Unusual situation to get into consulting

Undergraduate
New answer on Dec 30, 2020
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 24, 2020

Hi,

I received a BS in a life sciences degree from a fairly top state school in southern US back in 2019. Initially, I planned to go to med school, but my plans fell through and no longer wish to pursue it. I recently read up about consulting and am extremely interested in getting in. However, I am no longer at the university but working. How would I go about getting an interview at Deloitte or BCG? I have 0 business background on my belt. I do have plenty of research publications from my undergrad lab along with the traditional premed experiences like volunteering, teaching, etc.

Additionally, I am planning to return back to school this coming spring to pursue a post bacc in chemical engineering degree. If I go back to school, will consulting firms see me as "reset" to undergrad and not hold any prejudice against my older age (in this case, I will be applying when I'm 26 y/o for a business analyst position, as opposed to traditional undergrads applying when they are 21 y/o)?

Thank you!

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 24, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

A medical background is not unusual and I would consider it as your strong point. However, the BS degree is not enough.

In your case I think two things might help:

  1. Getting a medical grad school (not sure how it works and how many years with medical). Might help, but not guaranteed since grad education is still not an experienced hire
  2. Getting a PhD - much better option since MBAs love PhDs
  3. Getting an MBA - probably the most viable option
  4. Getting into Pharma / Biotech, and then switching to consulting in a couple years

good luck!

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Adi
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replied on Nov 24, 2020
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

There is nothing unsual about your background and desire to get into consulting. In fact, Consulting firms equally value such diverse backgrounds and experiences.

I strongly feel more education at this stage won't add much unless there is some other compelling reason you have. Continue to work and make your switch-to-consulting plan. Make a killer CV and apply through referrals. Create a strong story to tell when you network with people and also during interviews- there are plenty of tips and material for all of these on PrepLounge and also in the Q&A forum. Feel free to send me a personal message if you want to discuss more.

In terms of starting as a BA/Analyst, absolutely no problem! Thats the right thing to do and you must learn the game from start. No one will hold anything against you in terms of age, education etc- thats illegal. As long as you are totally convinced yourself and have a good story to tell in interviews you will be fine. Its your story and its all about you at this stage.

Good luck!

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Francesco
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replied on Nov 24, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

There are three main things you need to be invited for interviews:

  • A great CV
  • A great Cover
  • A referral – the more senior the person the better

Your weak point from what you said is your lack of relevant work experience. It would be great if you could have some experience (even part-time or not paid) before you apply.

You can find more on referrals here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

If you are targeting consulting, you won’t need additional education at this stage. However it could make sense to do that in the following situation:

  • The Uni is prestigious and gives you a brand in the CV and a network of Alumni to leverage that you don't have now
  • You want to do the extra studies for your own interest, regardless of how useful it could be for a job
  • You don’t have any better alternative

If that's not the case, I would keep as 1st option applying before the next deadline in your target office via referral and leave further studies as a backup plan only.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Antonello
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replied on Dec 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, I confirm non-standard backgrounds are currently highly appreciated by consulting firms. Feel free to text me for quick feedback about how to approach these firms and leverage your profile

Best

Antonello

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Ian
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replied on Nov 24, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I don't see your additioanl degree helping you in any particular fashion to get into consulting.

Rather, where you should really focus your efforts is networking. Look to have calls with a range of people at your target firms...ultimately you're hoping they send your resume through to HR and/or refer you directly.

On a related note, make sure your resume is in top shape and is tailored to consulting (i.e. you highlight key traits/skills that you'll need in consulting such as client management, project management, problem-solving, rapid learning, etc. etc.)

Good luck!

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Gaurav
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replied on Nov 24, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

If you are really motivated, then nothing is impossible.

As other experts mentiones you can start to work on your CV, CL and networking in order to get referrals.

Also, I would recommend you to start your path to consulting through internships and put your efforts their.

If you need any further help on how to align you application and preparation process, drop me a line and I'm happy to help you

Cheers,

GB

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Anonymous replied on Nov 24, 2020

Hi,

Your background is not unusual in consulting firms. To get interview I do not think that another degeree will add that much value.

I would focus my effort on polising your CV and network to get referral from your target firm. Also do not forget to polish your case interview skill, in the end that what's matter most.

Hope it helps.

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Clara
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Content Creator
replied on Nov 26, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

I don´t think that your background is unsual, there are profiles like yours.

However, my observation is that what you are planning in the near future does not seem aligned with a carreer in consulting.

I would try to see which are your short term and long term career and vital goals, and see the path that goes towards them better

Best,

Clara

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Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

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McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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