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Is a dual studies degree sufficient to enter consulting?

Anonymous A asked on Jan 26, 2018

Hi experts & community! It would be great to get some help on my situation. I am currently doing my dual studies in Germany. If you are not familiar with the dual system, it consists of both working for a company (in my case automotive) and studying (business administration). It includes both periods of full time work and then studies with exams. My dream is to enter consulting industry one day, but I am not sure if I can compete with candidates from "real" universities. Do I have to do a master? Can I apply for an internship during a gap semester? What would you recommend me to do? Any help or experience appreciated!

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Francesco replied on Jan 28, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

the elements used for screening for consulting interviews are normally the following (in order of priority):

  1. University reputation
  2. Degree
  3. Academic performance
  4. Work experience
  5. Extracurricular activities
  6. Experience abroad

Thus so far that your university has a good reputation and you have good academic performance, there would not be issues with a consulting career. As for your questions:

Do I have to do a master?

That’s a country specific topic. I am not familiar with the German education system, in Italy you would need a Master to be considered for consulting positions full time; in other geographies that’s not required. You can easily verify that looking at the alumni of your university on LinkedIn who worked in consulting and verify if they have indeed a master.

Can I apply for an internship during a gap semester?

From what I know that’s feasible, provided you satisfy the requirements mentioned above.

Best,
Francesco

Andrea
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replied on Jan 27, 2018
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Asked a friend of mine at BCG in Germany. General answer is no. But as in every case there are exceptions.

What he said is the following: "If the person has an Fachhochschulen degree chances are slim to get the interview. We usually grant an interview only if they go to one of the top 3 in the country for the field he is specializing in and only if their grades are top 5% of the class. However after a few year of full time employment in a business function in a leading company, chances become much better (for an interview)"

Hope it helps!

Andrea

Vlad replied on Jan 27, 2018
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Hi,

I am not 100% familiar with the system but I have several recommendations:

  1. I met the candidates with dual studies in Germany who made an internship during the gap semester. I strongly recommend doing that. You can call McKinsey office and check the deadlines with them
  2. Your work experience is a competitive advantage. Consulting companies like it as much as education. And it is I strongly recommend leveraging your work experience in your cover letter, stories, etc.
  3. I recommend to check about dual studies with McKinsey HR, but one way to mitigate the negative effect if it exists is to get a reference. I provided some recommendations on how to get a reference here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-is-a-referral-really-1103#a2129

Best of luck!