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8

How do I strengthen my application past the resume screening (UG role)?

Hi.

Background:

I graduated in 2018 in engineering (India) and I wanted to transition to an MBB UG role (from a non-target school). I was rejected from Mckinsey in 2018, following which I was working as a Content Writer for one of the best affiliate marketing startups of the country. After a year and a half, I switched over to a FAANG company, and working as a support specialist in content moderation.

I am looking for a BA or Associate position (depending on the UG level roles at MBB).

  1. I have referrals in place for the companies.
  2. Do I need a GMAT score to offset for my non-target school?
  3. What kind of things helps me clear the initial resume-screening? I am aware that case-studies are pivotal for the entire process, which I have been practicing for a month now.

TIA!

Hi.

Background:

I graduated in 2018 in engineering (India) and I wanted to transition to an MBB UG role (from a non-target school). I was rejected from Mckinsey in 2018, following which I was working as a Content Writer for one of the best affiliate marketing startups of the country. After a year and a half, I switched over to a FAANG company, and working as a support specialist in content moderation.

I am looking for a BA or Associate position (depending on the UG level roles at MBB).

  1. I have referrals in place for the companies.
  2. Do I need a GMAT score to offset for my non-target school?
  3. What kind of things helps me clear the initial resume-screening? I am aware that case-studies are pivotal for the entire process, which I have been practicing for a month now.

TIA!

8 answers

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Best Answer

Hi there,

Here are my responses to your questions:

  1. If you have referrals, leverage them after you feel comfortable with case interviews. Sometimes you might be called for an interview quickly, so make sure you are ready to embark in the process quickly
  2. GMAT does not offset the fact that you are coming from a non-target school
  3. Work on your resumé so that it reflects the expertise you built since interviewing with McK in 2018 (in case you are reapplying to the firm). Build your network in your companies of interest (attend events, connect with consultants, etc.) to ensure you have strong referrals

Do not hesitate to reach out to me should you have other questions.

All the best,

Mehdi

Hi there,

Here are my responses to your questions:

  1. If you have referrals, leverage them after you feel comfortable with case interviews. Sometimes you might be called for an interview quickly, so make sure you are ready to embark in the process quickly
  2. GMAT does not offset the fact that you are coming from a non-target school
  3. Work on your resumé so that it reflects the expertise you built since interviewing with McK in 2018 (in case you are reapplying to the firm). Build your network in your companies of interest (attend events, connect with consultants, etc.) to ensure you have strong referrals

Do not hesitate to reach out to me should you have other questions.

All the best,

Mehdi

OP here. So, will a good GMAT score give me an edge or is it immaterial if I go through strong referrals? — Anonymous A on Sep 08, 2020

I would advise you to focus on securing good referrals. Referrals are very important in MBB, and thus securing a good one would give you the chance to be interviewed! — Anonymous on Sep 08, 2020

Thank you for your question and answer. Could you please elaborate on which are the most effective networking techniques to get a referral from someone at MBB if you have no current relationships there? Specifically who to target, how to reach out and how to build a strong relationship so that the referral supports your position throughout the application process. Many thanks — Pedro on Sep 09, 2020

Please DM me and I will be happy to exchange with you on this! — Anonymous on Sep 09, 2020

Dear A,

1. If you have good referrals. You have higher chacnes to secure your interview invite

2. GMAT won't play a big role

3. If you have have referrals, you may skip the screening stage, but your documents should be ready any time, and they should be polished.

If you need any help, feel free to reach out.

Best,
André

Dear A,

1. If you have good referrals. You have higher chacnes to secure your interview invite

2. GMAT won't play a big role

3. If you have have referrals, you may skip the screening stage, but your documents should be ready any time, and they should be polished.

If you need any help, feel free to reach out.

Best,
André

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Hello!

