I wrote my master thesis under the supervision of a MBB consultant in her educational leave. It worked out well and she offered to forward my application. Besides her I had no contact to the company before.
I usually start my cover letter with 'why this company' and outline any previous experiences I had with them. However, in this case I believe talking about the company's employees and culture is a little far-fetched based on this one person I know.
Do you have any recommendation on how to start? Also, what are you thought on name-dropping (also knowing that my supervisor will read the cover letter)?