How hard is it to go from Canada to NYC?

management consulting
New answer on Jul 24, 2019
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Anonymous A asked on Jul 24, 2019

Hey guys,

First of all I've been reading preplounge for quite some and I absolutely love the content and discussions, so thank you guys for sharing so much useful knowledge.

Here's my situation, I'm starting in McGill University next Fall, studying Economics and Computer science (Double major). I'm really interested in consulting and would love to work in the field after I graduate. Although, my dream is to work in NYC in consulting and was wondering how hard is it to get an offer in NYC if you're coming from Canada.

What can I do right now to increase my chances of getting an offer after graduation?

PS: Sorry for any grammar mistakes, my mother tongue isn't English:)

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Content Creator
replied on Jul 24, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Several problem here:

  • You don't have a work permit (H1B visa) in NY and you can only apply for it once a year in April. It's also a lottery so you'll have only 30% chance to get it
  • As I understand you are not an MBA student and you don't have an internship (and MBB recruiters on campus) as part of your program
  • NY is the most competitive office and it's close to impossible to get into, especially for foreigners (NJ might be an option though)

All in all, I recommend either getting to MBB in Canada and then make a transfer or do your MBA in the US


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Anonymous replied on Jul 24, 2019

Hi there,

When you said that you are just starting at McGill, I am assuming that you are a freshman college student now? To be honest, it is a bit early to think about this, since your plan may change dramatically once you start school. Maybe after one year, your will be interested in becoming a software engineer in a startup in Silicon Valley.

Coming back to your question, it would be difficult if you have no former experience living in NYC or have other ties with the city. Think about the competition you will face - local NYC students graduating from schools like Columbia and NYU, students from nearby schools like UPenn/Wharton and students across the States who, like you, consider doing consulting in NYC as their dream. The question is what uniquely can you bring to the table to make those firms want you, in NYC?

If you really want to go, you should spend your four years doing following things (whichever is applicable):

  • Live in New York or at least visit there. See if you can get into some exchange program and study there for a bit.
  • Get to know people in the consulting industry, who ideally are based in New York. It will be very helpful if you can get a referral from them when it's time for you to apply.
  • Just do well in school. Get a good GPA. Participate in clubs, take on some leadership positions, etc.

There are also two options that you should consider. It will be a bit of a detour, but will more likely get you there.

  • Get into consulting in Canada (say, Toront), and then do an office transfer
  • Get a job in NYC first, and then switch to consulting
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McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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