Thanks for the detailed post, that is what helps most :)

My toughts:

  1. This for sure helps, but does not guarantee anything honestly. The only thing it´s helpful with at your tenure is to ensure the CV ends in the recruiter table and gets looked at -instead of ending in the black hole of the CVs-. Nothing else.
  2. No, not at all. GMAT is only for going to business school. Period.
  3. Case-studies indeed have nothing to do with CVs. That is only step 2. Now you need to focus on:
    1. Shapping the content correctly: KPIs, impact quantification, etc.
    2. Format! PrepL has some very good templates
    3. I would suggest you that, once you have it, you can post it here sanitized to get some feedback from the community.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Thanks for the detailed post, that is what helps most :)

My toughts:

  1. This for sure helps, but does not guarantee anything honestly. The only thing it´s helpful with at your tenure is to ensure the CV ends in the recruiter table and gets looked at -instead of ending in the black hole of the CVs-. Nothing else.
  2. No, not at all. GMAT is only for going to business school. Period.
  3. Case-studies indeed have nothing to do with CVs. That is only step 2. Now you need to focus on:
    1. Shapping the content correctly: KPIs, impact quantification, etc.
    2. Format! PrepL has some very good templates
    3. I would suggest you that, once you have it, you can post it here sanitized to get some feedback from the community.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hi Clara, thank you for your answer. The reason why I am looking at GMAT is because Bain website asks for GMAT/Test Scores and considering that I was already planning for my GMAT I thought it would give me an edge. In fact, all the MBBs ask for test scores in their profile if you signup through the website. — Anonymous A on Sep 09, 2020

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Hi

I have worked in the India office and I can tell you that currently your chances are not that great if you did not go to a target school for Engineering. McKinsey only hires from the top IITs for engineering grads, sometimes they choose NITs as well but it is extremely rare.

You work in content moderation is not the type of experience that will be viewed as a big plus from an MBB perspective even though it is in FAANG - you ideally want to be doing something like software engineer at Google or Investment Banker at Goldman Sachs for a lateral move.

What are your options? I see 2 realistic options

1. Get a partner referal for an interviews - this gets you an interview....however getting in is still hard given your background

2. Go to a tartget MBA progam - IIM A, B, C, L and I or ISB Hyderabad are your best bets in India.

GMAT scores will NOT make any difference to your chances of passing a resume screen

Best,

Udayan

Hi

I have worked in the India office and I can tell you that currently your chances are not that great if you did not go to a target school for Engineering. McKinsey only hires from the top IITs for engineering grads, sometimes they choose NITs as well but it is extremely rare.

You work in content moderation is not the type of experience that will be viewed as a big plus from an MBB perspective even though it is in FAANG - you ideally want to be doing something like software engineer at Google or Investment Banker at Goldman Sachs for a lateral move.

What are your options? I see 2 realistic options

1. Get a partner referal for an interviews - this gets you an interview....however getting in is still hard given your background

2. Go to a tartget MBA progam - IIM A, B, C, L and I or ISB Hyderabad are your best bets in India.

GMAT scores will NOT make any difference to your chances of passing a resume screen

Best,

Udayan

Op here. Thanks Udayan. Is the situation same with Bain and BCG? I do know a couple of people who are working as a Research Associate at McK and they are not from either the IITs or NIT. Is it primarily the role that decides? — Anonymous A on Sep 08, 2020

If you are looking for Research Associate that is a completely different proposition. In that case you have a reasonable chance. I thought you meant BA role — Udayan on Sep 08, 2020

I am specifically looking for a BA role. Not a research associate. I was referring to your comment where you said that McK only hires from the IITs. Coming to my role at FAANG, it is technically of that as a Content Analyst, though I doubt that helps. Taking the GMAT was to off-set the non-target school box, to show reasonable quantitative skills for getting my resume past the screening round. — Anonymous A on Sep 08, 2020

Got it - in that case my first comment applies. If you want to discuss your case in more detail feel free to PM me — Udayan on Sep 08, 2020

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Hi,

the major problem with your background is that it's not relevant for MBB since it's not a business role. I would invest in getting more business operational experience.

