How to get an interview with MBB from a non target school

New answer on Feb 28, 2021
5 Answers
2.1 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Apr 23, 2019


I recently graduated from a top public university, I had a high GPA (3.83), D1 basketball player, excellent internships in managment consulting and banking as well as school involvement. However, I have no connections to consulting, I have tried using LinkedIn to network, but without having a luke warm connection I can't get any ground in creating a relationship with employees of the company for referrals (also applying cold hasn't worked). As I dont feel like I deserve a job, I have worked extremely hard to earn an at least a phone interview and was wondering if anyone had any tips to get recognized from a top teir consulting firm?

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
replied on Apr 25, 2019
BCG | Kellogg MBA |82% Success rate| 450+ case interview| 5+ year consulting | 30+ projects in ~10 countries

Hi there,

It is great that you have very well background. I would highly suggest you to do your networking by reaching consultants/recruiters from those companies. I am happy to provide you a template you can use as a reference for your emails/LinkedIn messages for your networking. Please feel free to reach me.


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Apr 27, 2019
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

first of all, you should not use LinkedIn to network – it is definitely not the best way to obtain referrals.

To be able to find a referral, I would suggest going through the following three-step approach:

1. Identify who are the people that 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 tools nowadays that allow to find very quickly the email of basically anyone. 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. You can also discover relevant information with 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 indirect way to avoid to be too pushy) a referral at the end of the call. If you correctly introduce yourself, do a good job with the questions before and have something in common (eg former alumni, common connections…), you can increase by a relevant amount the likelihood of a referral. If you don’t ask, they may not volunteer to offer one.

Before the call, it would be useful to review your CV and Cover, to be sure they are updated and structured properly for your MBB application, so that you can forward them without delays if needed.

If you are interested to know more about the exact steps to maximize conversion for referrals, please feel free to PM me.



Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Apr 23, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


There are multiple ways:

  1. Apply directly - who knows, maybe it'll work for you. Make sure you are applying to the least competitive offices (e.g. Midwest)
  2. Apply to BIG4, F500 companies and reapply to MBB in a couple of years
  3. Do an MBA


Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on May 15, 2020

Dear A ,

I would strongly recommend you to get a referral and network with either former or existing consultancy of these firms6 so that they can recommend you internally.

Hope it helps,

Good luck.

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Feb 28, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

Try to find the consultants in LinkedIn and contact them. Don’t ask directly about a referral. I would recommend you to reach out on LinkedIn and try to get a call. Try to find something in common and mention it correctly. Learning a LinkedIn profile will help you with this.

I can also recommend you attend different specific events, breakfast networking, and speaking engagements to build a good network and connections. Also, you can try to ask your peers if they are aware of such events

Do you need any further help?

All the best,


Was this answer helpful?