Networking and applying off-cycle


Man, you guys are totally over-achievers.  Haven’t you realized that classes are out for the summer and consulting houses are all thinking about their next Friday adult beverage event?

Apparently not.  Here’s what you’re asking us, and what we’re saying in return:

Q:  Hi, I am very interested in the services you provide, specifically for cover letters, but have a question about when I should apply and if I should wait for my LSAT score for my resume.  

As some background, I graduated from a public university with a degree in Econ and a 3.7 GPA.  I work as a Business Analyst for a large financial services company, but am not sure if my resume would be incredibly well received given my relatively low GPA. I’ve been scoring around 175+ on my LSAT, which I’m taking in June.

Is it worth waiting for my score in order to place it on my resume?  

Also, a friend of mine at A.T. Kearney recently informed me that they have already met their cap for non-campus 2012 B.A. hires.

Do you know if there is a chance that any of the other top consulting firms would still have B.A. openings?

A:  As for timing for experienced hires, you are quite late for 2012 in the U.S. – we know for sure that Bain has met its targets, and the others are likely quite full.  At this point, it’s most likely that you’d be invited for interviews with the upcoming senior class, but perhaps would be granted an early start date (in January/February next year versus August/September 2013).

In that case, you can wait to take your LSAT, although it’s not going to be a complete deal-breaker – good SATs will do, and your GPA is totally fine.  The key is presenting your experience with great professionalism and a focus on what you’ve done after school to set you apart.  We can start now and just leave a placeholder for your LSAT – then you’ve got it ready when the time is right.

Part-time MBA to full-time M/B/B

Q:  I’m a CPA and a current business risk consultant with Deloitte and Touche (not Deloitte Consulting).  I’m enrolling in a part-time MBA program in the fall. I know for sure I can transfer to Strategy & Operations w/ Deloitte Consulting and firms like IBM GBS, Booz Allen Hamilton, and PwC recruit from my MBA program.

What are my chances  of leveraging my prior experience (3 years) into an offer from M/B/B or Booz & Co?

Would going to Deloitte Consulting allow me to make a move to Booz or M/B/B down the road at the Manager/EM level?

A:  It’s going to be infinitely easier to jump into M/B/B from Deloitte Consulting (Strategy & Ops) instead of business risk within Deloitte and Touche, but you shouldn’t think too far down the road.  The longer you go, the harder they consider it to be to retrain you into M/B/B mindsets.  Booz will be a much easier lateral hire, even later, but M/B/B you should think about doing through networking during your MBA.

 

Here’s your best case scenario:

 

  1. Transfer to Strategy & Operations ASAP within Deloitte Consulting – get that to the top of your resume.
  2. In 1 year, during the part-time MBA program, start networking with your target firms.
  3. Take advantage of the on-campus recruiting options available to you.
  4. Take your best option from what emerges.

We’d love to help with your resume/cover letter – our newly released Resume/Cover Letter Bible or personalized services will give you the advantage you’ll need to climb the uphill battle.

Turn a consulting contact into an internship 

 

Q:  I have a number of solid contacts in a couple consulting firms but how do I turn a contact into an internship? Have my friend contact them first? How is this done?

 

A:  The way you utilize your contacts depends largely on the firm itself, and the key issue that you’re making plain here is that you don’t know enough about the ways the firms work to get inside the door on those key issues. Here’s what to do:

 

  1. Schedule official calls with your friends, no matter how close they are.  There is a huge difference between shooting someone a casual text and setting aside intentional time to ask great questions – the more casual your approach is, the more basic (and unhelpful) the information will be that you receive from them.
  2. Come prepared with 8-10 questions, and ask them if they would be willing to:
  • Review your resume/cover letter for any firm-specific opportunities for improvement (we can obviously help you with this too, but it’s a good way to ask for advice – which consultants love to give).
  • Give you advice about how best to break in from your specific background – including any hurdles you have (like your current firm, a low GPA, etc.) – perhaps including specific offices that would be best to apply to.
  • Provide a recommendation for you internally – this could include passing your details to recruiters, flagging an application you submit online, or making a recommendation to a specific head of recruiting (on the professional staff).

Do you have a question about management consulting, resumes/cover letters, or anything else related to the site? Contact me and I’ll feature your question here with an in-depth response. Anonymity guaranteed.