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How do you get a referral at the Big 3 firms?

Hello Community,

I was wondering if you can give me some advice with regards to getting a referral at the Big 3 firms. How do I go about approching the current consultants at these companies? I don't have any contacts in the industry. I may have a 2nd or 3rd level contacts through linkedin.

If you can share your experiences or have had success meeting some of the current consultants before applying for a position I would really appreciate your insight and tips.

Thanks

Ashvin

Hello Community,

I was wondering if you can give me some advice with regards to getting a referral at the Big 3 firms. How do I go about approching the current consultants at these companies? I don't have any contacts in the industry. I may have a 2nd or 3rd level contacts through linkedin.

If you can share your experiences or have had success meeting some of the current consultants before applying for a position I would really appreciate your insight and tips.

Thanks

Ashvin

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Hi,

Here are some tips:

1) Leverage your own network - find friends or friends of friends who can practice cases with you or make you a reference. This definitely the most efficient way

2) If you are an MBA graduate - 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.

3) Attend company events. Consulting companies do a lot of events both for graduates and experienced hires. Subscribe to newsletters, web groups, etc., and stay tuned. While some of the events will be open to everyone, others will require a resume and a cover letter, so make sure to prep.

Talk to people at the events and send Thank You notes:

  1. Have in mind interesting questions to ask. Skip the boring / negative ones are career growth or work hours. Ask the smart questions about different industries and the future of the consulting
  2. Do a lot of networking after the event during Q&A sessions
  3. If you want to keep in touch - send a thank you note after the event (e-mail if they left it or linkedin):
  • "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.

4) Approach people on LinkedIn asking for an advice. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to find the people with similar backgrounds / lifepaths / schools and 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. 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

Good luck!

Hi,

Here are some tips:

1) Leverage your own network - find friends or friends of friends who can practice cases with you or make you a reference. This definitely the most efficient way

2) If you are an MBA graduate - 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.

3) Attend company events. Consulting companies do a lot of events both for graduates and experienced hires. Subscribe to newsletters, web groups, etc., and stay tuned. While some of the events will be open to everyone, others will require a resume and a cover letter, so make sure to prep.

Talk to people at the events and send Thank You notes:

  1. Have in mind interesting questions to ask. Skip the boring / negative ones are career growth or work hours. Ask the smart questions about different industries and the future of the consulting
  2. Do a lot of networking after the event during Q&A sessions
  3. If you want to keep in touch - send a thank you note after the event (e-mail if they left it or linkedin):
  • "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.

4) Approach people on LinkedIn asking for an advice. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to find the people with similar backgrounds / lifepaths / schools and 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. 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

Good luck!

(edited)

Hi Ashwin,

Reach out to 2nd or 3rd connections you have on linkedin starting from those you have something in common with (same schools, former employers, etc.) or ask mutual connections to make an introduction for you.

All the best!

Hi Ashwin,

Reach out to 2nd or 3rd connections you have on linkedin starting from those you have something in common with (same schools, former employers, etc.) or ask mutual connections to make an introduction for you.

All the best!

Originally answered:

MBB referral

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Hi Anonymous,

you don’t necessarily need to contact partners to get referrals. Principals or project leaders would work well if you have 4 years of experience only - in this way you can get an equivalent good referral and higher conversion rate of your email.

Since you do not have any current direct contacts in the firms you are interested in, I would suggest following the following three-step approach:

1. Identify who are the people who can more easily help you

2. Write them a customized email

3. Have a call with the consultant, and indirectly ask for a referral

As general tips:

  • Don’t use LinkedIn for your communication – emails work a lot better. There are several tool nowadays that allow to get very quickly the email of someone. You should target at least 30% conversion for your messages – if you are not achieving that there is space for improvement in your message.
  • When you write to your target connections, your goal should not be to ask questions, rather to organize a call. Then in the call you should ask the right questions to create a link with them.
  • Whatever questions you ask during the call, you should have a closing question to ask (indirectly) for the referral. Don’t leave that to chances.

You should prepare three main things before the call:

  • Your own pitch, highlighting who you are in 3-4 key sentences. Previous /experience with relevant brands/companies would be great to show you are qualified
  • 3-4 questions, focused on the personal experiences of the person (and not on the company only). Ideally you should try to learn as much as possible about the contact before. Relevant information will come out also from the first questions. Your goal here is to have a conversation and not a Q&A session.
  • Closing question for referral. You should ask (in an indirectly way to avoid to be too pushy) for a referral at the end of the call. If you did a good job with the questions before and you have something in common (eg former alumni, common connections…) the consultants will likely offer to refer you. If you don’t ask for a referral, they may not volunteer to offer one. When you organize such calls, the consultants knows you are having the call because you are interested in a referral, and since they accepted to have it, if you perform well and ask indirectly you can definitely receive one.

Please feel free to private message me if you have more questions.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

you don’t necessarily need to contact partners to get referrals. Principals or project leaders would work well if you have 4 years of experience only - in this way you can get an equivalent good referral and higher conversion rate of your email.

Since you do not have any current direct contacts in the firms you are interested in, I would suggest following the following three-step approach:

1. Identify who are the people who can more easily help you

2. Write them a customized email

3. Have a call with the consultant, and indirectly ask for a referral

As general tips:

  • Don’t use LinkedIn for your communication – emails work a lot better. There are several tool nowadays that allow to get very quickly the email of someone. You should target at least 30% conversion for your messages – if you are not achieving that there is space for improvement in your message.
  • When you write to your target connections, your goal should not be to ask questions, rather to organize a call. Then in the call you should ask the right questions to create a link with them.
  • Whatever questions you ask during the call, you should have a closing question to ask (indirectly) for the referral. Don’t leave that to chances.

You should prepare three main things before the call:

  • Your own pitch, highlighting who you are in 3-4 key sentences. Previous /experience with relevant brands/companies would be great to show you are qualified
  • 3-4 questions, focused on the personal experiences of the person (and not on the company only). Ideally you should try to learn as much as possible about the contact before. Relevant information will come out also from the first questions. Your goal here is to have a conversation and not a Q&A session.
  • Closing question for referral. You should ask (in an indirectly way to avoid to be too pushy) for a referral at the end of the call. If you did a good job with the questions before and you have something in common (eg former alumni, common connections…) the consultants will likely offer to refer you. If you don’t ask for a referral, they may not volunteer to offer one. When you organize such calls, the consultants knows you are having the call because you are interested in a referral, and since they accepted to have it, if you perform well and ask indirectly you can definitely receive one.

Please feel free to private message me if you have more questions.

Best,

Francesco

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