Answering your questions:

1) Referrals definitely help. Make sure you get them

2) It will not offset the school - will add just some points. If you don't have GMAT now its definitely not worth investing in. You'll waste a lot of time and get just a minor addition to your resume

3) Case studies will not help you pass the screening. Pls see my first point re business experience

Best

Hi,

the major problem with your background is that it's not relevant for MBB since it's not a business role. I would invest in getting more business operational experience.

Answering your questions:

1) Referrals definitely help. Make sure you get them

2) It will not offset the school - will add just some points. If you don't have GMAT now its definitely not worth investing in. You'll waste a lot of time and get just a minor addition to your resume

3) Case studies will not help you pass the screening. Pls see my first point re business experience

Best

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  1. If you have referrals, you've already done the most you can networking-wise!
  2. No, not worth it
  3. (3A) A strong resume! (Duh :). How?
    1. Cut any unecessary information (less can be more)
    2. Make sure you're concise with your experience bullets (short and sharp)
    3. Have strong trigger words/verbs. Make sure to highlight key things you've done
    4. Include value/impact statements
    5. Don't forget to show your skills/languages!
  4. (3B) Make sure to nail the HR screening! Have the following prepared
    1. Why MBB
    2. Why Consulting
    3. Resume walkthrough
  1. If you have referrals, you've already done the most you can networking-wise!
  2. No, not worth it
  3. (3A) A strong resume! (Duh :). How?
    1. Cut any unecessary information (less can be more)
    2. Make sure you're concise with your experience bullets (short and sharp)
    3. Have strong trigger words/verbs. Make sure to highlight key things you've done
    4. Include value/impact statements
    5. Don't forget to show your skills/languages!
  4. (3B) Make sure to nail the HR screening! Have the following prepared
    1. Why MBB
    2. Why Consulting
    3. Resume walkthrough
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Hi,
1. this is great. Very important to accelerate the process, especially in this period
2. no. I would not lose time in it if you do not have in plan to join an MBA soon
3. one-page CV, synthetic, top-down, with major KPIs highlighted, and with clear evidence of your leadership/international/entrepreneurial experience

Best,
Antonello

Hi,
1. this is great. Very important to accelerate the process, especially in this period
2. no. I would not lose time in it if you do not have in plan to join an MBA soon
3. one-page CV, synthetic, top-down, with major KPIs highlighted, and with clear evidence of your leadership/international/entrepreneurial experience

Best,
Antonello

The reason why I am looking at GMAT is because Bain website asks for GMAT/Test Scores and considering that I was already planning for my GMAT I thought it would give me an edge. In fact, all the MBBs ask for test scores in their profile if you signup through the website — Anonymous A on Sep 09, 2020

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Hi there,

As Vlad and Udayan mentioned, your profile is not the standard one for the BA position. You may still be able to get invitations, but it is not likely unless you get a referral from a senior position (partner level).

In terms of your question:

  1. That’s great, however given your profile I would recommend to have a referral from a senior position. If you haven’t found one yet, you can find more on referrals here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176
  2. A great GMAT score is not going to offset the lack of target school. I would prepare it only if you are targeting an MBA anyway later
  3. The #1 thing to work on in your case would be a partner referral. An excellent CV and possibly a great Cover would also help

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

As Vlad and Udayan mentioned, your profile is not the standard one for the BA position. You may still be able to get invitations, but it is not likely unless you get a referral from a senior position (partner level).

In terms of your question:

  1. That’s great, however given your profile I would recommend to have a referral from a senior position. If you haven’t found one yet, you can find more on referrals here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176
  2. A great GMAT score is not going to offset the lack of target school. I would prepare it only if you are targeting an MBA anyway later
  3. The #1 thing to work on in your case would be a partner referral. An excellent CV and possibly a great Cover would also help

Best,

Francesco

Hi Francesco. Thank you for your input. WRT point 2, Bain and BCG in their candidate profile asks for test scores. I thought having a higher test score provides some extra points for me. — Anonymous A on Sep 09, 2020

Hi there, a good GMAT score is indeed going to provide some points, however it cannot compensate for the lack of target school. Given the amount of time required to get a great GMAT score, I believe you would be better off concentrating on finding high-level referrals. Best — Francesco on Sep 09, 2020

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