Recruiters take a look at your GPA when you apply for a position in top-tier management consulting firms. Your grades are indicators of your education, the basic foundation for any kind of career.
There’s no fixed GPA cutoff for management consulting. Different firms set their own standards. However, many consider that a 3.5 average is safe. If you’re a fresh graduate, and you got a grade below that, you may be screened out for interviews. However, you can compensate it with other impressive factors to shift the attention of the recruiters. Below are some tips for the non-academic achievers who’d love a slot in a consulting firm.
Consulting Club Activities
Consulting isn’t all about knowledge. It’s also about skills, something that you can gain not from books but from actual training. One of the best ways to acquire skills is through joining management consulting club activities. It initiates workshops, coaching sessions and training programs where you develop your problem-solving capability, communication and logical reasoning.
You can also develop these skills though involvement with other organizations. For instance, if you volunteer for a community project, you definitely learn how to deal with different kinds of people. If you’re active in sports, you must have discipline and high tolerance for stress. You can always point these out in your resume.
Extending Your Network
Truth be told, recommendations of key people are more reliable than grades because the former is based on actual performance and interaction. If a headhunter or consultant in a big firm, such as McKinsey and Deloitte, can vouch for your abilities and values, most likely you’ll be considered for an interview. Of course, you are on your own after you get an interview invitation.
This gives you an important reason to meet people and extend your network. You can start with your friends and family. Then you can widen it with your connections at university. Participating in club activities that gather alumni and representatives from different firms is also a wise move. Make sure you’re updated with these types of events.
When you’re a fresh graduate, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have no experience to include in your job application. Did you have a part-time job at a convenience store? Have you written articles for a virtual job employment? These may not be necessarily related to management consulting, but from these jobs, you must have learned something or gained specific skills that may be of good use.
A summer internship program is also a source of valuable experience. You’ll have opportunities to deal with real-life business scenarios. You’ll get an idea of the work culture and lifestyle of management consultants. You’ll be able to attend team meetings and interact with senior client leaders. Lastly, if you have proven you possess the potentials, you may be offered a position in the firm.
Your GPA will play a significant part in your candidacy, especially when you’ve just graduated from school. However, recruiters aren’t too narrow-minded to consider your educational background only. If you can prove you have the necessary skills and experience, they will certainly give you a chance in an interview.
For details on how to land a job, check this downloadable reference on management consulting. It gives an overview of the recruitment process most consulting firms follow.