MS in Commerce Blog

Recruiting for Consulting

Well, folks, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. I know you want to know what consulting recruitment is like. Don’t play coy, you know you want to know.

Well, folks, it’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for.

I know you want to know what consulting recruitment is like. Don’t play coy, you know you want to know.

Well, if you’re anything like me, you’ve chosen to believe that searching for a job after graduation is easy. Or at least you think it should be easy.

Next week I’ll be bringing you guys some insights from a pro (one of our professors) and fellow classmates who have consulting job offers, but for now I’d like to share some amateur insights into the consulting recruitment process.

At a certain point, you need to be okay with failure.

I don’t like failing. I don’t like getting rejected, I don’t like finding out that I wasn’t someone’s first choice, and I definitely hate the word ‘denied.’

But I’ve had to become okay with that. The collegiate recruitment process for jobs is extremely competitive, and no one has a surefire chance of getting an interview at any one firm. That being said, whether or not your chances of getting an interview are good shouldn’t impede you from submitting that resume.

Someone, at some point, is going to reject you. Understanding this, and learning that failure is not a reflection on you as a person, is the first hurdle to get over when you’re applying to one of the most competitive job markets in the country.

If you’re feeling like nothing is working, or if you aren’t getting any traction when it comes to resume drops, it might be time to consult our fabulous Commerce Career Services department. In one short visit, a counselor helped me rework my resume into something I was proud to click ‘submit’ on.

This business is heavily dependent on relationships.

Which is why one of our assignments in GCOM 7050 (Consulting) was to literally turn in copies of networking emails we sent to potential contacts in firms we’ve applied to. We were required to get on the phone with someone in the industry we’re interested in, ask them questions about their job, and come out of the experience with something that would help us along the long road towards employment.

Why is this so important?

Consulting is an industry based entirely on personal relationships and trust. In order to get your foot in the door in an industry like that, you need to talk to as many people as possible to 1) get your name out there, 2) get a feel for what kind of work environment you’d like to work in, and 3) learn as much about the recruitment process as possible. Every firm has different quirks, requirements, and expectations. Do your homework, talk to as many people as you can, and you’ll be just fine.

Case interviews…Case interviews…Case interviews….

I barely knew what a case interview was before I came to McIntire. I knew that people had to do them when they were applying for jobs and internships, but I had no idea what they entailed or why they even mattered.

Basically, case interviews are long-form business problems that recruiters ask you in a high-stress scenario in order to gauge how you think. Sometimes they’re fun logic problems, and other times case interviews make you feel like you’re stuck in one of those terrifying corn mazes that only pop up around Halloween. But as scary as they can be, case interviews are sometimes the single most important data point in your application process. Recruiters want to know how you think, so grab a copy of Case in Point, a partner, and a couple of legal pads — get practicing.

Now is not the time to be humble.

I don’t really like to talk about myself. I try to avoid sounding like a braggart as much as possible, actually. But I’ve learned over the last few months that my strategy towards my everyday life doesn’t always serve me well in the job search.

When you’re looking for a job, it’s up to you (and only you) to represent yourself to the best of your ability. You need to be presenting your best self, not a watered-down version. Own your accomplishments, even at the risk of bragging. That’s much better than omitting valuable information from a recruiter out of humility.

Finding a job isn’t easy. But that doesn’t mean it has to be hard on you. Approach the job search like another class — you need to do your homework and perform well on tests, but you also need to sleep.

So my final piece of amateur advice?

Find some time for yourself. Relish your time in school. Spend some time with your friends. But most importantly, find time to sleep.

So what’s my next move, you ask?

I’m going to nap.

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