How to Prepare for Applying to Consulting Firms

Many potential candidates ask about how they would fit into consulting if they do not have business major; so the inevitable question arises: “How do I adequately prepare an application?” Whether you majored in business and finance or art history and language, we have put together some tips about how to best prepare for applying to consulting firms:

Do your research: First and foremost it is important to understand what consulting is really all about. While it is important to research a firm’s core values and brand, it is also important to comprehend the types of tasks you will be in charge of at the given level you will be entering the firm. It is important to grasp the nuances of organizational structures at different firms. For example, at L.E.K., our post-MBA Consultant role comes with immediate management responsibility, something that greatly differentiates us from other firms.You want to be sure that you understand the type of work so you can be prepared for the exciting and demanding work environment. 

Polish your resume: Your resume is the first thing people will use to ascertain if you are capable of attacking both the research and analytical requirements of the position, as analysis is vital to breaking down any problem that we are seeking to solve for our clients. The resume is a great place to list relevant coursework or extracurricular activities where you have explored some fields or skills that are applicable to consulting work. 

Put thought into your cover letter: The cover letter is a great place for you to convey a little bit more of who you are and why you are interested in consulting in general, as well as the specific firm you are applying for. Why are you applying to L.E.K. Consulting in particular? What about this company appeals to you? It is a chance to show that you have done your research, that you are excited about the opportunity and that you can actively contribute to the organization.

Prepare for interviews: Properly preparing for consulting interviews is imperative for success. First, focus on the fit-type questions about your background and why you are interested in a specific firm. Be sure to focus on your own individual actions and theirs results. Secondly, be sure to prepare for the ever-important case questions.  It is important to demonstrate your business understanding as well as quick analytical thinking. There is no right answer, and firms are seeking to understand how you think.  Be open about your thought process and ask questions. Both parts of interviews are equally important, and require a significant time investment in order to be polished and genuine. 

Get to know the people: As is probably most important in consulting, talk to people! Get to know the recruiters at each firm, and ask them for recommendations of other people you can speak with. Reach out to your school’s alumni at the different firms and seek answers to your questions in order to truly understand what it’s like to work there. It is important to have quality conversations with several team members in order to really get to know the firm, and have them get to know you.

Be yourself: You don’t need to come from any specific background or major in order to succeed in applying to or even working in consulting firms, but you do need to convey your ability to tackle the types of analyses necessary to serve our clients. There is no “perfect’ application, be comfortable to share who you are and hopefully you will find a great fit for you! Good luck!

Interested in submitting an application to L.E.K.? Visit http://www.lek.com/join-lek/how-to-apply/apply-now to click on the region that you'd like to work in and see a list of all open applications. You can only apply to one office per calendar year, and you can only apply once. All applications, resumes and CVs must be submitted through this web portal to be considered for employment at L.E.K. Consulting. 

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