The Consulting Initiative is an offering of the Broad College of Business to the MSU student community that prepares a select group of students for careers in management consulting. The Consulting Initiative admits students via a competitive application process. Through a variety of academic and professional activities, the Consulting Initiative prepares these students for the highly selective and unique hiring process used by consulting firms.
The 2018 spring semester selection process is now open, due on 1/29/18 by 8:00 am, and applications are available here: UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT APPLICATION
Consulting Initiative representatives will be available in the Engineering Building lobby on Wed., 1/10 and Thurs. 1/18 from 10:30 - 12:30 to answer any questions.
Students in the full-time MBA program or its joint degree programs who have a highly competitive GMAT score and robust, progressive work experience are eligible to complete a paper application.
Students in other graduate degree programs may be considered after the 2017-18 launch year.
Students chosen from the written application pool will participate in interviews with the Consulting Initiative’s Directors. Candidates will prepare and deliver a brief presentation on an assigned topic, as well.
The overall goal of this course is to prepare students for internships and careers in management consulting.
The management consulting course is open to and required for third-year undergraduate students enrolled in the consulting program.
Management Consulting is a semester-long (3-credit) course offered each spring (beginning 2019).
This course offers a variety of ways for students to learn including readings, case studies, discussions, exercises, papers, and presentations. There is a strong emphasis on active learning for skill development and building confidence.
Note: MBA students should enroll in the consulting area of interest offered within their curriculum.
What academic profile do consulting firms prefer?
General management consulting firms typically do not have a strong preference for any particular academic focus. Rather they seek candidates from a variety of backgrounds (business, engineering, liberal arts, etc.) to foster diversity of thought and approach to problem solving. All candidates without regard to their major must demonstrate the skills noted above.
Management consulting firms with subject-area practices and specialized (niche) consulting firms (those with focused expertise in information technology, supply chain management, life sciences as examples) seek majors relevant to their focus.
What kind of work and community experiences do consulting firms value?
Consulting firms consider previous work experience for both graduate and undergraduate applicants. However, many consulting firms do not offer internships; those that do may offer fewer internships than they have full-time openings after graduation. Internships with client firms (Fortune 500 companies for the large consulting firms) can be advantageous.
Consulting firms value unique community-service projects at home or abroad. In addition, the experience of starting your own business (successfully or not) can enhance a candidate’s appeal.
Leadership experience gained through student organizations is a plus, especially a role that results in stories of working through challenges faced. Involvement in a student-run consulting club that incorporates case interview practice is not a requirement, but highly preferred.
Students must do considerable networking with alumni and employees in an effort to secure internship and full-time position interviews. The Consulting Initiative will assist students in connecting with firms, primarily through these alumni. The Consulting Initiative has developed an alumni directory, available to admitted students, to assist with this activity.
What application process do firms use and when does it take place?
As is happening with campus recruiting in general, consulting firms typically start their internship and full-time hiring in September just as soon as classes resume. Deadlines and processes vary by firm, but are likely to include an online application, one or two phone screens for “fit,” and both behavioral and case interviews for the successful candidate. Firms may assign a “buddy” to practice a few case interviews with its candidates, but the applicant must do the bulk of case practice independently. Many successful candidates indicate they did 30-50 practice cases as part of their preparation. Brain teasers, mental math tests and market-sizing questions are common, as well.
How can students prepare for case interviews?
There are a number of resource materials available to students to practice case interviews. A good place to start are the websites of consulting firms. Under the “Careers” tab, they generally offer sample case interviews for students to try. In addition to reading books and watching videos, it is important to practice with a capable partner willing to critique your performance. The Consulting Institute will also offer training sessions, as well.
Some firms hire undergraduates for a period of 2-3 years with the intent they will leave to pursue graduate education. A subset of these firms sponsor select hires to attend graduate school, paying (some of) their education costs. In exchange, the employee commits to return to the firm for a stated time (e.g., two years) or reimburse the firm on a prorated basis.
CURRENT CONSULTING INITIATIVE STUDENTS
Congratulations to the fall 2017 admits! Feel free to reach out to any for information on their experience or with any questions.