I am a year out from getting started in consulting recruiting. What should I do in the meantime?
In terms of advice for what to do over the course of the next year, please see below for a few skills that are very important for the consulting firms to see when you eventually apply.
Make sure you are putting yourself in situations (internships, extracurricular activities, classes, volunteering, etc.) where you get the opportunity to build on the following 3 skills:
Leadership – Consulting firms like to hire students who take on leadership roles. It is better to be in fewer clubs/organizations and take on a leadership role (where you are able to make an impact) rather than be in a large number of clubs as just a member. Find a club/organization or two that you are passionate about and try to join the leadership team. So when you are deciding between opportunities such as extracurricular pick the ones you will enjoy and see yourself being a leader of instead of joining a club only because you think it will look good on your resume but you don’t see yourself in an active leadership role.
Teamwork – Consulting is all about working closely with your team and clients, so make sure you get the opportunity to build your teamwork skills and work closely with others. This could mean in your internships, classes, volunteer work, and extracurricular working with others on projects, events, and other initiatives. The best ones to show are those that you didn’t have to do (such as a class project) but ones you willingly volunteered your time.
Problem Solving and Analytical Thinking – Consulting is fast-paced and very analytical (both quantitatively and qualitatively), so the firms will need to see that you have the analytical horsepower to do the job. We recommend making sure you have taken at least some challenging courses that are analytical in nature (mathematics, economics, statistics, computer science, engineering, etc.). Additionally, try to find internships where you get to solve complex problems, come up with solutions, and drive change. Examples include internships that involve you working with data analysis, building a plan of action for a group of people or company, or creating something that didn’t exist before that others benefit from.
For more on this, go here.