I applied to multiple consulting firms and always got rejected pre-interview bc I don't have big brand names on my cv.

Application application process Career Advising MBB
Edited on Sep 05, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 21, 2019

After college, where I obtained a 1-year master's degree in the UK, I pursued an entrepreneurial road and worked on multiple projects. While my CV overall looks good (good education, grades, international experience etc.), I do lack big brand names/office experience.

I recently joined a startup (about 50 people work there) in BD and can possibly switch to a more strategic role within the company in a few months.

However, I'm wondering what my best approach would be considering that my goal is still management consulting.

I also applied to a few smaller consulting firms. I haven't heard back from them yet.

Assuming that the smaller firms might also reject me, from what I see so far, my only option would be to try to get into a good MBA program and try to get a big name internship while doing my MBA. Would that be my best/only option?

Thank you for your advice!

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Content Creator
replied on Sep 21, 2019
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

big brands are indeed useful to stand out in the application phase, however there are some ways to compensate for their absence:

  1. Ask to an experienced friend/current consultant/ expert to review your CV/Cover. There may be improvements that can help you to stand out
  2. Find a referral for your application. This is the single most powerful thing you can do to get an invitation. You can find some tips here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

Hope this helps,

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Content Creator
updated an answer on Sep 05, 2021
Former BCG | Case author for efellows book | Experience in 6 consultancies (Stern Stewart, Capgemini, KPMG, VW Con., Hor


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Content Creator
replied on Nov 20, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

Feel free to send me your CV, I will check it as it's very hard to say something without assessing it.

All the best,


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Content Creator
replied on Oct 02, 2019
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

MBA would help a lot, especially from a top 10 program in the US. Consulting firms recruit from multiple offices here and there is a very good chance you will get in.

Given the really high costs involved, it is also worth asking why consulting. Sometimes it may not be worth it in the long run as given your interest in smaller more entreprenurial firms, there may be other routes to get to your longer term goal outside of consulting and an MBA

Of course as Vlad points out there is always the option of a referral. A referral from a partner more or less guarantees an interview at least but you still would have to compete with all others that have the strong brand names on their resume.

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Content Creator
replied on Sep 22, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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Francesco gave the best answer


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#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching
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