Takeaways from Networking from Home: Consulting

Our most recent Networking from Home event highlighted the Consulting industry. For this iteration, we were joined by representatives from Bain & Company, CBPartners, Charles River Associates, Gemic, Kearney, Mars & Co. and OnPrem Solution Partners.

Students listened and engaged with the professionals in both a large panel and individual breakout rooms. We covered a wide range of subjects throughout the afternoon and compiled a list of tips and takeaways from the event centered around skills, case interviews, and networking. Here are a few of the takeaways… 


Framing Your Skills for Consulting

If you’re interested in the industry, you already have relevant skills! There isn’t just one “consulting” major or career path, and there are many ways to connect your experience to the industry.

  • Highlight your soft and transferable skills! Whether it’s creative thinking, flexibility, or collaboration, consulting employers are looking for candidates who can demonstrate how their education and experiences are applicable to many projects, cases, or clients.
  • Celebrate your background. Think carefully about your defining moments in the classroom and the skills you’ve learned from them. Showcase those in your application materials and interviews.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to learn more! If you find you have a skill gap, take the opportunity to address it in an interview or application. Consulting firms want candidates who express initiative.
  • An understanding of business and finance is beneficial. If you don’t have these skills, find ways to explore the industries outside of coursework (volunteer, conduct research, attend events, hold informational interviews).

Tackling the Case Interview

During the panel and breakout rooms, panelists shared some of their advice for someone preparing for a case interview. Here are some of the top quick tips:

  • Practice with others. Utilize your peers, friends, or network and practice aloud with them. Get a start on practice as soon as you can, so you have ample time to prepare.
  • Research. Spend time exploring relevant industries, consuming industry news, and listening or reviewing others’ case interviews. Many organizations (like Bain & Company and Kearney) also have resources in navigating the case interview.
  • Showcase thought process and personality. Your interviewers want to get a sense of who you are and really how you think. If you have a unique story or experience that informs your approach, bring that into the conversation. It can make a lasting impression and demonstrate creativity. 

Building a Network

As an industry, consulting is focused on relationship building and management. You’ll want to incorporate this framework into outreach and networking.

  • Reach out! Cold emails or LinkedIn messages may seem intimidating, but don’t let this stop you. Start off with a refined and clear ask for what you’re looking to learn from them. This demonstrates your respect for their time and sets expectations of the connection.
  • Explore authentic connections. Research consulting firms and contacts that align with your interests, goals, and career path. Utilize this affinity as a starting point for your outreach.
  • Set Goals. At a networking event, it’s about the quality of connections, not the volume. A smaller list of solid contacts can make a huge impact on your career. Also, develop a set of 3-5 questions you can use when networking to direct conversation.
  • Avoid transactional networking. When you’ve made a connection, concentrate on building a meaningful, mutually beneficial relationship or even potential mentorship. Think long term and engage your network in conversations outside just hiring and industry.
  • There’s more than one way to connect! You might not always get a response to your messages. In those cases, consider changing up your approach. Having a combination of recruiter and consultant contacts can help facilitate easier connections.

Upcoming networking from home events

Looking for more opportunities to connect with industry professionals? Join us for one of the upcoming events in the Networking from Home series!

Media & Communications: Tuesday, June 2 at 3:00 p.m.

Healthcare: Tuesday, June 16 at 3:00 p.m.

Making the Most of your Virtual Internship: Tuesday, June 30 at 3:00 p.m.