What are the steps for a Journalism Major to get into consulting??

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New answer on May 14, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 12, 2021

Greetings, I am a third-year Journalism Major and would be sitting for placements in March 2022. I want to go for consulting interviews but have no experience and academic knowledge for the same. My strong suits are Advertising, PR, and Marketing as these areas were covered in my course. Please suggest how do I go about with my preparation for case interviews for consulting firms. Your guidance would be highly appreciated.

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Clara
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replied on May 14, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

I also came from a completly different background -undergrad and masters in Architecture-, and believe me, not only it´s not a weakness but it can indeed turn into an asset if you know how to play it.

Feel free to PM me about it.

Cheers,

Clara

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Francesco
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replied on May 13, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

You will have to work on two main parts to get an offer in consulting

STEP 1: GET THE INVITATION

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

  • A great CV
  • A great Cover (not always required)
  • A referral – the more senior the person the better

A) CV

Key elements they will look for and that you have to optimize are:

  • University brand
  • Major
  • GPA
  • Internships/work experience
  • Experience abroad
  • Extracurriculars and volunteer experience

Red flags include:

  • Very low GPA
  • Lack of any kind of work experience
  • Bad formatting / typos
  • 3-4 pages length
  • Lack of clear action --> results structure for the bullets of the experiences
  • Long paragraphs (3-4 lines) for the bullets of the experiences with irrelevant details
  • Long time gaps without any explanation

B) COVER

You can structure a cover in 4 parts:

  1. Introduction, mentioning the position you are interested in and a specific element you find attractive for that company
  2. Why you are qualified for the job, where you can report 3 skills/stories from your CV, ideally related to leadership, impact, drive and teamwork
  3. Why you are interested in that particular firm, with additional 1-2 specific reasons
  4. Final remarks, mentioning again your interest and contacts

In part 2 – the one you are referring to – you can write about experiences that show skills useful in consulting such as drive, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork and convincing others.

It is important that in part 3 you make your cover specific to a particular firm – the rule of thumb is, can you send the exact same cover to another consulting company if you change the name? If that’s the case, your cover is too generic.

C) REFERRAL

To find a referral, you should follow three steps:

  1. Identify the people that can help you
  2. Write to them a customized email
  3. Have a call and indirectly ask for a referral

You can find more information on the steps here:

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

If you need help with getting an invitation please PM me, I do a session where we can optimize everything you need for an invitation (referrals included).

STEP 2: GET THE OFFER

I usually recommend the following to prepare:

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Identify how many hours you have before the interview and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below. Many people need 100+ hours to be ready before the interview so you can keep that as a benchmark
  2. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books, as they are not good enough nowadays.
  3. Start reading good MBA Consulting Handbooks – you can find several for free online (Insead is a good one to start). Read the cases and try to apply your structure to solve them. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insides. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb better the information with constant learning.
  4. After the first 5-10 cases in books/handbooks and basic theory, start to practice live. PrepLounge can be helpful to connect with other candidates for that. There is a relevant part of the interview score that is based on your communication, which you cannot practice at all if you read cases only. Keep track of your mistakes and see if you repeat them. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback of experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both the fit and the case part. The case part should also cover market sizing, math and graph analysis.
  5. Before the interviews, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer –great way to show you prepared in advance and to connect with the interviewer for a good final impression.

If you want to spend few hours only instead of 100+ and cover everything mentioned above, I developed a program to precisely do that. You can click on the following link to find more:

https://u.preplounge.com/63phuq

After this program, you will know exactly what to expect in the interview, what to work on, and how to focus on the real differentiator to land a top consulting offer.

Please feel free to PM me if you need more information.

Best,

Francesco

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Antonello
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replied on May 12, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, I would work on refining the CV with international and working experiences. In parallel, I would work for strong networking inside consulting to achieve a referral and maximize chances to get an invitation to interviews (I would also consider MBB events in the next months)

Best,
Antonello

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 12, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

i recommend the following:

  1. Get consulting-related experience now. Try and join clubs, start projects, get internships etc. in anything that has to do with business, strategic thinking, etc.
  2. Build up your skills for consulting/casing (this includes daily business reading, industry deep-dives/research, math practice etc.)
  3. Get your resume into excellent shape
  4. Start networking now to build up your opportunities to get your foot in the door

If this all seems like a lot, or you don't know where to start, I highly recommend hiring a coach! We can help you navigate this journey efficiently and effectively.

Good luck!

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Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 12, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

There are tons of threads in the Q&A forum that provide plenty of insights, tips and tricks on "getting into Consulting". Here are some key ones:

  • https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-get-into-the-consulting-domain-4422
  • https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/which-extracurricular-activities-best-for-mbb-entry-665
  • https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/internship-first-or-direct-application-716
  • https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/networking-for-experienced-hireprofessional-914

My advice to you will be this: do an honest self assessment & reflection as to why you want to get into Consulting? This should not be because all your friends are doing it or because you like the $$ or other similar superficial reasons. You must genuinly want to be in an environment where you like problem solving, critical thinking, pace of change etc etc. Understand from alum or via general networking from people with similar background to yours who are in Consulting. So make sure you do this homework before making a preparation plan.

All the best.

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Clara gave the best answer

Clara

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McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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