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Invited to McKinsey and BCG with average grades

Anonymous A asked on Sep 11, 2018 - 4 answers

Hello all!

I must admit I did not expect to get invited to any big strategy consultancy since my grades are average. I do attend a target school, though, and have professional experiences at prestigious firms in the producing industry as well as some extracurricular achievements to brag with. But academically, I was never top of class. Therefore, I'm surprised and wondering about my actual chances to get in...

So, my question:

Will my grades be held against me during/after the interviews when I perform well in the actual interviews? Are grades a factor that are debated still after interviews?

Thanks in advance!

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Egor
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replied on Sep 11, 2018
McKinsey/Actionable feedback/Harvard University/Warwick Business School
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Hi A,

Congratulations! Nobody cares about your grades, when you are invited.
Make sure you are well-prepared for the upcoming tests: PST and BCG Potential.

The only thing, which interviewers may draw attention to is your test results. If they have any concerns after the interview, they may ask for your test grade.

Be prepared to show that you are distinctive in terms of extracurrucular activities for a fit-part.

All the best,

Egor

Vlad
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replied on Sep 11, 2018
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Hi,

The grades are important only during the resume screening. Once you are invited - it does not matter that much. There is still a chance that the interview will notice your grades and ask you about them. So you should have a great explanation why it happened (e.g. you were doing sports / startups / etc in parallel).

You can compensate the bad grades with other achievements:

  1. Launching your own venture and entrepreneurial activities (even failing them is fine)
  2. Grants / scholarships - even better if related to some research or entrepreneurial projects
  3. Projects for companies - you may consider doing a free project for the company or a startup or writing a case that future grads will use
  4. Volunteer / social activities. I would aim at the activities where you can have a leadership role. Organizing some club may work as well.
  5. Case Competitions-especially the ones organized by your target company
  6. Researches / articles published in well-known sources

I would try to go deep rather than broad. It's good to have something that you can put as a part-time job in your resume rather than just a bullet point. It will also give you great stories for the FIT part of the interview.

Best,

Anonymous B replied on Sep 11, 2018

Congrats, that's amazing! Did you have a referral or apply by yourself? My grades are fairly average as well (I live in Germany) and that has been a concern of mine. Great work! Let us know how the interviews go :)

Usman Amjed replied on Sep 11, 2018

Hi,

As someone who has talked to alot of consultants and HR at my school fairs etc., I can assure you that the decision is only dependent on your performance in the case interview section. As soon as you enter that door to the interview room, you can forget about your grades. Everyone who is interviewing is at an equal footing.

Grades, acheivements etc. are only there to screen for bright applicants and to bring them in for interviews. Thats it.

Best of luck with your interviews.

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