Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 455,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

Rejected from MBB (In Resume Rounds) After Preparing So Much? What do I do next?

Big4 Finance MBB
New answer on Dec 01, 2023
7 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Aug 27, 2023

Hi All,

I'm a Senior (Econ major, 3.7 gpa) at T15 university studying in the United States. I'm also an international student.

So for my Junior summer I worked at a bulge-bracket bank (think MS/JPM/GS) and also did a lot of Consulting case prep in my Junior year before the Summer. Over this summer I applied to MBB for Full-time consulting roles (and I had networked a good amount for their NJ/DC/CT offices), but I was rejected from all 3 firms in the resume rounds itself (so not even round 1 interview rejection). I was pretty bummed out to see all the upfront prep & networking I did go to waste, as I didn't get to even show my casing skills in any interviews.

PwC and EYP aren't hiring Full-time roles (they're only hiring interns) given the job market. I didn't get a return offer from my Bank and now my Consulting plans have also fallen-through.

I don't know any other consulting firms that sponsor international students other than MBB, EYP, PwC (let me know if you know any?)

Is my consulting dream over? Is all that hard work I did a massive waste now? Can I still re-recruit without having to do an MBA (e.g. lateral hire while working in a different industry for the first year out of undegrad)?


Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Content Creator
replied on Dec 01, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Apply to the other 100 consulting firms out there!

And then re-apply to MBB in a year.

Life is long…plenty of time to get to the “destination” :)

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Aug 28, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer


Sorry to hear about your rejection and situation. However if consulting is really something you dream of breaking into, that dream is definitely not over. 

Here are a couple of steps you could take:

  • Apply for other T2/boutique firms 
    • I know that sponsorship is a question - but consider applying to other T2s first since your application is already done
    •  e.g. for Kearney, in the past I know they have sponsored international students
    • You could also take the ‘do first ask later’ approach, and then figure out the likelihood of sponsorship after you land an interview/secure an offer
  • Work for a while before applying to MBB
    • Lateral hiring is getting more common nowadays, so this is definitely doable and possible
  • Work for a while, then get into a top MBA program and recruit for MBB
    • This is yet another path to get into MBB and in addition the MBA would be an amazing experience

I know you feel defeated and disappointed now - but take the long term view. If you look at the profiles of people who end up staying the longest (i.e. becoming a partner) in consulting, there isn't one specific profile

  • There are those who join right out of college and stay all the way 
  • But there are also many that join ‘later’ (i.e. post-MBA, lateral hires) and end up staying a long time too

All the best!


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Aug 27, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there!

Sorry to hear about your context. 

Sometimes, you can do all the right things and still fail.

Let's look though at what you could STILL do:

1. Apply outside of the US (basically apply in the geography from which you originate). You could then transfer back to the US in around 2 years time considering that you did your education there.

2. Apply to smaller consulting firms in the US. Do the interviews with them. Get the offer. And HOPE that they will sponsor your visa application. Smaller chances but still worth it. You have nothing to lose at this point. 

3. Branch out with applications in other industries if your primary plan is to stay in the US. Pick an industry / role that shares a similar skillset with consulting. This will make a later move easier when the market recovers. 

Regardless of how things go, the most important thing to remember is that as long as you plan the long term game and yo play it well, you will always win. Just make sure that you stay in it for long enough. 



Practicing for interviews? Check out my latest case based on a first-round MBB interview >>> SoyTechnologies  

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous A on Aug 27, 2023

I will definitely look into careers with similar skillsets so that I can re-recruit for MBB in one year. However, does MBB take people who have graduated (and have started and are doing their first job) but haven't done an MBA (aka you're literally <1 or <2 years out of your undergrad)? Or is my next chance to recruit now purely through an MBA (aka once you graduate from undergrad you cant recruit for MBB anymore) Moreover, any thoughts on which small consulting firms might be more likely to sponsor? I'm also looking into Strategy/Management Consulting rather than like Tech/Pharma consulting so wondering if there any boutiques in those areas

Cristian on Aug 27, 2023

Yes, MBB do take people with little work experience and without an MBA. I've actually had several candidates in this situation. MBAs are by no means a must.

Content Creator
replied on Aug 28, 2023
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

I'm sorry to hear that. It sounds like a series of unfortunate events. But even in good market conditions, the consulting recruiting process is pretty cut-throat. Networking is definitely good, but try to secure a referral if you can. That will tremendously increase your chances of at least getting a first round interview.

I don't want to repeat what other people have already written here so I keep it brief. Don't give up if a career in consulting is your desired path. It's a numbers game so apply broadly. Also, Roland Berger in the US typically sponsor international candidates if they are interested in hiring them.

Best of luck

Was this answer helpful?
replied on Aug 29, 2023
Top-Ranked Coach on PrepLounge for 3 years| 6+ years of coaching


If you want to go into consulting, there’s absolutely no need to give up now – the dream does not have to be over yet!

First, see if any other firms sponsor internationals. For instance, in the past I believe that Strategy& and Innosight sponsored.

Second, you can always re-apply after a year, without doing an MBA. Many people go into consulting after working for 1 year elsewhere post-undergrad – I had several colleagues at McK who came in after 1 year in finance, for instance. 

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Aug 28, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the rejections. In terms of your questions:

1) Is my consulting dream over? 

Not yet! You can (i) apply to other companies that accept international students (if possible I would check with their HR/an insider for that) or (ii) apply in your home country for the companies you haven’t applied for, in case that might be an option.

I would recommend having someone check your CV before the next round of applications. If you had a referral most likely there are some improvements there, given you did not reach the first round.

2) Can I still re-recruit without having to do an MBA (e.g. lateral hire while working in a different industry for the first year out of undegrad)?

Yes, you can apply again after the ban period without issues before an MBA.

Good luck!


Was this answer helpful?
replied on Aug 27, 2023
BCG 1st & Final Round interviewer | Personalized prep with >95% success rate | 7yrs coaching | #1 for Experienced Hires

Hi there,

sorry to hear that your recruiting experience so far is not YET what you have expected. 

Rest assured that with the profile you described, you will be getting plenty more opportunity to interview with some of the top firms - the consulting dream is by no means over. Reality is that this year, recruiting is quite tight in the US, given the macro-economic situation. That said, encourage you to stay persistent, then opportunities will come. It's just a matter of time.

In order to give some more tangible help, feel free to share your CV via DM - happy to take a quick look and help you identify why you may have struggled to pass screening and what the right next steps can look like.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Andi

Was this answer helpful?
Ian gave the best answer


Content Creator
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate
Q&A Upvotes
151 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!