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Phillip Spiekermann

February 10th, 2022

Applying for consultancy jobs during your Master’s

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Phillip Spiekermann

February 10th, 2022

Applying for consultancy jobs during your Master’s

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Having to secure post-graduation employment can be a grueling prospect for many LSE students. Unless you decide to study the 2-year Global Master’s in Management, you might feel a lot of pressure right from the beginning of your programme, as graduation is less than a year away. Deadlines in the UK are especially early, so you’ll find yourself applying just after visiting your first lectures at the LSE.

According to LSE’s official statistics on postgraduate destinations for management students, the consulting sector is the most popular sector along with financial and professional services. Around 18% of postgraduate students at the Department of Management from 2017/18 and 2018/19 have secured jobs at consultancies with MBB (McKinsey, BCG, Bain) and the Big Four being the most common destinations. 

I have also embarked on this path, and although applying to consulting roles can be particularly tedious and challenging, I will try to give you my biggest learnings and advice on how to approach the application process while balancing it with a challenging Master’s programme.

 

1. Define your target

While MBB firms (McKinsey, BCG, Bain) and the big four’s consulting practices (Strategy&, Monitor Deloitte, EY-Parthenon, KPMG) tend to offer the most sought-after jobs, there are plenty of attractive alternatives in the consulting sector. You might be interested in a consulting firm which specializes in a particular function like marketing, finance, human resources or supply chain management. Alternatively, there are firms that specialize in a particular industry or sector, e.g. energy, public sector or banking. Consulting is a very wide field, so it’s worth reflecting on what you are passionate about. LSE also provides workshops with many of these consulting firms, which will allow you to get to know the people and their work better.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that the consulting job market in the UK is particularly competitive, especially in London. You might be determined to find employment in London, but you may also consider options in other countries where the LSE brand on your CV will give you an even stronger competitive advantage. Having said that, don’t be afraid of aiming for something too big.

 

2.  Set your CV up for success

Your CV is what consulting recruiters will look at first. It’s worth investing some time to get your CV in shape – perhaps you’ll even have some time to do this before your Master’s starts. Once you’ve completed this, make sure you book a free appointment with LSE’s fantastic career service to have your CV and cover letter checked.

Consulting firms love to see that you have engaged in extracurricular activities as well, be it volunteering, sports or engaging in societies. Your time at LSE is a wonderful opportunity to do this and you can showcase this on your CV as well. You might even consider joining a pro-bono student consultancy to gain some additional valuable experience, or you could apply to become a student ambassador.

 

3. Balance applications with your Master’s

Getting used to the academic standard of LSE can be challenging. And apart from having to keep up with assignments and readings, you also want to get to know your fellow students and have a social life. Your job applications can pose a major additional burden, unless you have very good time management. It’s really important that you allocate some fixed hours in your week to writing applications and preparing for interviews. Planning out your week will help to relieve stress and keep all the to-dos in sight. I personally also found LSE’s reading week especially helpful to find some additional time for applications.

4. Use LSE resources to prepare for interviews

Good interview preparation is the key to being successful in securing a position with a consulting firm. LSE has some excellent resources to help you with this. First, LSE provides free access to the online platform CaseCoach, which provides a preparation course for consulting interviews. You can use the platform to meet with other students who are applying for consulting jobs and practice cases with them. Furthermore, LSE’s career service provides many interview and case study workshops. You can also book a free practice interview with one of the career consultants.

Finally, it’s definitely helpful to speak with someone who has gone through the entire application process successfully. LSE has thousands of alumni in the consulting industry, and you can approach them either through LSE alumni events or on LinkedIn. They will certainly provide you with invaluable advice for the process.

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While keeping all of this in mind, it is essential that you maintain a positive mindset throughout the process. Don’t be scared of failing – you can always try again at the same firm later on. And even if your target firm didn’t invite you to an interview in this application period, other firms will. Stay calm and keep trying.

Good luck!

About the author

Phillip Spiekermann

MSc Management and Strategy, Class of 2021-22

Posted In: Choosing LSE | Student life | The Student Lens

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