Ex-Bain consultant who cracked interviews at McK, BCG, Bain
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Not a Level Playing Field

Anonymous A

Dear all,

I graduated from one of the Top 5 universities in the UK with GPA 3.7 (undergrad) as well as a merit from my Master’s degree. I also have an advanced degree and I passed my viva without correction, which is akin to a First Class or summa cum laude). I have both extracurricular and volunteering experiences, which display my leadership abilities and interpersonal skills. I applied to both tier 1 and tier 2 consulting firms and I have been rejected. I didn't even make it to a first-round interview. In fact, one of the Tier 1 firms said they were impressed with my accomplishments but they still did not invite me for an interview. Most people I have spoken to said I need know someone inside who would refer me to the HR in order get my foot in the door. Now, my frustration is I don’t know anyone from in either Tier 1 or Tier 2 firms I applied to. All the people I tried contacting on LinkedIn have not accepted my requests and the inMails I sent are unanswered. How does someone like me get into management consulting? Or am I permanently doomed?

Thank you.

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Michal
Expert
replied on 05/10/2017
Ex-Bain consultant who cracked interviews at McK, BCG, Bain

Hi there,
You can consider trying the below:

1. Changing the wording of your LinkedIn requests. I have received plenty of those during my career at Bain, and I didn't respond to those that were very transactional, or where the person sounded entitled. I did however respond to those that were polite, respectful and enthusiastic. Wording really matters here. Also specifically look for alumni of your university working at top firms - it usually helps if they see you as a version of themselves couple of years ago.

2. Getting internships/work at some big brand name companies, not necessarily consulting. Big brands matter. You will compete against people with internships at Goldman Sachs, World Bank and Apple. Your CV must show that you have some ongoing interest in business, unless you are a genius PhD or an Olympian.

3. Meeting consultants at the events. Did you go to all recruiting events available at your uni/in London? It's the best way to meet consultants. Be aware of your behaviour there though - if you appear to transactional or a bit heavy to be around, you might harm your chances.

4. Fine-tuning your application, so that the biggest achievements stand out. Needless to say, but there is almost always work to be done on application.

I hope the above helps. You are certainly not doomed and a lot can be done with some effort and positive attitude :) But remember that it's competitive so you'll need to put more effort than others.

Best,
Michal

Anonymous B replied on 05/10/2017

Do you have any practical experience (e.g. minor consultancy firms)?

Have you ever attended workshops, case study sessions etc. in the UK from your target companies?

Anonymous B replied on 05/12/2017

hi! I would recommend to search for alumni of your university. You can search for them on LinkedIn or rather ask your lokal career service (if your university has one) and/or alumni network service to arrange a meeting for you/ get the contact details from someone.

Another approach could be to ask professors of resp. areas, ni which you had outstanding performance whether they have former students in mind who are working in mt consulting (most of them do) and if so ask them for the contact details / meeting arrangement. Maybe if you have someone from a non-consulting field who can introduce you to consultants, you possibly have a stronger start than only sending messages via LinkedIn (which is also an ok approach).

Some people just do not have such a close relationship with their LinkedIn accounts :)

(edited)

Anonymous A replied on 05/11/2017

Dear Anonymous B,

Yes, I worked in a small consultancy firm in my home country. Also, I was selected to attend the Mckinsey chat organised by the firm on campus

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