anything if you try but you may miss an opportunity if you don't.


Was this answer helpful? 0
Vlad gave the best answer


Content Creator
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
Q&A Upvotes
185 Reviews