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What are the best practices of networking to get a management consulting opportunity?

Anonymous A asked on Jun 16, 2017 - 2 answers

I am a PhD student and I have been studying all my life. It is really awkward for me to network and ask for jobs. In scientific conferences, there were many common topics of discussion over which networking was easy. I am not sure how to approach networking to get jobs in management consulting. I also want to know what are the best practices one can use both offline as well as on linkedin to establish the credibility to ask for a job.

I see some people getting opportunities through their sheer network, i am not sure how they do it, i asked them and nobody has given me substantial answers till date.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

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replied on Jun 18, 2017
Ex-Accenture Strategy Consultant, Career Coach (5yrs)
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One thing that should make you feel better is that firms love to have a variety of personalities, introverts and extroverts. Being less comfortable in these type of events usually balances with deeply analytical and logical mind. Saying this, let me answer your question.

There is no 1 approach that works for everyone. I did not network always to get my positions. I write amazing CVs, Applications and smash my interviews and cases. But I also know people who have gotten jobs via this route. It is all about maximising on your strengths.

My advice is this - get everything in place:

  • Great CV
  • Structured Application Questions
  • Practise Numerical tests - some consulting firms use these, others prefer SJT

The above should get you interviews without networking. I help in all of these areas as well as prep for interviews and cases. If you need help, reach out.


updated his answer on Jun 16, 2017
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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Here are some tips on consulting networking. You can do several things:

1) Leverage your own network - find friends or friends of friends who can practice cases with you or make you a reference.

2) Attend company events. Consulting companies do a lot of events both for graduates and experienced hires. Find the social network groups related to consulting or web sites, subscribe for newsletters and stay tuned. Also, check if they have events in your University since you are a PHD.

While some of the events will be open for everyone, others will require a resume and a cover letter, so make sure to prep.

3) Talk to people on the events and send Thank You notes. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. Ask for contact info or send a thank you note after the event ("I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University... It was especially interesting to hear about... Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.). Alternatively, you may use linkedin for that. If you are an experienced hire I strongly suggest to ask for a 1 on 1 meeting in a thank you note.

4) 1 on 1 meetings. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to ask consultants for a career advice. Tell your story and ask how consulting fits into it

5) Mock interview Depending on where you are in your prep process you may ask a consultant for a mock interview. Consultants are very much opened to help even if it is a cold call e-mail. The main problem is a lack of time on their side. So don't be afraid to remind about yourself if the consultant has already committed but finds it hard to find the time

6) Talking to partners If you are an experienced hire I suggest to talk directly to the partners in your industry or the partner responsible for experienced hires (in consulting partners also have additional roles). Get an intro from the HR or from your friends working there. Partners care a lot about experienced hires with relevant industry expertise

7) If you are an MBA graduate Just talk to your section mates and ask for a reference or a mock interview - they will be happy to help. Make sure you attend all the consulting events.

Good luck!