How to land a Summer Internship at MBBs coming from a non target school?

and Bain Bain BCG McKinsey Summer Internship
New answer on Jun 09, 2020
7 Answers
1.4 k Views
Gaurav Agrawal asked on Jun 06, 2020

Hello everyone, I will be joining the WP Carey school of Business for a full time MBA in Fall 2020.

I am really interested to land a Summer Internship consulting role at one of the MBB firms which is also one of the major ways to get a full time role at these awesome consulting firms. I do not have prior consulting experience as I have worked in corporate and retail banking for the past 3.5 years.

Is it realistic to aim for summer internship roles at MBBs given that I would be in a non target school?

I have also come to know that it is essential to network in order to push your resume to the top of a stockpile of resumes which these companies obtain through their portals.

It would be great if you could guide me regarding-

1) Effective networking approaches

2) Structured way of preparing for case interviews - any essential books and other sources and how to proceed in studying and practicing from them.

3) Preparation for FIT interviews


Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Content Creator
replied on Jun 06, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Gaurav,

you can find more on referrals at the following link:

In terms of preparation, I would recommend the following:

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Check if there is any deadline for the applications. Then identify how many hours you have before that and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below. Many people need 100+ hours to be ready before the interview so you can keep that as a benchmark
  2. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books though, as they are not good enough nowadays.
  3. Start reading good MBA Consulting Handbooks – you can find several for free online (Insead is a good one to start). Read the cases and try to apply your structure to solve them. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insides. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb better the information with constant learning.
  4. After the first 5-10 cases in books/handbooks and basic theory, start to practice live. PrepLounge can be helpful to connect with other candidates for that. There is a relevant part of the interview score that is based on your communication, which you cannot practice at all if you read cases only. Keep track of your mistakes and see if you repeat them. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback of experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both the behavioural part and the case part. The case part should also cover market sizing, mental math and graph analysis.
  5. Before your application, be sure to review your CV and Cover, so that they are in the required format for a consulting application
  6. At least three weeks before the application deadline, start networking to find referrals for your target companies.
  7. Once you feel you are not improving anymore, if you have a tight time constraint or if you want a realistic assessment of your level, consider using support from experts to strengthen your performance
  8. Before the interviews, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer –great way to show you prepared in advance and to connect with the interviewer for a good final impression.



Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Jun 06, 2020

Hi Gaurav,

It is possible to land a summer internship at MBBs from a non-target school if you prepare a CV and cover letter that can clearly show strong business qualities (fast career progression, ability to deliver impact and impressive results, entrepreneurial spirit)

Also, you are correct, having a referral will significantly improve your chances of landing an interview. To secure a referral, you will need to slowly and steadily build rapport with existing or ex-consultants that could eventually vouch for your abilities. (don't rush to send a Linkedin message to 100 consultants asking for a CV review and a referral on the spot, it won't work) - check with your university's alumni

Regarding the networking approaches, structuring cases, and preparing FIT interviews...that's quite a lot to be answered in a single post, unfortunately - that requires weeks/months of training.

I would recommend the following:

  • If you just starting preparing for consulting: Start by understanding what case interviews are about (victor Cheng and case in point)
  • Reach out to your university's consulting club and become an active member (weekly practicing and try to reach out to MBB/tier-2 offices to organize consulting will help you build a network)
  • Reach out to the preplounge community and coaches for tips/sessions to take your case preparation to the next level

I hope this helps.


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
updated an answer on Jun 07, 2020
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

Hi Gaurav,

Your question specifically asked if it is realistic to prepare for a role at MBB. The truth is that getting an internship from a non-target school especially during uncertain times is very difficult. What that means is that you would have to work much harder than those from a top 10 program and be okay with a low probability of success. I think it is better to be prepared for this beforehand.

Here are some things you can do to improve your chances

1. Network network network - especially with alumni from your MBA school at the firms you want to work in. The number 1 thing that will get your foot in the door is a referral and that requires a lot of time and effort

2. Apply to local offices only - stick to the local offices who would be more familiar with your school vs applying to locations such as Bay Area or NYC

3. Over-prepare - it is harder for you to get in so the pressure is higher and so is the bar. The best thing to do is to be immaculately prepared for the interviews

For preparation

1. Case interviews - definitely look at the popular books like case in point to start, also consider some online programs such as RocketBlocks and LOMS. Once you are ready I would advise you to prepare using a coach as well to ensure you are well prepared

2. PEI - lots of great resources mentioned here. The main point about PEI is to have the right stories selected, to be structured in your answers and to be engaging and present in the conversations

All the best,



Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Jun 08, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


To add on top of what´s been shared, try for sure the networking/recruiting events from each MBB.

For instance, in my case, I attended the McKinsey Atrévete in Spain, where 24 students where invited, and many (like me) had diverse profiles.

Hope it helps!



Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Jun 09, 2020

Dear Gaurav,

Yes, it's possible.

1. Regarding networking. I would recommend you to apply through referrals. It will maximize your chances significantly. interview. You may compare it to “skipping the line for business
class” at the airport.

2. Regarding the preparation algorythm, I would recommend you the following one:

1) Check the requirements and application details.

2)Start your preparation with reading Case In Point by Cosentino for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is.

3) Start learning and practicing the cases. Some you can find in Case Library and practice it with your partner or experience coach.

4)Purchase and read Viktor Cheng Book (Amazon Kindle store) and listen to LOMS

5)Once you feel you are not improving anymore, I would recommend you to take an expert coach for structured feedback and polishing your own performance.

3. Regarding the FIT questions, all the fit questions are quite similar in the firms. Usually there are:

* Tell me about yourself (Walk me through your resume)
* Why consulting
* Why this company (MBB)
* The story about leadership (How you've taken an initiative and led the people
to achieve something)
* The story about Personal Impact (How you persuaded people)
* Entrepreneurial Drive (Innovative solutions that you are proud of most)
* Your questions to the interviewer

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



Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Jun 08, 2020


I totally agree on what has been answered on your question #1.

To prepare for interviews (questions #2 & #3), I think it's usefull to know what intervierwers are looking for. Please find below a slide I've made on this topic.

Happy to further discuss the preparation if needed.


consulting interview parts

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco gave the best answer


Content Creator
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching
Q&A Upvotes
1618 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely